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A Clockwork Orange: Whatever Happened To The Cast?

Stanley Kubrick wasn't the first filmmaker to attempt to bring Anthony Burgess' 1962 dystopian novel "A Clockwork Orange" to the big screen (Warhol made one in 1965, and Mick Jagger and the Beatles tried to make a go of it), but let's hope his is the last. For what Kubrick created in his version about the free will of man became a controversial masterpiece audiences are still applauding, and new generations are discovering 50 years later. Kubrick summed up the point of his film as such, "Do we lose our humanity if we are deprived of the choice between good and evil? Do we become, as the title suggests, "A Clockwork Orange?"

The film was nominated for four Academy Awards, including Best Picture, and its graphic depictions of sex and "ultra-violence" made it a rare (and quite possibly last) X-rated nominee. It has since given rise to copycat films (and crimes), homages, spoofs (influencing fashion and design) and endless cinematic study. While the style and substance get most of the attention, its cast, mainly made up of British stage actors, is what truly makes it unforgettable. For most of these actors, they are best known for their work under Kubrick's steady eye. A lot of time has passed and we've lost many of these fine thespians, but some are still with us, so let's explore whatever happened to the cast of "A Clockwork Orange."

"Viddy well, little brother. Viddy well."

Malcolm McDowell (Alex DeLarge)

Alex is the "Clockwork" antagonist, protagonist, and "your friend and humble narrator," and in Kubrick's own words, "a character who by every logical and rational consideration should be completely unsympathetic." But with the magical talents of Malcolm McDowell embodying Alex, we somehow take pity on the victimizer turned victim, and are witness to one of the greatest acting performances in the history of cinema.

Born Malcolm John Taylor, McDowell adopted his mother's maiden name for his stage name. Formal training, stage work and TV series quickly led up to his explosive first film role — as Mick Travis in Lindsay Anderson's controversial 1968 film "if...". It made Kubrick take notice, having finally found the ideal Alex for his "Clockwork Orange." McDowell would never have to worry about being unemployed again, and in an interview said, "I always figure that it's better to be working than not. As a result, a lot of what I've done has been crap, but you just have to go into it all without expectations."

With well over 250 screen roles to his name, he's done a little bit of everything. A taste of his oeuvre includes "Time After Time" (where he met the mother of two of his children, one time wife Mary Steenburgen), the infamous "Caligula," "Cat People," "Star Trek: Generations," Rob Zombie's "Halloween" movies, "Easy A," "The Artist," "Entourage," and "Bombshell." At the ripe old age of 78, McDowell shows no signs of slowing down, with plenty of projects in the pipeline. He is also always happy to talk about his "Orange"-flavored days, although he would probably have to be put in a straight jacket with eye clamps in order to sit through another viewing of the film that made his career.

The Droogs - Warren Clarke (Dim) & James Marcus (Georgie) & Michael Tarn (Pete)

Born Alan Clarke, Warren had bit parts on shows like "Coronation Street" before McDowell lobbied Kubrick to cast him as Dim in "Clockwork." He would reunite with McDowell in 1973's "O Lucky Man!" and 1985's TV movie "Gulag." Other notable works include "Firefox" with Clint Eastwood, "Top Secret!," and TV's "Dalziel and Pascoe." For his final role, on BBC's "Poldark," he knew he was as close to dying in real life when he acted out his character's death. He passed away a few weeks after filming at age 67, in 2014.

James Marcus was born Brian T. James and started off as an apprentice printer before transitioning into acting in his mid-20s. He appeared in a handful of TV shows — and along with Clarke (and David Bowie), in an uncredited role in 1969's "The Virgin Soldiers" — before his big break as Georgie in "Clockwork." Georgie eventually became a police officer, and Marcus would go on to play many others, including in 1980's "McVicar" and the late '80s TV show "London's Burning." He wrote and directed one feature, 1989's "Tank Malling" starring Ray Winstone. Marcus' last role was guest starring in a 2005 episode of "EastEnders." He is currently 79 years of age.

