"It wasn't the usual kind of one-dimensional part you often get when you're offered cameos, and I thought it would be really nice to work with George Lucas. I've worked with a lot of great directors, and I thought it would be nice to be directed by him. And I'd heard about the other people who were going to be playing in it, and I thought they were all first division. So it just seemed like a fun thing to do, really."
―Terence Stamp[src]

Terence Henry Stamp (born July 22, 1938) is an English actor and writer who played Supreme Chancellor Finis Valorum in Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace.


Early lifeEdit

Stamp, the eldest of five children, was born in Stepney, London, England, the son of Ethel Ester (née Perrott) and Thomas Stamp, who was a stoker on a Thames tug-boat.[1] His early years were spent in the East End of London, but later in his childhood the family moved to Plaistow, Essex. His brother, Chris Stamp, was a music producer credited with helping to bring The Who to prominence during the 1960s. As his father was away for long periods with his job in the Merchant Navy, the young Stamp was mostly raised by his mother, grandmother and aunts. He grew up idolizing the actor Gary Cooper after his mother had taken him to see Beau Geste at the age of three. He was also inspired by James Dean.

On leaving school Stamp worked in a variety of advertising agencies in London, working his way up to a very respectable wage. Deep down he wanted to be an actor, a realization that came when Stamp found he no longer had to serve two years' national service after being rejected for once having treatment on his feet.


Stamp began his acting career in the late 1950s. He won a scholarship to the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art and his first professional role in the play The Long and the Short and the Tall where he met fellow actor Michael Caine.

His debut role in Billy Budd earned Stamp a Golden Globe Award, along with an Academy nomination for Best Actor in a Supporting Role and a BAFTA nomination for Most Promising Newcomer to Leading Film Roles. He played many other roles, including General Zod, one of the primary villains in Superman and Superman II. He also provided the voices of the Prophet of Truth in the Xbox 360 video game Halo 3, Jor-El in the TV series Smallville, and God in the audio version of The Passion of the Christ.

In 1966, Stamp starred with Clive Revill (original voice of Emperor Palpatine in Episode V) in the film Modesty Blaise. In 1999, he appeared in Bowfinger, a comedy film directed by Frank Oz (voice and puppeteer of Yoda in the movies). In 2001, he shared screen with Oliver Ford Davies (Sio Bibble) in the film Revelation. In 2003, he worked for one episode of the TV series Static Shock with Phil LaMarr and Kevin Michael Richardson. In 2012, he appeared in the music video for Hot Chip's song "Night & Day" directed by Peter Serafinowicz (voice of Darth Maul in Episode I).

Stamp has also published four volumes of his memoirs, Stamp Album (1987), Coming Attractions (1988), Double Feature (1989), and Rare Stamps: Reflections on Living, Breathing and Acting (2011), as well as a novel entitled The Night (1993). A vegetarian since 1968[2] and victim of life-long allergies, Stamp created with his friend Elizabeth Buxton in 1994 The Stamp Collection, a range of wheat and dairy-free foods.[3] They also together wrote cookbooks: The Stamp Collection Cookbook in 2000 and The Wheat- and Dairy-Free Cookbook in 2002.

Personal lifeEdit

In the 1960s, Stamp shared an apartment with Michael Caine before and during their rise to fame.[4] In his autobiography, Double Feature, Stamp describes his life with Caine, including an incident in which Caine tried to force Stamp to reverse his decision to turn down the starring role in Alfie, which Caine later accepted. In his autobiography, What's it All About, Caine states that he "still wakes up sweating in the night as he sees Terence agreeing to accept my advice."

Stamp received extensive media coverage of his romances in the 1960s with film stars Brigitte Bardot, Joan Collins, and Julie Christie, as well as supermodels Jean Shrimpton and Celia Hammond. His and Christie's romance, and their high profiles during London's 'swinging 60s,' were at one point thought to be referenced in The Kinks' 1967 song, "Waterloo Sunset," with the lines about "Terry and Julie." He and Shrimpton were one of the most photographed couples of Mod London. It was after Shrimpton ended her relationship with Stamp that he moved to India. There, he lived in an ashram, dropping out from society for several years.

