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Geoffrey Copleston

Posted: 31/03/2020, 18:35
by Johan Melle
Geoffrey Copleston portrayed in the Annuario degli attori 1984-85
Geoffrey Copleston Annuario 1984.jpg

Geoffrey Copleston was prolific character actor and voice dubber who played small roles in more than 100 Italian films and TV productions from at least the mid 1950s and well into the 1990s.

Geoffrey was born 18th March 1921 in Manchester, England[1], but otherwise there's very little biographical information available on him. According to dubbing director Nick Alexander, Geoffrey was a British Army Captain who had married an Italian girl and stayed in Rome after World War 2 ended[2]. Like a lot of other native English speakers living in Rome, he eventually got involved in the dubbing industry, working both as a dubbing director and dubbing actor on the English-language versions of countless Italian films.

He also began appearing in roles on-screen, with his earliest documented role being a tiny part in War and Peace (1956), a Hollywood epic shot on location in Rome. By the mid 1960s, Geoffrey began to appear in larger and credited roles. His heavy build and characteristic face made him in frequent demand for character roles, and he was cast in a lot of tradionally British parts such as Secret Service bosses or Scotland Yard inspectors.

The 1970s saw Geoffrey becoming more and more active in films, and though he typically appeared in very small parts that consisted of only one or two scenes, he was constantly working. He was usually always cast as foreigners such as tourists, ambassadors, army men etc, but not just Brits - he also played Germans, Americans and even Russians. At the same time, his dubbing career also continued and he usually dubbed his own voice for the English-language versions of the films he appeared in, and sometimes also in the Italian-language dubs.

In the 1980s, he began to appear more frequently on television. Indeed, it was for television that he played the role that most Italians remember him for: Alfredo Ravanusa, the powerful bank director with ties to the mafia in the famous TV series La piovra (1984) - a role which he also reprised for the second series in 1986. Also on television, he appeared as Henry Winterbottom, the boss of Bud Spencer's character in the Big Man movies (1988).

His last known acting role was a surprisingly big part in the infamous neo-giallo Fatal Frames (1996). IMDb and other similar sources list him as having passed away in 1999 (no date specified) but with no source or details...

The filmography I've compiled for Geoffrey should be fairly complete at least as far as credited roles are concerned, but there are surely many more uncredited roles to be discovered. Especially in the period from 1956-66, but also from the early 1970s and maybe the 1990s...

[1] Copleston Family History website.
[2] Interview with Nick Alexander in the book "Profondo Argento" (2004).

  1. War and Peace (uncredited) .... Russian officer

  2. La ragazza che sapeva troppo (uncredited) .... Asylum employee

  3. Due marines e un generale (uncredited) .... High-ranking American officer
  4. James Tont operazione U.N.O. (uncredited) .... Secret Service chief
  5. Un dollaro bucato (uncredited) .... Saloon bartender

  6. 7 donne d'oro contro due 07 (credited) .... The auctioneer
  7. Il grande colpo dei 7 uomini d'oro (uncredited) .... Frank Rogers, chief of LBI
  8. Io, io, io... e gli altri (uncredited) .... Man in train restaurant
  9. James Tont operazione D.U.E. (credited) .... Secret Service chief
  10. Perry Grant agente di ferro (credited) .... Chief Bowles
  11. Superargo contro Diabolikus (credited) .... Conrad
  12. Un fiume di dollari (credited) .... Horner

  13. Matchless (credited) .... Officer at the conference
  14. Riderà! (Cuore matto) (credited) .... Mr. Deline, the movie producer

  15. 7 volte 7 (uncredited) .... Chief inspector
  16. Il profeta (credited as Geoffrey Kopleston) .... Commendator Bagni
  17. L'oro di Londra (uncredited) .... Inspector Jackson of Scotland Yard (recycled footage)
  18. Tenderly (uncredited) .... Herr Kruger

  19. Un detective (uncredited) .... Chief of police
  20. Una sull'altra (uncredited) .... District attorney

  21. Quelle sporche anime dannate (uncredited) .... Alec Winter
  22. Scipione detto anche l'africano (uncredited) .... Senator
  23. Tre nel Mille / Storie dell'anno Mille (credited) .... Knight

  24. La mano nera (uncredited) .... O'Connor, the assassinated gubernatorial candidate

  25. Il portiere di notte (credited) .... Kurt
  26. Pane e cioccolata (credited as Geoffrey Copplestone) .... Mr. Boegli, the restaurant manager

  27. Giubbe rosse (credited) .... RCMP chief
  28. Salon Kitty (uncredited) .... Dinner guest

  29. A Matter of Time / Nina (credited) .... Hotel manager
  30. Il genio / Le grand escogriffe (credited?) .... Foreign aristocrat

