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Welcome to the Supporting Players Bungalow

Sit, have a mai tai, find out some stuff

The Last Place on Earth, like many Masterpiece Theatre theater pieces, is a grab bag of past, present and future Big Actors. Watch too much of MT (as we have) and you will be constantly interrupted by thoughts of 'Hey, it's that guy!!', because every actor is vaguely familiar.

On the off-chance that you're a follower of Norwegian film, you will recognize the Norwegian actors as the creme de la creme of their country's acting community. It's like Godfather II. Many of these men have acted together before and since in TV, movies and on stage. With all these guys having worked together so much, we can only imagine how fun it must have been on the set. To see their current pictures at the National Theatre, follow this link (careful- it's in Norwegian) and then click on "Skuespiller." You may notice many people share the same name. Evidently, acting is a family affair.

Here are some the English, Norwegian and (the one) American cast member(s), who they played, and where you might have seen them before:

The British Contigency

Apsley Cherry-Garrard is played by a young and not-yet-felonious Hugh Grant. His part may be too small for most Hugh fans, Elizabeth Hurley notwithstanding, but he plays Cherry-Garrard with the right combination of obsequious schoolboy and helpful young pup.

Henry Robertson 'Birdie' Bowers is none other than Dr. Who #7, Sylvester McCoy. His real name, if you can believe IMDB, is Percy James Patrick Kent-Smith, which we think is marvelous and cannot understand why he would change it, but that's just us. You may also have seen him in The Secret Policemen's Ball. Funny! Click here to read the LPOE Publicity kit biography of Sylvester McCoy.

© 1985 Carlton UK Television

© 1985 Carlton UK Television

Cecil Meares is deliciously portrayed by Bill Nighy, with a jaw-clenching, cucumber sandwich kind of upper crust accent that's absolutely *smashing*. We don't know if Meares really spoke like that, but for his sake, we hope so. Nighy gets to deliver one of the best soliloquys of the series. He's even more impressive when you've seen some of his other work, like lead singer Ray Simms in Still Crazy, or as the Lord Earl of Sandwich in A & E's Longitude. BBC America has just started playing People Like Us, an hilarious mockumentary program(me) about the lives of people in different professions. Bill Nighy plays a photographer in an episode of the first series, which we believe was shot in 1997, but we're not positive on that. It's brilliant.

Stephen Moore is the loyal Dr. Edward Adrian Wilson, and he plays him like the gentle artiste Wilson seemed to be. He's been in bunches of films and TV shows, but you may remember him most of all from Brideshead Revisited (which was directed by Charles Sturridge, who is currently shooting the Shackleton piece with Kenneth Branagh) and Brassed off. He has his own website which is very thorough, and includes some fantastic notes on LPOE. It is definitely worth checking out. TO get to the LPOE notes, go to 'television,' then scroll down to 'Central productions' and click on LPOE. Our thanks to Stephen for linking to Framheim! Click here to read the LPOE Publicity kit biography of Stephen Moore.

E.R.G.R. Evans (Later, Lord Mountevans) is played by Michael Maloney, who most will probably remember as the almost-too-nice boyfriend in Truly, Madly, Deeply (and if you don't remember him, go see it. It's wonderfully sad without getting maudlin). He's also done several Shakespeare movies (two Hamlets and a Looking for Richard). Click here to read the LPOE Publicity kit biography of Michael Maloney.

Pat Roach is Petty Officer Edgar Evans. He's been in several big movies, including Raiders of the Lost Ark and Never Say Never Again. He seems to be type cast in body-builder type roles, which might be in part due to his alternate career as a wrestler. His big scene in LPOE, dying and half-mad after getting second to the pole, is quite moving. Click here to read the LPOE Publicity kit biography of Pat Roach.

© 1985 Carlton UK Television

Petty Officer (P.O.) Thomas Crean, who you probably couldn't pick out of a lineup due to the absence of actual lines, is played humbly by Daragh O'Malley. He is probably best known for his role as Sergeant Harper in the Sharpe's series, although he was most recently seen in Longitude with our friend Meares (Bill Nighy). Mr. O'Malley, in our humble opinion, is the only man fit to play Ernest Shackleton, if someone outside of Hollywood were to make a film of Endurance (and if you don't believe us, open this up and point at Ol' Shack). However, since rumor has it that Hollywood has has their eye on ~shudder~ Mel Gibson, we aren't very hopeful. If A & E or Masterpiece Theatre were to work on it, he would be a shoe-in and it would be a great piece of history on film, but with Mel Gibson as Shackleton, you just know that they'll make Blackborow a girl.

The Norwegian Faction

Leon Amundsen, Roald's brother, is played by Per Theodor Haugen. We like him a lot. While he has no other American acting credits, we like him for his sing-song accent and his facial expressions. He and Sverre Anker Ousdal play very well off each other. Like Sverre, he is a member of Norway's National Theatre. IN fact, Sverre claims to have been surprised to be offered the role of Roald Amundsen, since (he felt) Haugen had played Roald before and was better suited to play him.

Hjalmar Johansen, a difficult character to play sympathetically, is none other than Grieg himself, Toralv Maurstad. He played Norway's most famous composer in Disney's 1970 film Song of Norway, with Florence Henderson. He has been acting in Norway since childhood, and has been active in the National Theatre for a long time. His portrayal of Johansen is subtle and moving. This guy is really good. If you're wondering what he's been doing lately, he directed The Vagina Monologues for Norway's National Theatre. How cool is that?

© 1985 Carlton UK Television

© 1985 Carlton UK Television

Kristian Prestrud is played by Bjorn Skagestad. Bjorn played the lead hunk (and Sverre's would-be son-in-law) in Kristin Lavransdatter as well. His part in LPOE is small, but critical: Prestrud is made the leader of the 3 Norwegians who did not go to the pole, above Johansen, a seasoned explorer. This decision will come to haunt Amundsen later on. Bjorn is a member of the National Theatre (surprise!), and so was his father. In fact, he and Sverre are in Tartuffe together until October.

Sverre Hassel (not pictured, actually) is Erik Hivju's only American performance, but we include him here because he's done quite a bit in Norway, including Hamsun with both Sverre and Max von Sydow. He, too, is a member of the National Theatre. It's like they're everywhere.

Adolf Lindstrom we include here because we just like his character so much. Jon Eikemo plays Lindstrom, the cook, with such humor and enthusiasm, we love every scene he's in. Jon used to be in Norway's National Theatre, but is currently a member of Det Norske Theatret (Norwegian link alert).

© 1985 Carlton UK Television

The Lone American

Dr. Frederick Cook is played by the ubiquitous Brian Dennehy. You may remember him from his recurring guest role on Just Shoot Me, in addition to such films as F/X, Gorky Park and Tommy Boy. Oh, and thousands of other films, TV shows and stage works. We think he may be a little too full bodied to play Cook at the age he's supposed to be, but he does portray the warmth that Cook felt for Amundsen quite well.

Copyright © 2000, 2001 Emily Slatten; about framheim; about the pictures