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He joined Gielgud's Company in a "season" and I saw him at the Lyric Hammersmith as Bolingbroke,in February 1953, followed by such costume pieces as The Way of the World and Venice Preserv'd, both in the same season, before he returned to play leading roles.

Having made his name, Porter took the title roles in television productions of Cyrano de Bergerac (1968) and Macbeth, appeared in The Winslow Boy, Man and Superman - opposite Maggie Smith - Julius Caesar and Separate Tables.

Seasons with the Travelling Repertory Theatre Company took him to the King's Theatre, Hammersmith, before he did National Service with the RAF (1946-47).

After stints with the extrovert Wolfit, travelling the "sticks" in the Forties, and the shy introvert Barry Jackson at Birmingham, learning about "attack" from the former and "taste" from the latter, Porter found himself in Hammersmith again playing Jones at a moment's notice in Galsworthy's The Silver Box at the Lyric Theatre there.

After such a succession of hits, Porter was hardly ever away from plum parts in England, and made appearances on Broadwaybefore returning to London for his award-winning Rosmer in 1959.

Although now recognised as a star by his fellow actors, he found that the world-wide stardom associated so often with the playing the great parts eluded him, despite a Malvolio of wit and pathos and a Leontes in The Winter's Tale of depth and poignancy at Stratford.

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