  31. Emanuelle e gli ultimi cannibali (credited as Geoffrey Coplestone) .... Wilkes
  32. Napoli si ribella (credited as Joeffrey Copleston) .... German boss
  33. Sahara Cross (credited) .... Mr. Brown

  34. Il grande attacco (credited) .... Colonel Jürgens
  35. Io tigro, tu tigri, egli tigra - third segment (uncredited) .... Swiss general
  36. Quando c'era lui... caro lei! (credited) .... Nazi officer

  37. Aragosta a colazione (credited) .... Mr. Duchamp
  38. Dottor Jekyll e gentile signora (credited as Geoffrey Coppleston) .... Archibald Gold, P.A.N.T.A.C. manager
  39. Mani di velluto (credited) .... Mr. Van Clyft
  40. Return of the Saint (TV series) - episode 22: "Dragonseed" (credited) .... Nightclub manager
  41. Sam & Sally (TV series) - season 1, episode 6: "Bedelia" (credited in Radiocorriere TV) .... Kellerman
  42. Viaggio con Anita (credited) .... Automobilist

  43. Il treno per Istanbul (TV mini series) (credited in Radiocorriere TV) .... Sir Arthur
  44. L'avvertimento (credited) .... District attorney
  45. L'uomo puma (credited as Jeffrey Coppleston) .... Sir George Bradley
  46. Mia moglie è una strega (credited as Jeoffrey Copleston) .... Doorman at the wedding
  47. Razza selvaggia (credited) .... Marco
  48. S+H+E (credited as Geoffrey Copplestone) .... UN speaker

  49. Bianco, rosso e Verdone (uncredited) .... Russian diner in restaurant
  50. Black Cat (Gatto nero) (credited) .... Inspector Flynn
  51. Bollenti spiriti (credited) .... Steiner, Nicole's husband
  52. Don Luigi Sturzo (TV mini series) (credited) .... Cardinal Bourne
  53. Il caso Graziosi (TV mini series) (credited) .... Police commissioner
  54. La nouvelle malle des Indes (TV mini series) (credited) .... Keramos
  55. La poliziotta a New York (uncredited) .... New York chief of police

  56. Buona come il pane (credited) .... Colonel Vittorio Bisceglie
  57. Dio li fa poi li accoppia (uncredited) .... Burgomaster of Kellemborg
  58. L'adieu aux as (TV series) - episode 6 (credited) .... Müller
  59. Verdi (TV mini series) (credited) .... Mollien, a critic for The Gazzette

  60. Il tassinaro (credited) .... American tourist
  61. Notturno (uncredited) .... British ambassador
  62. Stangata napoletana (credited) .... Don Vincenzo Coppola
  63. The Winds of War (TV mini series) - episode 7: "Into the Maelstrom" (uncredited) .... Russian officer making a toast at the Kremlin

  64. ...e la vita continua (1984) (TV mini series) (credited) .... German businessman
  65. All'ombra della grande quercia (TV mini series) (credited in Radiocorriere TV) .... German official
  66. Cento giorni a Palermo (uncredited) .... President of the Bank of Milan
  67. La piovra (TV series) - episodes 1 - 6 (credited) .... Alfredo Ravanusa
  68. Vediamoci chiaro (credited as Geoffrey Gerald Copleston) .... Commendator Mercalli

  69. Assisi Underground (credited) .... Police chief Bertolucci
  70. I cinque del Condor (credited) .... Harker
  71. Scemo di guerra (credited as Gerald Geoffrey Copleston) .... German commander

  72. Attentato al Papa (TV mini series) (credited as Geoffrey Gerald Coppleston) .... Bulgarian ex-Secret Service man
  73. Detective School Dropouts / Asilo di polizia (credited) .... Mr. Hamelfarm
  74. La piovra 2 (TV series) - episodes 1 & 2 (credited) .... Alfredo Ravanusa

  75. The Belly of an Architect (credited) .... Caspetti
  76. The Sicilian (credited as Geoffrey Coppleston) .... Howard Austin, Pathé journalist
  77. Warrior Queen (uncredited) .... Bidder at slave auction

  78. Big Man: 395 dollari l'oncia (1988) (TV) (credited) .... Henry Winterbottom
  79. Big Man: Boomerang (1988) (TV) (uncredited) .... Henry Winterbottom
  80. Big Man: Diva (1988) (TV) (credited) .... Henry Winterbottom
  81. Big Man: Fanciulla che ride (1988) (TV) (credited) .... Henry Winterbottom
  82. Big Man: Polizza droga (1988) (TV) (credited) .... Henry Winterbottom
  83. Big Man: Polizza inferno (1988) (TV) (credited) .... Henry Winterbottom

