Woolf, Henry

Henry Woolf is a British actor, theatre director, and drama teacher. He was born to Jewish parents in Holborn, London in 1930 and was educated at Hackney Downs School. He gained degrees from the University of London, the University of Bristol, and the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. Woolf is a lifelong friend of Harold Pinter and collaborated with him on many projects. During his time at Bristol University, he commissioned and directed Pinter’s first play, The Room (1957), in which Woolf played Mr Kidd. Marking the 50th anniversary of The Room, Woolf reprised his role as Mr Kidd in the play’s 2007 revival at the University of Leeds conference ‘Artist and Citizen: 50 Years of Performing Pinter’. Woolf appeared in many films and television productions, including Pinter’s one-man play Monologue (1973), The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975), and Doctor Who (1977). In 2007, Woolf played Tubb in a revival of Pinter’s The Hothouse, which was directed by Ian Rickson and staged in the Lyttelton at the National Theatre.

In 1978, Woolf moved to Canada, where he began teaching at the Drama department of the University of Alberta. He then transferred to the University of Saskatchewan in 1983 and became professor in 1990. From 1991 to 2001, Henry Woolf also worked as artistic director of the annual summer festival Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan. In 2003, he directed a production of William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night with an all-female cast at the University of Winnipeg. He is a member of the Saskatchewan Order of Merit and received the Saskatchewan Centennial Medal in 2006.