Michael Tarn made his film debut in "Clockwork," but got "paid more on a chocolate commercial than working for Stanley." For the only actual teenager of the four droogs, filming it "was the experience of a lifetime." Outside of the following year's "Made" and 1975's "It's a Lovely Day Tomorrow," all other credits on Tarn's resume were on television series, including "Zigger Zagger." He no longer acts, and the 67-year-old now teaches drama and English in Spain under his real name, Michael Martin.

Patrick Magee (Mr. Alexander) & Adrienne Corri (Mrs. Alexander)

One of the more tragic victims who survives the Droogs' vile attacks is the "writer of subversive literature," Mr. Alexander. Kubrick labeled him "a lunatic of the Left," who later uses a defenseless Alex for his own political aims. Played with much eccentric gusto by Patrick Magee, during filming he questioned if he was overdoing it, telling McDowell, "I feel like I'm taking a dump."

Born Patrick George McGee, the Irishman changed his last name to Magee to avoid confusion with another actor. The Tony Award winning thespian and favorite of Samuel Beckett preferred the stage to film, but left us with indelible marks in movies like Francis Ford Coppola's feature debut "Dementia 13," Roger Corman's "The Masque of Red Death," "Zulu," Kubrick's "Clockwork" and "Barry Lyndon," and in one of his final roles, as Lord Cadogan in the Best Picture winner "Chariots of Fire."

Magee died of natural causes in 1982, at age 60.

Mrs. Alexander endured one of the most horrifying sequences of "Clockwork," and for Adrienne Corri, who had to act out the graphic work through endless rehearsal and filming takes, it was "tough to do," but she still enjoyed working with Stanley (who she called "Sidney" to piss him off), how they "choreographed it like a dance scene," and for such a touchy, sensitive scene, "thought it was very well done."

The Scottish actress was born Adrienne Riccoboni, and had an expansive career that lasted almost half a century. In that time she starred in Jean Renoir's "The River," David Lean's "Dr. Zhivago," three Otto Preminger films (co-starring with "2001" actor Keir Dullea in "Bunny Lake is Missing") and a slew of horror films, headlining 1972's "Vampire Circus." In 1984, Corri wrote the art whodunit book "The Search for Gainsborough."

Corri died in 2016. She was 84.

Michael Bates (Chief Guard) & Godfrey Quigley (Prison Chaplin)

Kubrick described the prison Chief Guard character as "an obsolete servant of the new order. He copes very poorly with the problems around him, understanding neither the criminals nor the reformers." McDowell complimented Michael Bates, who played him, for bringing a believable "over the top" "heightened reality" to the role.

Indian born Bates' British acting career is littered with other roles of men in uniform, and he had quite a three-year-run with 1970's Best Picture winner "Patton," '71's "Clockwork," and then working with Alfred Hitchcock in his penultimate '72 film "Frenzy." He rounded out the decade on two British TV programs, "Last of the Summer Wine" and "It Ain't Half Hot Mum." As for being famous, he said this, "I like to feel that if I'm not recognized I've created a character the public don't associate with me. It either means I've got no personality or I've managed to deceive them all."

Bates died of cancer in 1978. He was 57 years old.

After previously working with the "fun" Godfrey Quigley, McDowell recommended him to his director to play the Prison Chaplin. Kubrick said the Chaplin character is "the moral voice of the film," and applauded Quigley's performance, as he had to delicately balance "between his somewhat comical image and the important ideas he is called upon to express."

The Irish actor was born in Palestine, and later helped to found Dublin's Globe Theater Company. Quigley won the Harvey's Best Actor Award in 1984 for starring in Tom Murphy's "The Gigli Concert." He re-teamed with Kubrick for his follow-up "Barry Lyndon" as Captain Grogan, and acted opposite Michael Caine three times in as many decades, including 1983's "Educating Rita." His last credited role was providing the voice of Terrier in the 1989 animated feature "All Dogs Go To Heaven." Quigley died in 1994. He was 71.

