PASSINGS: John Neville, George Gallup Jr., Irving Geller

John Neville

Canadian actor and stage director

John Neville, 86, a British-born Canadian actor and stage director who played the title role in Terry Gilliam’s 1988 film “The Adventures of Baron Munchausen” and had a recurring role in “The X-Files” TV series in the 1990s, died Saturday in Toronto. He had Alzheimer’s disease.

His death was announced by the Stratford Shakespeare Festival in Canada, where he had worked as an artistic director in the 1980s.

Neville appeared in dozens of movies, television shows and theater productions during a career that spanned six decades. Born May 2, 1925, in London, he trained as an actor at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.


In the 1950s, he played a host of Shakespeare parts with London’s Old Vic Company, including alternating with Richard Burton as Othello and Iago and playing Hamlet to Judi Dench’s Ophelia. During the company’s 1956 North American tour, Neville starred as Romeo opposite Claire Bloom’s Juliet and played the title role in “Richard II,” Macduff in “Macbeth” and Thersites in “Troilus and Cressida.”

Decades later, Neville became familiar to U.S. audiences when he was cast in the fantastical “The Adventures of Baron Munchausen” and as “The Well-Manicured Man” in “The X-Files.”

Neville, who emigrated to Canada in 1972 and later became a citizen, was recognized more often for his film and TV roles than for his stage appearances, he told the National Post in 2003.

“Never for Shakespeare,” he said. “It’s OK, though. The ‘X-Files’ gave me a kind of profile that I didn’t have before, and one shouldn’t grumble about that.”

George Gallup Jr.

Pollster was son of Gallup Poll’s founder

George Gallup Jr., 81, a pollster who was the son of Gallup Poll founder George Gallup, died Monday in Princeton, N.J., where he lived. His family said he had liver cancer.

The younger Gallup was born in 1930 in Evanston, Ill., and joined the family’s polling organization in 1954, a year after graduating from Princeton University with a bachelor’s degree in religion.

He remained an executive in the company until he retired in 2004. While there, he pushed the polling agency into conducting surveys on religion and the views of youth.

He also wrote several books about Americans’ relationship with religion, including “The Next American Spirituality” in 2002 and “The Saints Among Us” in 1992.

After the polling organization was sold to Selection Research in 1988, he founded the George H. Gallup International Institute in honor of his father.

There, he and his wife, Kingsley, who died in 2007, convened seminars by leaders in the fields of health, education, the environment, religion and values to talk about ideas to solve some of the problems that Gallup polling helped identify.

Irving Geller, a longtime member of the Los Angeles Philharmonic who was first violinist from 1951 until his retirement in 1999 and served as the orchestra’s associate concertmaster for 25 years, died Nov. 16 at a Los Angeles hospital after a period of declining health. He was 85.

-- Los Angeles Times wire reports