Steven Alvey, who has died of cancer at the age of 53, enjoyed a successful acting career on stage and television for more than 30 years.
Born and raised in Keighley, West Yorkshire, he attended Greenhead grammar school. In the late seventies, while still a teenager, he travelled to London to begin a life in the theatre.
He toiled happily backstage and front of house at several West End theatres, before winning a place on the acting course at Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
Throughout the early years of his career, he appeared in Blood Brothers, in its first national tour, at the Cafe Theatre in Frankfurt and played Malcolm in Bedroom Farce. He also made many appearances for Hull Truck Theatre, playing Tony in Up ‘n’ Under in the West End and on tour, and in The Office Party, Catwalk, and most significantly in Alan Plater’s Sweet Sorrow (UK tour and Los Angeles), where he met his wife, the actress Amanda Orton.
His most extraordinary performance was in The Two Gentleman of Verona, the production which opened Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in 1996. Steven had been contracted to play small parts and be an understudy. However, an actor broke a leg 24 hours before the first night, and Steven went on as Sir Thurio, with no real rehearsal, the following day.
The show was a triumph and the entire cast applauded him as he came on stage at the curtain call. He took the part for the subsequent run at the Globe and in New York.
He repeated this feat four years later when, at short notice, he took on the part of Trinculo in The Tempest at the Globe in 2000. He was most recently on stage in Nicholas Nickleby at Chichester, in which he played Young Wackford.
Steven has been a familiar face on television over the past 20 years, appearing in Loved by You, Beast, How do You Want Me?, Doctors and Nurses, and Hardware. He was also a regular in The Brief and appeared in North Square and Rosemary and Thyme, among others.
Steven died on April 16. His warmth, charm and immeasurable wit meant that everyone who worked with or spent any time with him was proud to call him a friend. We shall all miss him terribly. He is survived by his wife Amanda.
The recent memorial service held at St. Paul’s Church, Covent Garden, for the agent Lindsay Granger, was attended by many of her friends, including the actors Patricia Hodge, Liz Robertson and Christopher Biggins, and other agents and casting directors. The song You’ll Never Get Away From Me, from her favourite show Gypsy, was movingly sung by Sally Ann Triplett.
From the time she was born, it was inevitable that Granger would pursue a career in the theatre. Her father was the film star Stewart Granger, who, early in his career, played in rep in Birmingham. There he married the company’s leading lady Elspeth March, who became Granger’s mother.
When the marriage broke up, Granger, then only a child, went to live with her father in Los Angeles, where he got married again, this time to the actress Jean Simmons. Simmons formed a close relationship with Granger that lasted until her death last year.
Granger began her career working with the theatre producer Mark Furness. While in South Africa in the seventies, she was invited to work for Barry Burnett’s agency. More than 20 years later, she became a partner in the firm, and its name was changed to Burnett Granger.
Between them, Granger and Burnett represented 150 clients in theatre, film and television. Granger had a keen eye for talent and paid frequent visits to drama schools, where she discovered many young actors who went on to become well-known names. In 2009, Granger retired from the agency as a result of ill health.
Burnett told The Stage: “Lindsay fought her illness with great courage and strength, which is how she lived her life, and we loved her for it.”
Lindsay Granger died on February 8, aged 65.
Richard Anthony Baker