Rix, Brian, 1924-

Alternative names
Birth 1924-01-27

Biographical notes:

Brian Rix (full title: Baron Rix of Whitehall in the City of Westminster & Hornsea in Yorkshire) was born on 27th January 1924 in Cottingham, Yorkshire. He became a professional actor at the age of 18. He toured with Donald Wolfit and his Famous Company and The White Rose Players before his wartime service in the RAf and down the mines as a Bevin Boy. In 1947 he formed his own theatre company, and from 1950 he was actor-manager of the Whitehall and Garrick Theatres for thirty years. He acted in many productions for television and presented the first BBC series for people with learning disabilities Let's Go . He also produced and appeared in 12 film farces.

Brian Rix became Secretary General of MENCAP in 1980. He later became Chairman of MENCAP in 1988 and then President in 1998, as well as being involved with several other groups for people with learning disabilities. In recognition for this he has received eight honorary degrees and five fellowships. He has received the C.B.E., a knighthood and was made a life peer on 27th January 1992. He is an active member of the House of Lords regarding disabled people, and the Arts. He was Vice Lord Lieutenant of Greater London from 1988-1998. In 1997 Lord Rix became Chancellor of the University of East London where the Rix Centre does work for the learning disabled community. He is now the Univerisity's Chancellor Emeritus.

Brian Rix married actress Elspet Gray in 1949, with whom he had four children. He has written several volumes of autobiography and memoir.

From the guide to the Brian Rix Archive, Aug 1942-Dec 2009, (V & A Department of Theatre and Performance)


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  • Theater--Great Britain--History--20th century


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