David Saire obituary

Other lives: Actor and director who spent a number of years working in Amsterdam

My father, David Saire, who has died aged 89, was an actor and director whose work included The Andromeda Breakthrough (1962), Mickey Dunne (1967) and BBC Sunday-Night Theatre (1950).

David played a leading role in the Arnold Wesker Trilogy at the Royal Court theatre (1960) and in 1955 was in Orson Welles’s Moby-Dick at the Duke of York’s. When he went for the audition Welles asked him, “Do you play the guitar?” When David said he didn’t, Welles said, “You look like you should play the guitar”, so David was sent to the London Guitar School run by Len William (father of John), where he learned the only tune he ever played.

David’s work included several Shakespeare productions, in which he shared the stage with, among others, Rosemary Harris and Wendy Hiller. He then moved on to television and films, starring in Greengage Summer (1961) alongside Kenneth More and Susannah York.

After working as a director behind the camera with the BBC (around 1965-68), he did freelance work for various film production companies, including Natural Breaks (where Ridley Scott started his career), Jennie and Co and Sierra Productions, as well as advertising agencies. With most of his work coming from Amsterdam, in 1977 David decided to moved to the city, setting up a film production company called Images. He lived in New York for a while then moved back to Amsterdam after 9/11, where he continued to direct and also became a voice artist, returning to his love of acting.

Born in Lowestoft in Suffolk, to Sidney Salamon, a scriptwriter with J Arthur Rank and a medical director, and Sarah (nee Sotnick), a housewife, David attended Fettes college in Edinburgh. He studied drama at the Sorbonne in Paris, before following his dream to London to become an actor. He met Jacqueline Chan in a coffee bar in the city in the late 1950s, and they married in 1962. The couple had two daughters and 15 memorable years together. They separated in 1979 and divorced in 1989.

David was a man of many talents with a great eye for beauty, and anyone who crossed his path found his natural charm irresistible. He is survived by his daughters, Abigail and me, and his grandchildren, Jeffrey and Garance.

Jaspa Saire

The GuardianTramp

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