Clifford Rose 1929 - 2021Bookmark and Share

Saturday, 6 November 2021 - Reported by Marcus
Clifford Rose (Credit: Chuck Foster)

The actor Clifford Rose has died at the age of 92.

Clifford Rose appeared in the 1981 Tom Baker story Warriors' Gate where he played Rorvik the captain of the privateer ship that transported the time-sensitive Tharils.

He was most famous for his powerful portrayal of Standartenf├╝hrer Ludwig Kessler, the ruthless Gestapo officer, in three series of Secret Army.

Clifford Rose was born in  Herefordshire in the West Midlands of England. After studying at King's College London he sought a career as an actor appearing in repertory theatre and later as a founding member of the Royal Shakespeare Company. 

His first television appearance was in 1959, in the adaptation of Arnold Bennett's Hilda Lessways. Many character appearances followed including roles in Roads to Freedom, Elizabeth R, Callan, Justice, The Pallisers, How Green Was My Valley and The Devil's Crown.

In 1977 he was cast as Sturmbannf├╝hrer Ludwig Kessler in Secret Army, the series detailing the work of the prisoner evasion lines that helped British pilots escape from occupied Belgium during World War II. It was a powerful multi-layered performance that explored the ruthlessness of the German commander as well as his personal qualities as he fell in love with a Belgium woman. 

His performance saw the character return in his own spin-off series, Kessler, exploring the fate of the character after the end of the war, 

He later played SS General Hans Kammler in the miniseries War and Remembrance and appeared in Fortunes of War and played Judge Critchley in Alan Bleasdale's drama GBH.

Film roles included parts in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and The Iron Lady, and he had a small role as the Dean of Windsor in The Crown.

He was the winner of the Clarence Derwent Award 2009 for his performance in The Chalk Garden at the Donmar.