Miriam Karlin (Cat Lady) & Paul Farrell (Tramp)

The "filthy old soomaka" cat lady that Kubrick characterized as "unsympathetic and unwisely aggressive" was deliciously played by Miriam Karlin. McDowell praised his co-star, saying "you feel [she] could eat Alex up and spit him out for breakfast." Later in life, Karlin defended the film's depiction of rape and ultra violence, saying "it was handled in the film rather well."

Born Miriam Samuels, Karlin's biggest non-stage role was as Paddy Fleming in the 1960s and '70s series "The Rag Trade." Other career highlights include 1960's "The Entertainer," Ken Russell's "Mahler," and in one of her final roles, 2006's "Children of Men." She was a staunch activist for here fellow actors, and for Jewish causes such as the Anti-Nazi League. Karlin became an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1975, and published a revealing memoir "Some Sort of a Life" in 2007.

Karlin died of cancer at age 85 in 2011. An archive of her professional and personal items are housed at the University of Bristol.

The "dirty old drunkie" and first victim of the Droogs wasn't originally a part of the film. A different attack scene, of a professor leaving a library, was shot, but according to McDowell, when the actor (Billy Russell) couldn't make a later shoot, they had to scrap it, so 78-year-old Irish actor Paul Farrell entered cinema immortality instead.

Thomas Paul Farrell often played men in pubs, later landing roles in films by Douglas Sirk and John Ford. He acted alongside Peter O'Toole, John Gielgud, Richard Burton and even the band Herman's Hermits. A year before "Clockwork," he and Clive Francis appeared in "The Man Who Had Power Over Women." Farrell appeared on four television series after "Clockwork," including 4 episodes of "Armchair Theatre," before passing away in 1975 at age 81.

Aubrey Morris (Mr. Deltoid)

Mr. Deltoid is Alex's post-corrective adviser, who is unable to "save" him from himself, and played to perfection by Aubrey Morris. When Alex is arrested, Deltoid expresses his disappointment by spitting on him. McDowell recalls that during filming, "poor old Aubrey ran out of saliva," and Steven Berkoff ("Octopussy," "Beverly Hills Cop") stepped up and in to provide, after many takes, just the right loogie to satisfy Kubrick.

Morris was born Aubrey Jack Steinberg, and made his screen debut in the 1948 TV movie "Fly Away Peter." He was very close with fellow actor Patrick McGoohan and the pair collaborated in the 1962 film "The Quare Fellow," and the famed 60s British TV series "Secret Agent," "The Prisoner," and later on an episode of "Columbo." Two years after "Clockwork," he handed in another entrancing, odd performance in the cult classic "The Wicker Man." Other key films he brought his distinctive high energy to include Woody Allen's "Love and Death," Ken Russell's "Lisztomania" and Tobe Hopper's "Lifeforce."

A later move from England to Hollywood opened his talents to American audiences, appearing on shows such as "Murder, She Wrote," "Boy Meets World," "Deadwood," and his final credit, on a 2015 episode of "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia." He did reunite with McDowell once more when he recruited Morris with a promise of "no money" for 2003's "Red Roses and Petrol."

Morris died in 2015 at age 89.

Sheila Raynor (Mum) & Philip Stone (Pa / Dad)

Sheila Raynor had been acting for nearly three decades, and was in her sixties when she was tapped to play the purple-haired mum to Alex. Prior to "Clockwork," she was better known as Mrs. Birtles on "Coronation Street," and for playing multiple roles on the series "The Plane Makers." After, she played Mrs. Horton in "The Omen," and Robert's mother in "The Terence Davies Trilogy." Her last role was on a 1988 episode of "Rockliffe's Babies," and she would pass on a decade later at age 91.