  84. Classe di ferro (TV series) - season 1, episode 9: "Gli scozzesi" (credited) .... Scottish colonel
  85. I promessi sposi (TV mini series) (credited as Geoffrey Coppleston) .... Merchant
  86. Il vigile urbano (TV series) - episode 3: "Campa cavallo" (credited) .... Aide to the king of Sweden
  87. La moglie ingenua e il marito malato (TV) (credited) .... The downstairs neighbor
  88. Robot Jox (credited as Geoffrey Coplestone) .... Confederation commissioner
  89. Willy Signori e vengo da lontano (credited) .... Newspaper director

  90. Frankenstein Unbound (credited) .... Innkeeper
  91. Il sole buio (credited but not found)
  92. L'amante scomoda (credited) .... President of the company
  93. La primavera di Michelangelo / A Season of Giants (TV mini series) (credited as Geoffrey Coppleston) .... Taddeo Taddei

  94. The Pit and the Pendulum (credited as Geoffrey Coppleston) .... Butcher

  95. Klon (credited) .... Big boss

  96. La ragnatela del silenzio - A.I.D.S. (credited) .... Walter's father

  97. Fatal Frames (credited) .... Richard Fairbrain

English-language dubbing filmography
Since pretty much every single dubbing credit for Geoffrey on the IMDb is wrong, it might be useful to try to compile a more accurate one here. This is obviously very incomplete as I'm just getting started on this, but I'll add to it as I discover more dubbing roles.
  • I cavalieri del diavolo (1959) - voice of Duménil (Andrea Fantasia)
  • Il terrore della maschera rossa (1960) - voice of Rebel chief (Ugo Sasso)
  • Re Manfredi (1962) - voice of Baron Berthold (Aldo Peri)
  • Golia e il cavaliere mascherato (1963) - voice of The King's envoy (Loris Gizzi)
  • Mondo cane 2 (1963) - voice of The Narrator
  • Lo spettro (1963) - voice of Canon Owens (Umberto Raho)
  • Maciste nelle miniere di re Salmone (1964) - voice of King Namar (Giuseppe Addobbati)
  • Zorikan lo sterminatore (1964) - voice of The Vizier (Nello Pazzafini)
  • La donna del lago (1965) - voice of Enrico (Salvo Randone)
  • SuperSeven chiama Cairo (1965) - voice of Yussef (Antonio Gradoli)
  • Kiss kiss... bang bang (1966) - voice of Colonel Smithson (Carlo Gentili)
  • Le spie amano i fiori (1966) - voice of Stan Harriman (Daniele Vargas)
  • Il magnifico texano (1967) - voice of Judge Wilkins (Beni Deus)
  • Gungala la pantera nuda (1968) - voice of Sir Frederick (Consalvo Dell'Arti)
  • Satanik (1968) - voice of Professor Greaves (Nerio Bernardi)
  • Concerto per pistola solista (1970) - voice of Thornton the lawyer (Richard Caldicot)
  • La furia dei Khyber (1970) - voice of Captain Miller (Sergio Ciani)
  • Quando suona la campana (1970) - voice of Don Vincenzo (Brad Harris)
  • L'età di Cosimo de' Medici (1972) (TV mini series) - voice of The ambassador of Venice (Ernesto Colli)
  • Carnalità (1974) - voice of Aurelio (Pupo De Luca)
  • Le calde labbra del carnefice (1974) - voice of Inspector Walton (Manuel Gas)
  • Malocchio (1975) - voice of Derek Stevens (Luciano Pigozzi)
  • Gli amici di Nick Hezard (1976) - voice of Parker the jeweler (Franco Ressel)
  • Sandokan (1976) (TV mini series) - voice of Lord Guillonk (Hans Caninenberg)
  • Occhi dalle stelle (1978) - voice of Air Marshal Thompson (Carlo Hintermann)
  • Piedone l'africano (1978) - voice of Captain Muller (Carel Trichardt)
  • Alien degli abissi (1989) - voice of Reverend Manuel (unknown actor)
  • Black Cobra 3 (1990) - voice of Sir Malcolm (unknown actor)

Filmography to be verified
  • Mimì Bluette... fiore del mio giardino (1976)
  • L'assassino ha le ore contate (1981) (unaired TV series) - episode "Scambio di persona"
  • A Fine Romance (1989) (TV pilot) as Krueger
  • C'è posto per tutti (1990) as The American
  • Le gorille (1990) (TV series) - episode "Le Gorille chez les Mandingues" as Beckstein
  • Killer Rules (1993) (TV movie) as Chairman of the board
  • La seconda volta (1995) as Stefano (only source is Wikipedia, so dubious)
  • L'assedio (1998) as Sweaty man (only source is Wikipedia, so dubious)

