Bristol Old Vic Theatre School graduate and National Theatre actor, who starred alongside Laurence Olivier and Peter O’Toole
Clive Rust was just a year out of training at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School when he auditioned for Laurence Olivier and became a member of the National Theatre’s inaugural company in 1963.
He was seen alongside Olivier in Othello (also appearing in its 1965 film version) and George Farquhar’s The Recruiting Officer, and starred in Hamlet, with Peter O’Toole in the title role, and Sophocles’ Philoctetes.
Born in Brighton, he began acting in amateur drama and after spending his National Service in the RAF, he trained at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. The Stage remarked on his comic skill as the Count in a production of Jean Anouilh’s Ardèle in 1962.
Spotted by Ronald Russell, then a director at Bristol’s Little Theatre, he joined the company as an acting assistant stage manager and quickly graduated to lead roles.
With the National, he was seen in Peter Shaffer’s The Royal Hunt of the Sun at Chichester Festival Theatre in 1964 and the following year as the deceived suitor Pavel in Lester Cole’s Uncle’s Dream at the Leicester Phoenix.
In 1967, he played a three-month season with the Welsh Theatre Company in the Prince of Wales, Colwyn Bay (now Theatr Colwyn) before seasons with Colchester’s Mercury Theatre (where he played Lord Fancourt Babberly in Brandon Thomas’ Charley’s Aunt and Dr Watson to Roger Heathcott’s titular detective Sherlock Holmes in 1968) and in Leicester and Cheltenham.
His West End appearances included Sutton Vane’s Outward Bound with Michael Redgrave (Wyndham’s Theatre, 1966) and Spike Milligan’s The Bedsitting Room (Saville Theatre, 1967).
One of his final performances was as an admired Miguel Estete in the Bristol Old Vic’s 1969 revival of The Royal Hunt of the Sun.
He left acting in the early 1970s to join the Civil Service, rising to managerial level within the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service.
Clive Rust was born on February 1, 1935 and died on April 2, aged 85. He is survived by his life partner, Guy Thomas.