The magnificent voice of G.A. Henty in Under Drake’s Flag
Born in England in October of 1936, actor Brian Blessed is widely known for his artistic talents in both film and television. He is often described as “larger than life” – and his unique personal character has often carried over into his professional work, where he has portrayed everything from regal kings in Shakespearean plays to Long John Silver, Jean Valjean, and most recently, G.A. Henty in Under Drake’s Flag. His booming, operatic voice is one-of-a-kind and easily recognizable.
Brian Blessed was the perfect choice to play G.A. Henty in Under Drake’s Flag – Brian has led a fun, exciting, and adventuresome life much like the late G.A. Henty himself.
Some interesting facts about the magnificent life of Brian Blessed…
- Brian grew up in a mining village. Three of his uncles died in the pit, and his father was seriously injured when Brian was only 15, forcing Brian to lay aside his academic studies for a time.
- Before he was an actor, Brian held several blue-collar jobs. He was once an undertaker’s assistant.
- When he was just 14 years old, he met Pablo Picasso at the Second World Peace Congress. The artist drew a rendition of the dove of peace for Brian, and he in turn sketched a similar bird and presented it back to Picasso. Picasso found this quite entertaining.
- Brian was a parachutist in the Royal Air Force.
- He loves boxing, and once sparred with the Dalai Lama. The two have remained friends throughout their lives.
- He is an avid mountain climber. Brian has attempted to climb Mount Everest three times – and while he has not reached the peak (yet) he has come very close. He is the oldest person to have reached both the geographical North Pole and the magnetic North Pole. He has reached the tops of Mt. Acongagua in Argentina and Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.
- Blessed has had several close calls with death. He was nearly killed when filming, quite ironically, his death scene in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. He also survived a plane crash in the jungle of Venezuela.
- Brian’s voice is so appealing and unique that satellite navigation manufacturer TomTom recorded Blessed’s voice for use in its products. His voice has been one of the voice command options since 2010.
- Brian has actually completed Cosmonaut training and hopes to travel to the International Space Station in the near future. (One thing is for sure – if anyone can do it, Brian Blessed can!)