I was born in Vancouver, Canada
and was expected to join my Dad’s law firm.
However, I wanted to be an architect, but was talked out of that by my
parents, who remembered architects in the bread line during the great
depression. Perverse as ever, I decided to be a professional actor, having
caught the bug in high school and college plays.
In 1949 I sailed
for England on a freighter
from Seattle with eleven other passengers, through
the Panama Canal and on to Liverpool. The trip
took nine and a half weeks in all and the experience of a lifetime. Always lucky, I found an agent in London who sent me to audition for the juvenile lead part
in the West End production of “Detective
Story”, the Broadway hit at the time. Up
against a lot of competition, but got the part.
It wasn’t the huge hit it was in New
York, but ran long enough for me to become established
as an “American Actor”.
television followed, and with stage productions in the West End, for the next
25 years London
was my base. I was tested twice by the
Rank Organization and was considered not suitable as movie star material but
did the odd character part in films. It
was a different story in television where I worked constantly when not on the
stage. One thing about working in the
theater, you do get to meet any number of interesting people in all walks of
life, and when touring before coming into town with a play, a chance to see the
different cities and all the sights.
Played before Royalty three times and even had a run in
with Winston Churchill. Having been
given a letter of introduction to a Star columnist on “The Daily Mail”, he
invited me to have lunch out at London
Airport, a very small
complex at the time. We drove there in
his black Rolls Royce convertible, and at the gate the guard asked if we were
with the Churchill party. Hearing the
negative, we were directed around the back, and told to keep out of the
way. Mr. Churchill was going to the
races! In due time three enormous Rolls
Royce arrived and the party got onto a plane, which never got into the air
because it stalled. Furious, Mr.
Churchill stormed around to the left side of the building we were in. We went to have a look. Someone was going to get hell. As I was pressing on the swing door to get
out, someone was pressing it on the other side.
It was Churchill! I said “excuse
me sir” and got an enraged grunt in reply.
As my Dad worshiped the man, I was able to write to him that I had
spoken to his “god” which thrilled him no end.
Later at a party I was introduced to Noel Coward, who referred to me as
“you r-r-rough Canadian”. But enough name dropping.
I was married to
Dolores, a New Yorker in 1974 and came to live there. I did mainly voice over and commercial work
and later moved on to Los Angeles
where I stayed with the same work except for the odd TV production such as
“L.A.Law” and “Picket Fences” etc.
Played the resident minister on the soap opera “The Young and the
Restless” at C.B.S. for a time. Retired
in 2000 and took up lawn bowling, starting at Holmby
Park and later adding Beverly
Hills and Santa Monica
clubs. Moved to Oxnard in 2008 (because of the lawn bowling
club) and hope to stay in the area until I’m carried out.
by Warren Stanhope
The following are a few pictures of Warren with some of his lawn bowling friends.
Warren was a gentle man and he will be missed by all those that knew him.