Family & Companions
Patrick Allen's voice should be familiar to those raised with British TV, from his ace narration of the wildly popular "Black Adder" series; his face should be recognized by the older set, from his run on the sitcoms "Brett" and "Crane" earlier in his career. Born in Nyasaland (now known as Malawi), he was shipped to Canada during the war and began a career in broadcasting. Once he returned to England, he landed the part of Detective Pearson in Alfred Hitchcock's classic thriller "Dial "M" for Murder." His strong character work throughout the remainder of the decade led to a starring role as Moroccan café-owner/adventurer Richard Crane on ITV's mid-'60s series "Crane." After the show's successful two-season run, Allen played one-off roles and small recurring parts across a wide array of British series. His next starring role came in 1971 with the BBC series "Brett," which starred Allen as a high-flying photojournalist prone to international hijinks. While making sporadic contributions to the Royal Shakespeare Company's stage productions, Allen carried on with TV work for the remainder of his career, memorably narrating the first season of the Rowan Atkinson period sitcom "The Black Adder." As his career progressed he turned up in many films, memorably as Scotland Yard's Colonel Sebastian Moran in "The Return of Sherlock Holmes" in 1986. Allen's voiceover career became his bread and butter in his later years, when he narrated several more series and became the voice of British television channel E4.