|| The sixties
proved a busy time for Terence Stamp. At one time he shared a flat with
Michael Caine and during the decade was involved in two well-publicised
affairs, the first with actress Julie Christie, the second with model Jean
Shrimpton. As a handsome leading man, he seemed destined to become a major
star. But, despite the fact that his career in the movies continued up to
the present time, his major roles faded away in the Seventies.
Stamp made his film debut in 'Billy Budd', the Herman Melville tale of an
innocent seaman who, due to a series of unfortunate circumstances, is executed
by hanging. He next appeared in 'Term of Trial', a drama in which a schoolteacher
(Laurence Olivier) is accused of molesting a schoolgirl (Sarah Miles). Stamp
was promised the lead in 'The L-Shaped Room', but when Brian Forbes took
over as director he had casting ideas of his own and signed Tom Bell. Stamp's
next major role was in 'The Collector', the bizarre John Fowles novel which
told of a young man so obsessed with a girl that he kidnaps her - and decides
to make a hobby of his crime.
Following his Broadway appearance in 'Alfie', he was offered the lead in
the screen version, but turned it down to appear in the abortive 'Modesty
Blaise' instead. His flatmate Michael Caine went on to portray 'Alfie'.
Terence next signed up for the role of the swinging sixties photographer
in 'Blow Up', a part specially written for him by Italian director Michelangelo
Antonioni. The plan was for Jean Shrimpton to appear in the film with him.
Shortly before filming began, Antonioni changed his mind and decided to
use an unknown, David Hemmings, instead - even though he had to pay Stamp
because he'd already signed a contract for the part.
Stamp's next appearance was as the dashing cavalry officer in 'Far From
The Madding Crowd' with Julie Christie and he then left for Hollywood to
star in 'Blue' a Western which Robert Redford had wisely turned down. The
next stage of his career took him to Italy at the invitation of renowned
directors Federico Fellini and Pier Paolo Pasolini and his Italian film
appearances included 'Una Stagipone All' Inferno', 'La Dovona Creatura',
'Amp Non Amp' and 'Morte In Vatoco'.
An East-Ender born in 1940, Stamp was the son of a Thames tug driver. He
left school at 16 and took a variety of jobs before winning a scholarship
to drama school. Over the years he has developed an interest in Eastern
philosophy and mysticism and is the author of three volumes of autobiography.
As a veteran actor he has proved to be more successful than as a leading
man and has appeared in more than sixty films. His Sixties filmography is:
'Billy Budd' (1962), 'Term of Trial' (1962),'The Collector' (1965), 'Far
From the Madding Crowd' (1967), 'Poor Cow' (1967), 'Histoires Extraordinaires'
(1967), 'Theorem' (1968), 'Blue' (1968) and 'The Mind of Mr. Soames' (1969).