Surviving images show a figure who matches a description of Cecil by Nicolo Molin, the Venetian ambassador, who wrote to the Doge in 1607 that the secretary was "short, crookbacked
, but with a noble countenance and features" (Calendar .
They were attended by a crookbacked
corduroy-clad waiter, almost toothless, with vigorous tufts of snowy hair sprouting from his nose & ear holes.
A while ago, Ian McKellen went on tour in a Richard Eyre production of Richard III that reimagined the crookbacked
usurper as a rising fascist dictator in thirties England.
Examining some of his most noteworthy roles--a blond, brooding Hamlet; stalwart King Henry V; seething, Gypsy-like Heathcliff in "Wuthering Heights"; seedy, down-at-the-heels Archie Rice in "The Entertainer"; arrogant Roman aristocrat in "Spartacus"; Nazi war criminal in "Marathon Man"; malevolent, crookbacked
Richard III; and Othello, played in blackface without being the least bit demeaning--confirms his amazing grasp on technique, but one wonders what his detractors were watching when they claimed he lacked feeling.
Aging actor Anthony O'Malley (Caine) is facing eviction from his home and is watching his career crumble in a really lousy production of Richard III in which he plays the crookbacked
king as Hitler.