David Farrar 1908-1995
Autobiography: No Royal Road, 1947. Mortimer Publications.

David Farrar was born on August 21st 1908, at Forest Gate, East London, the youngest of four children. He had an early interest in the theatre, playing Hermia in the school play at twelve.
His first job on leaving school was as office boy at the Incorporated Society of Liscenced Victuallers for 1 per week. At 16 he became Assistant Editor on a monthly journal and then joined the Advertisers' Weekly. Various other writing assignments followed. Eventually he became director of a large publishing house.

Throughout this period he took part in many amateur productions including a stage version of David Copperfield during which he met his wife, Agnes. It was she who persuaded him to take acting seriosly and they embarked on a production of The Wandering Jew in 1932. Good press notices led to further productions including; Captain Banner, The Immortal Lady (Bax) and The Firebrand.

RKO Radio Pictures (UK) offered him a small part in 1936 but after seeing his rushes, he knew he had no technique as a film actor. However, by studying his fellow actors, particularly Ruth Chatterton, he gave a creditable performance in Royal Divorce. His salary was 10 per day. Small parts in Q Planes and Victoria the Great ended up on the cutting room floor.

After a slow start in the movies David returned to the theatre, producing as well as acting. He hired The Grafton Theatre at the beginning of the Second World War and stayed there for a year until it was bombed. He then returned to films in Sheepdog of the Hills, Suspected Person came soon after starring opposite Patricia Roc and then the classic Went The Day Well?, the story of the Nazi invasion of a small English village, directed by Cavalcanti.
Also around this time he appeared in plays for the BBC (radio). Call-up came in 1942 and he was about to be posted in the Heavy Artillery when Warners, who had just signed him for Night Invader secured his release.
Night Invader was the first 'behind enemy lines' movie to be shot in England, his co-star was Anne Crawford. Films came thick and fast after this because if he stopped making them he had to report for military service, which Warners did not want to happen.
A tour for ENSA disrupted his film work in 1944, but on his return he made The Echo Murders and The Trojan Brothers in quick succession. In 1946 he made Black Narcissus for Powell and Pressburger, his first technicolour film. Then came Frieda a controversial film about an English soldier bringing home a German wife on his return from war. Two further Powell and Pressburger films came in 1948 The Small Back Roon and 1950 Gone To Earth. David was one of the most popular leading men in British films during the 1940s receiving in one year alone over 42,000 fan letters and yet he never received the acclaim acheived by James Mason or Stewart Granger.
David went to Hollywood in 1951 to star in The Golden Horde with Ann Blythe, but he never really got good parts, often being cast as the villain. Further British films include Lilacs in the Spring with Anna Neagle and Errol Flynn in 1954; Lost 1955; The Woman and the Hunter 1957 with Ann Sheridan and John Loder and Beat Girl 1959. He retired while still at the top of his career in 1960.
David Farrar retired to South Africa. He has a daughter, Barbara.