No Geoff in sight!
As is seemingly always the case with little-known actors with large online filmographies, there are a couple of films where Geoffrey is listed somewhere as appearing, but is nowhere to be found in the actual films.
  • Al di là del bene e del male (1977) - Listed on IMDb as appearing uncredited as "Guest at Malvida's house", but does not appear. Someone has almost certainly confused Geoffrey with fellow voice dubber John Stacy, who often appears in the same type of roles as Geoffrey and who is present here as one of the guests at Malvida's house.
  • Black Cobra 3 (1990) - Listed on IMDb as appearing uncredited as "The Senator", but I couldn't find him anywhere. Geoffrey does, however, dub the role of a minor character named Sir Malcolm, so that might be where the confusion stems from.
  • The Godfather Part III (1990) - Listed on Wikipedia as appearing uncredited as a priest, but I couldn't spot him anywhere. There are lots of extras in this film, though, so I might of course have missed him.

Re: Geoffrey Copleston

Posted: 31/03/2020, 18:37
by Johan Melle
War and Peace (1956) as Russian officer. Geoffrey's earliest known role is in this Hollywood epic shot in Rome. He appears briefly in one scene and gets to speak a little line.
War And Peace - Geoffrey Copleston.jpg

Re: Geoffrey Copleston

Posted: 31/03/2020, 18:38
by Johan Melle
La ragazza che sapeva troppo (1963) as Asylum employee
Ragazza Che Sapeva - Geoffrey Copleston1.jpg
Ragazza Che Sapeva - Geoffrey Copleston2.jpg

Re: Geoffrey Copleston

Posted: 31/03/2020, 18:39
by Johan Melle
Due marines e un generale (1965) as High-ranking American officer
Due Marines - Geoffrey Copleston1.jpg
Due Marines - Geoffrey Copleston2.jpg

Re: Geoffrey Copleston

Posted: 31/03/2020, 18:41
by Johan Melle
James Tont operazione U.N.O. (1965) as Secret Service chief. He played a lot of roles like this in the mid 1960s.
James Tont UNO - Geoffrey Copleston1.jpg
James Tont UNO - Geoffrey Copleston2.jpg
James Tont UNO - Geoffrey Copleston3.jpg
James Tont UNO - Geoffrey Copleston4.jpg

Re: Geoffrey Copleston

Posted: 31/03/2020, 18:44
by Johan Melle
James Tont operazione D.U.E. (1966) credited, as Secret Service chief. Geoffrey reprises his role in this James Tont sequel and receives one of his first on-screen credits as well.
James Tont DUE - Geoffrey Copleston1.jpg
James Tont DUE - Geoffrey Copleston2.jpg
James Tont DUE - Geoffrey Copleston3.jpg
James Tont DUE - Geoffrey Copleston4.jpg
James Tont DUE - Geoffrey Copleston5.jpg

Re: Geoffrey Copleston

Posted: 31/03/2020, 18:49
by Johan Melle
7 donne d'oro contro due 07 (1966) credited, as The auctioneer who is later revealed to be the fabled Nazi Martin Bormann! Geoffrey can be heard dubbing his own voice for the English-language version - one of the earliest occasions I know of where he did this.
7 Donne D'Oro - Geoffrey Copleston1.jpg
7 Donne D'Oro - Geoffrey Copleston2.jpg
7 Donne D'Oro - Geoffrey Copleston3.jpg
7 Donne D'Oro - Geoffrey Copleston4.jpg
7 Donne D'Oro - Geoffrey Copleston5.jpg

Re: Geoffrey Copleston

Posted: 31/03/2020, 18:50
by Johan Melle
Io, io, io... e gli altri (1966) as Man in train restaurant
Io Io Io - Geoffrey Copleston.jpg

Re: Geoffrey Copleston

Posted: 31/03/2020, 18:52
by Johan Melle
Perry Grant agente di ferro (1966) credited, as Chief Bowles. Another typical Eurospy role for Geoffrey.
Perry Grant - Geoffrey Copleston1.jpg
Perry Grant - Geoffrey Copleston2.jpg
Perry Grant - Geoffrey Copleston3.jpg
Perry Grant - Geoffrey Copleston4.jpg

Re: Geoffrey Copleston

Posted: 31/03/2020, 18:54
by Johan Melle
Superargo contro Diabolikus (1966) credited, as Conrad. Geoffrey has a pretty large role here as one of the Secret Service heads, and he again dubs his own voice for the English-language version.
Superargo Diabolikus - Geoffrey Copleston1.jpg
Superargo Diabolikus - Geoffrey Copleston2.jpg
Superargo Diabolikus - Geoffrey Copleston3.jpg
Superargo Diabolikus - Geoffrey Copleston4.jpg
Superargo Diabolikus - Geoffrey Copleston5.jpg