Born Philip Stones, the reserved actor left off the "s" for his stage name. And the stage is where Kubrick first heard his name, catching him in the David Storey play called "The Contractor." The director told Stone that he "acted like an American actor, in that I didn't really do much acting as such. He liked the way I listened." And listen well he did, in a trio of Kubrick films — as Alex's Pa in "A Clockwork Orange," Graham in "Barry Lyndon," and ghostly caretaker Delbert Grady in "The Shining." Stone reunited with his "son" McDowell in Lindsay Anderson's "O Lucky Man!" and in 1976's "Voyage of the Damned." He also appeared in "Flash Gordon," and "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom." His last credit was the 1999 TV movie "Doomwatch: Winter Angel," and Stone died two years later at the age of 79.

Carl Duering (Dr. Brodsky) & Madge Ryan (Dr. Branom)

In 95 years of life (almost half of it spent as a working actor), Carl Duering is best known to the world as the cold and calculating Dr. Brodsky in "Clockwork." The usually bespectacled Duering was born in Germany as Gerhard Fuchs and moved to England, legally changed his name to Gerald Percy Fox, and used Carl Duering as his stage name. His heritage led to many roles as German soldiers in film and TV, and he made key contributions in films like 1966's "Arabesque," 1978's "The Boys From Brazil," and 1981's disturbing "Possession." His last contribution was 2000's "Saltwater," and he died 18 years later.

Dr. Branom was a little softer with her bedside manner than Dr. Brodsky was, but Madge Ryan still played her rather sternly. McDowell recalled how Ryan practiced injecting serum on an orange before she actually did the real thing on his arm during filming. Ryan originally hailed from Australia but the hit Ray Lawler play "Summer of the Seventeenth Doll" brought the show and her to London. She decided to stay and went on to an accomplished stage career, including Joe Orton's "Entertaining Mr. Sloane." Like Michael Bates, a year after lending her talents to Kubrick, she did the same for Alfred Hitchcock in 1972's "Frenzy." Her actress daughter, Lyn Ashley, was once married to Eric Idle, and one of Madge's final roles was in the 1993 movie he wrote and starred in, "Splitting Heirs." Ryan died in 1994 at age 75.

John Clive (Stage Actor) & Virginia Wetherell (Stage Actress)

John Clive is an actor who also played one in "Clockwork," trying to get a physical rise out of Alex to see if his violent tendencies have been curbed. During rehearsals, Clive hit McDowell so hard that "spit flew out of his mouth — I've never hit someone so hard." And when he stepped hard onto McDowell's chest, it gave him a blood clot in his ribs.

Born Clive John Frederick Hambley, he once acted under the name Clive Kendall, before finally settling on John Clive. One of his best known roles is unbeknownst to most — voicing John Lennon in the animated "Yellow Submarine" film. He had a brief but memorable role opposite Michael Caine as the garage manager in 1969's "The Italian Job." Clive appeared in two "Carry On" films, a pair of "Pink Panther" pictures, the 1975 TV miniseries "How Green Was My Valley," and was the title tinkerer of the children's program "Roberts Robots." He later became an international best-selling author, including the novels "KG 200" and "Broken Wings." Clive died in 2012 at age 79.

Like John Clive, Virginia Wetherell tried to get a different rise out of the rehabilitated Alex, but by way of sexual desire. She had been asked in the past to appear topless in films, but never did so until she worked with Kubrick, who "was just totally respectful."

Wetherell's career peak was in the 1960s and 70s, starring as Dyoni on 5 episodes of "Doctor Who," and a string of Hammer horror films. She married actor Ralph Bates, and their son Will is an accomplished film composer. When Ralph died, she helped to set up the research charity for pancreatic cancer in his name. For over 40 years she had run a London vintage fashion boutique that McDowell used to stop by when in town. You can keep up with the chic 78-year-old Virgina (née Wetherell) Bates on Instagram.

Clive Francis (Joe the Lodger)

After Alex had left the nest to rot in prison, his parents rented out his room to Joe the Lodger. When Alex is freed and returns home, the lodger, played by Clive Francis, gives him the cold shoulder and a warm one to his mum. Francis strongly remembers his endless "munchy-wunching lomticks of toast," writing, "We did so many takes that I managed to get through one and half loaves, leaving me feeling positively sick."