On New Year's Eve 2002, Stamp married for the first time. His bride was Elizabeth O'Rourke, an Australian pharmacist 35 years his junior. Stamp first met her during the mid-1990s at a pharmacy in Bondi, a suburb in Sydney, Australia. The couple divorced on the grounds of his "unreasonable behavior" in April 2008.[5]


Year Title Role Other notes
2014 The Devil's Harvest Ivan Announced
2014 Big Eyes John Canaday Announced
2013 The Art of the Steal Samuel Winter
2012 "Night & Day" Unknown role Music video
2012 One Square Mile: London Clarence Short movie (voice)
2012 Song for Marion Arthur
2011 The Adjustment Bureau Thompson
2010 Ultramarines: A Warhammer 40,000 Movie Cpt. Severus (voice)
2009 Wanted: Weapons of Fate Pekwarsky Video game (voice)
2008 Valkyrie Ludwig Beck
2008 Yes Man Terrence Bundley
2008 Flowers and Weeds Storyteller Short movie
2008 Get Smart Siegfried TV series
2008 Wanted Pekwarsky
2007 Halo 3 Prophet of Truth Video game (voice)
2007 September Dawn Brigham Young
2006 9/11: The Twin Towers Narrator TV documentary (voice)
2006 The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion Mankar Camoran Video game (voice)
2006 These Foolish Things Baker
2005 "At the Bottom of Everything" Unknown role Music video
2005 Dead Fish Samuel Fish
2005 Separate Lies Joe Uncredited
2005 Elektra Stick
2003/2011 Smallville Jor-El TV series (voice)
2003 The Haunted Mansion Ramsley
2003 The Kiss Philip Naudet
2003 My Boss's Daughter Jack Taylor
2003 Static Shock Dennis/Professor Menace TV series (voice)
2002 Full Frontal Man on Plane/Himself
2001 Revelation Magnus Martel
2001 My Wife Is an Actress John
2000 Red Planet Dr. Bud Chantilas
1999 Bowfinger Terry Stricter
1999 Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace Supreme Chancellor Finis Valorum
1999 The Limey Wilson
1998 Kiss the Sky Kozen
1997-1998 The Hunger The Host TV series
1997 Bliss Baltazar TV movie
1997 Love Walked In Fred Moore
1996 Mindbender Joe Hartman TV movie
1996 Limited Edition Edward Lamb
1994 The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert Ralph Waite/Bernadette Bassenger
1993 The Real McCoy Jack Schmidt
1991 Prince of Shadows Darman
1990 Genuine Risk Paul Hellwart
1988 Alien Nation William Harcourt
1988 Young Guns John Tunstall
1987 Wall Street Sir Lawrence Wildman
1987 The Sicilian Prince Borsa
1986 Hud Edward
1986 Legal Eagles Victor Taft
1986 Link Dr. Steven Phillip
1984 The Company of Wolves The Devil Uncredited
1984 The Hit Willie Parker
1983 Chessgame David Audley TV series
1982 Vatican Conspiracy Padre Andreani
1981 Jules Verne's Mystery on Monster Island Taskinar/Skinner
1980 Superman II General Zod
1979 Together? Henry
1979 Meetings with Remarkable Men Prince Lubovedsky
1979 Licanthropus, il figlio della notte Unknown role
1978 Superman General Zod
1978 The Thief of Baghdad Wazir Jaudur TV movie
1977 Black Out Edgar Poe
1976 Striptease Alain
1975 The Divine Nymph Dany di Bagnasco
1975 Hu-Man Terence
1970 The Mind of Mr. Soames John Soames
1970 A Season in Hell Arthur Rimbaud
1968 Teorema The Visitor
1968 Spirits of the Dead Toby Dammit Segment "Toby Dammit"
1968 Blue Blue
1967 Poor Cow Dave Fuller
1967 Far from the Madding Crowd Sgt. Francis 'Frank' Troy
1966 Modesty Blaise Willie Garvin
1965 The Collector Freddie Clegg
1962 Billy Budd Billy Budd
1962 Term of Trial Mitchell

Behind the scenesEdit

While Valorum is 1.70 meters in the Expanded Universe,[6] Stamp is taller than his character, at 1.83 meters.[7] In 1995, Stamp was chosen by Empire magazine as one of the 100 Sexiest Stars in film history (#59).[7]


Notes and referencesEdit

  1. Terence Stamp Biography (1938?-). Film Reference. Retrieved on May 15, 2013.
  2. Terence Stamp Biography. Escargot Books. Retrieved on May 18, 2013.
  3. 'Eating wheat was like swallowing glue'. The Guardian (December 20, 2001). Retrieved on May 15, 2013.
  4. Terence Stamp’s London roots. East London History. Retrieved on May 15, 2013.
  5. Actor Stamp and wife get divorce. BBC News (April 29, 2008). Retrieved on May 15, 2013.
  6. The New Essential Guide to Characters
  7. 7.0 7.1 IMDb favicon Terence Stamp – Biography at the Internet Movie Database

External linksEdit

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