Phantom of the Opera actor dies at 90 – .

Murray Melvin was a stage and screen actor who performed in “The Phantom of the Opera,” “A Taste of Honey,” and “Barry Lyndon.” 

Murray Melvin’s legacy 

Murray Melvin’s acting career spanned both stage and screen, and in some cases proved groundbreaking. In 1961, he played Geoff in “A Taste of Honey,” a gritty, realistic portrayal of impoverished people in 1950s England. The film received widespread acclaim, including for Melvin’s work portraying a gay man during a time when open depictions of homosexuality were rare. 

Melvin would also appear as Reverend Samuel Runt in Stanley Kubrick’s 1975 period piece, “Barry Lyndon.” Starting in the late 1950s, he was also a frequent sight on British stages, performing in “Macbeth,” “A Christmas Carol,” “Henry IV,” “Oh, What a Lovely War,” and many others. He was also an author, penning two books: “The Art of Theatre Workshop” (2006) and “The Theatre Royal: A History of the Building” (2009). 

Melvin was still acting into the 2000s and 2010s. He played Monsieur Reyer in the 2004 film version of “The Phantom of the Opera,” had a role in the Doctor Who spinoff series, “Torchwood,” and in 2016 played alongside Robert Pattison and Tom Holland in the film “The Lost City of Z.” Colleagues report that he suffered a fall in December 2022, from which he never recovered. 

Notable quote 

“As I’ve got older, I’m still amazed when somebody young – which to me is anybody under 30! – somebody young comes up and says, ‘Oh, you played that boy in “A Taste of Honey.”’ And I say, ‘Yeah, yeah.’ And they say, ‘Thank you.’ I say, ‘What for?’ They say, ‘Because, you see, when I saw that, you changed my life. You made it possible for me.’ And I am truly humbled.”—Interview for the Criterion Collection 

Tributes to Murray Melvin 

Full obituary: The Hollywood Reporter 

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