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General information  

  • Date of birth : 11/09/1934
  • Date of death : 26/01/2012

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  • Abercrombie Ian

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Ian Abercrombie (1934)

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  Summary  

Ian Abercrombie is an English actor, best known for playing Alfred Pennyworth in Birds of Prey. He appeared as Elaine Benes' boss Justin Pitt during the sixth season of Seinfeld, and as a fastidious butler on Desperate Housewives.

  Biography  

He is the cousin of John Abercrombie, a jazz guitarist of ECM Recording Star and ex-husband of Elizabeth Romano.

 Career
Ian Abercrombie began his theatrical career as a lad during the Blitz in World War II. After his footwork years during which he earned Bronze, Silver and Gold medals in dance for the stage, he performed in London, Holland, Ireland and Scotland. He made his American stage debut in 1955 in a production of "Stalag 17" with Jason Robards and Jules Munshin. Many plays in summer stock, regional and off-Broadway followed in a variety of theatrical offerings, from revues to Shakespeare (in a particularly low period, he worked as a magician's assistant for $10 a performance). In 1957, Ian was drafted into the army and stationed in Germany. He was in Special Services, where he directed the Continental premiere of "Separate Tables" and toured with Olivia de Havilland in her show. Back in the United States, Ian went to California for a backers' audition. That fizzled but he began his long and successful film and television career. For the past 40 years, his theatrical work highlights have included; "As You Like It", "Hamlet", "Misalliance", "The Good Doctor", "The Way of the World", "Mary Stuart", "Crucifer of Blood", "Journey's End", "The Wrong Box", "The Cocktail Party", "Bert & Maisy", "Other Places", "Bent", "Natural Causes", "The Vortex", "Rough Crossing", "Africa", "Road & Lettice" and "Lovage". He received awards for his work in "Sweet Prince" with Keir Dullea, "Teeth N'smiles", "A Doll's House" with Linda Purl and "The Arcata Promise" opposite Anthony Hopkins. He also received acclaim for the one-man show "Jean Cocteau - A Mirror Image". Recently a highlight was playing Alfie Doolittle in "My Fair Lady". Ian is also in great demand for voice-work on radio, CD-ROMS, films and commercials.

Shares two roles with Clive Revill. Revill was Alfred Pennyworth in early episodes of Batman , a role Abercrombie played in Birds of Prey . Revill was also the first actor to play Palpatine, in Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back . Abercrombie portrayed the character in the animated Clone Wars series and film. He is the second actor with the name Ian to portray Palpatine: The first was Ian McDiarmid who played Palpatine in 5 of the 6 Star Wars films as well as Lego Star Wars: The Video Game, Star Wars Battlefront: Elite Squadron.

He is also known to cult film audiences as Wiseman in the comedy horror film Army of Darkness . He has also guest starred in many television series such as The Nanny, Wizards of Waverly Place, Airwolf, Babylon 5, and NewsRadio. Currently as of January 2008, he is in production of a new film, Bentley and Max. As a voice actor, Ian Abercrombie portrayed evil chancellor Palpatine in the film The Clone Wars and reprised his role as Palpatine in the television adaption and its two spin-off video games: Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Republic Heroes and Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Lightsaber Duels. On radio he has been heard in several productions of the Hollywood Theater of the Ear.

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  Sources

Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Ian Abercrombie", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.