Nicholas Clay, 53, British actor known for his performances in classics and epic fantasies. Clay's 30-year career spanned the stage, screen and television. He was best remembered as Lancelot in the 1981 film "Excalibur," directed by John Boorman. On stage Clay performed mainly in classics, most notably as Hastings in a world tour of "She Stoops to Conquer." He was a principal player in Sir Laurence Olivier's golden Old Vic period of the 1970s. Clay first appeared in film in the 1971 movie "The Night Digger." Subsequent movie roles included Charles Darwin in "The Darwin Adventure" and Charles de Montfort in "Lionheart." On May 25 of cancer at his London home.