Francis has worked on stage alongside John Gielgud, with Graham Greene on his last play ("The Return of AJ Raffles"), and even illustrated Laurence Olivier's 80th birthday brochure. Television has kept him plenty busy, appearing in "David Copperfield," "Entertaining Mr. Sloane," "Poldark," "Lipstick on Your Collar," and the first two seasons of "The Crown" as Lord Salisbury. Two notable film roles include Mike Leigh's "Mr. Turner" and "The Lost City of Z." Francis is still booking roles, seen recently in episodes of "Cursed" and "Black." In addition to acting, the 75-year-old also adapts books for the stage, as well as designing book covers and caricatures.

Anthony Sharp (Minister Frederick) & Pauline Taylor (Dr. Taylor - Psychiatrist)

It is the Minister of the Interior who handpicks Alex to take part in the Ludovico technique, supposedly preventing him from the future harming of others. When things don't go exactly as planned, the photo-op friendly Minister, played by Anthony Sharp, looks to make amends with his test subject — and in the end, as Kubrick stated, Alex becomes "the spoon-fed child of a corrupt, totalitarian society."

Sharp was an insurance policy draughtsman before becoming an actor, and went on to become a multi-hyphenate in the world of theater, writing and directing as well. He has played his fair share of Lords, Sirs, and Misters, and did so again with Kubrick four years later as Lord Hallam in his "Barry Lyndon." The 1976 horror film "House of Mortal Sin" was one of the rare movies on his resume where he played the lead. He continued to work up until his death at age 69 in 1984. His last film credit was playing "Lord Ambrose" in Sean Connery's final Bond film, "Never Say Never Again."

Pauline Taylor, meanwhile, was perfectly perky to play the "Clockwork" psychiatrist, who plays fun word association games with Alex to see if he is "cured." Taylor revealed that she and McDowell workshopped and improvised their scene together, making it one of the only to stray from Kubrick's script. 

Primarily a stage actress, Taylor's other notable screen work includes 50 episodes of the police procedural "Z Cars," acting with John Lennon in "How I Won The War," and a handful of guest appearances in the series "Somebody's Daughter." In her later years, she spent time writing a historical novel about a young female cartoonist in the 1850s. She passed away at age 82, in 2017.

David Prowse (Julian)

Julian is the home attendant to the wheelchair-bound Mr. Alexander. For the strong armed David Prowse who played him, the thought of carrying Patrick Magee and the wheelchair down a set of stairs over and over prompted him to tell his director, "your name is not 'one-take' Kubrick," which quickly quieted the set, and had Stanley assure him they'd shoot it as quickly as they can. Prowse estimated the backbreaking work went on for 6 takes.

A one time Mr. Universe contestant, Prowse became an actor, with an early role as Frankenstein's creature in the original Bond film "Casino Royale." He later took on the green Monster in two Frankenstein films, and came close to playing the Bond villain Jaws. He also passed on playing Conan the Barbarian before Schwarzenegger (who used to train at a gym Prowse owned) came on board.

Thanks to his work in "Clockwork," a rising filmmaker named George Lucas told him, "If you're good enough for Stanley Kubrick, you're good enough for me," and cast him in a role that became one of the greatest screen villains of all time: Darth Vader (although his dialogue would famously later be replaced by Kubrick alum James Earl Jones). Prowse had eyes on the "Superman" role in Richard Donner's 1978 film, but ended up helping Christopher Reeve bulk up for the role instead. He did something similar with Cary Elwes for "The Princess Bride."

Prowse said the "best job I ever had" was playing road safety superhero Green Cross Code Man, who helped to lower car accidents involving British children. He was also President Ronald Reagan's personal ambassador to the Decade of the Disabled.

Health issues cut his career short, but Prowse lived till age 85, when he died in 2020.