Copleston, Geoffrey

Less-known Performers of the Italian Cinema
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Johan Melle
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Copleston, Geoffrey

Post by Johan Melle » 31/03/2020, 20:35

Geoffrey Copleston Annuario 1984.jpg
Geoffrey Copleston in Annuario degli attori 1984-85
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. War and Peace .... Russian officer (uncredited)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  34. Il grande attacco .... Colonel Jürgens (credited)
  35. Io tigro, tu tigri, egli tigra - third segment .... Swiss general (uncredited)
  36. Quando c'era lui... caro lei! .... Nazi officer (credited)
  37. Sam & Sally (TV series) - season 1, episode 2: "Bedelia" .... Kellerman (credited as Geoffrey Copplestone)

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

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

  49. Bianco, rosso e Verdone .... Russian diner in restaurant (uncredited)
  50. Black Cat (Gatto nero) .... Inspector Flynn (credited)
  51. Bollenti spiriti .... Steiner, Nicole's husband (credited)
  52. Don Luigi Sturzo (TV mini series) - episode 2 .... Cardinal Bourne (credited)
  53. Il caso Graziosi (TV mini series) - episodes 1 & 2 .... Police commissioner (credited)
  54. La nouvelle malle des Indes (TV mini series) - episode 1 .... Keramos(credited as Jeffroy Coppleston)
  55. La poliziotta a New York .... New York chief of police (uncredited)

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

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

  64. ...e la vita continua (1984) (TV mini series) - episode 5 .... German businessman (credited)
  65. All'ombra della grande quercia (TV mini series) .... German official (credited in Radiocorriere TV)
  66. Cento giorni a Palermo .... President of the Bank of Milan (uncredited)
  67. La piovra (TV series) - episodes 1 - 6 .... Alfredo Ravanusa (credited)
  68. Pope John Paul II (TV movie) .... Cardinal (uncredited)
  69. Vediamoci chiaro .... Commendator Mercalli (credited as Geoffrey Gerald Copleston)

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

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

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

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

  85. Classe di ferro (TV series) - season 1, episode 9: "Gli scozzesi" .... Scottish colonel (credited)
  86. I promessi sposi (TV mini series) - episode 2 .... Merchant (credited as Geoffrey Coppleston)
  87. Il vigile urbano (TV series) - episode 3: "Campa cavallo" .... Aide to the king of Sweden (credited)
  88. La moglie ingenua e il marito malato (TV) .... The downstairs neighbor (credited)
  89. Robot Jox .... Confederation commissioner (credited as Geoffrey Coplestone)
  90. Willy Signori e vengo da lontano .... Newspaper director (credited)

  91. Frankenstein Unbound .... Innkeeper (credited)
  92. Il sole buio (credited but not found)
  93. L'amante scomoda .... President of the company (credited)
  94. La primavera di Michelangelo (TV mini series) - episode 3 .... Taddeo Taddei (credited as Geoffrey Coppleston)
  95. Le gorille (TV series) - episode: "Le Gorille chez les Mandingues" .... Beckstein (credited)

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

  97. Klon .... Big boss (credited)

  98. Killer Rules (TV movie) .... Chairman of the board (credited)

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

  100. Fatal Frames .... Richard Fairbrain (credited)
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)
  • Lo sparviero dei Caraibi (1962) - voice of Viceroy of Santa Cruz (Nerio Bernardi)
  • Re Manfredi (1962) - voice of Baron Berthold (Renato Navarrini)
  • Golia e il cavaliere mascherato (1963) - voice of The King's envoy (Loris Gizzi)
  • Il trionfo di Robin Hood (1962) - voice of Sir Tristan of Goldsborough (Vinicio Sofia)
  • Il vecchio testamento (1962) - voice of Mattathias (Carlo Tamberlani)
  • Maciste contro i mostri (1962) - voice of Fuan (Andrea Aureli)
  • 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)
  • Le spie uccidono in silenzio (1966) - voice of Henry Brook (José Marco)
  • Pochi dollari per Django (1966) - voice of Judge Horace Holden (Ángel Ter)
  • Uccidi o muori (1966) - voice of Jonathan Griffith (Furio Meniconi)
  • Un angelo per Satana (1966) - voice of Count Montebruno (Claudio Gora)
  • Arabella (1967) - voice of Cooper (Renato Romano)
  • Il magnifico texano (1967) - voice of Judge Wilkins (Beni Deus)
  • Mister X (1967) - voice of The sergeant (Francesco Narducci)
  • Wanted (1967) - voice of Judge Anderson (Carlo Hintermann)
  • Gungala la pantera nuda (1968) - voice of Sir Frederick (Consalvo Dell'Arti)
  • Satanik (1968) - voice of Professor Greaves (Nerio Bernardi)
  • La caduta degli dei (1969) - voice of Chief of Police (Bill Vanders)
  • 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)
  • Metti... che ti rompo il muso (1973) - voice of Anatole (Antonio La Raina)
  • 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)
  • L'eredità Ferramonti (1976) - voice of Paolo Furlin (Paolo Bonacelli)
  • Sandokan (1976) (TV mini series) - voice of Lord Guillonk (Hans Caninenberg)
  • Operazione Kappa: sparate a vista (1977) - voice of Count Camillo di Valleombrosa (Piero Mazzinghi)
  • Occhi dalle stelle (1978) - voice of Air Marshal Thompson (Carlo Hintermann)
  • Piedone l'africano (1978) - voice of Captain Muller (Carel Trichardt)
  • Sette uomini d'oro nello spazio (1979) - voice of Galactic auctioner (Robert Hundar)
  • Killer contro killer (1985) - voice of Rains (Franco Diogene)
  • Le miniere del Kilimangiaro (1986) - voice of Lord Kilbrook (unknown actor)
  • Angel Hill: l'ultima missione (1988) - voice of Colonel Abrams (Donald Pleasence)
  • Quella villa in fondo al parco (1988) - voice of Dr. Olman (Pepito Guerra)
  • Alien degli abissi (1989) - voice of Reverend Manuel (unknown actor)
  • Paganini Horror (1989) - voice of Mr. Pickett (Donald Pleasence)
  • Black Cobra 3 (1990) - voice of Sir Malcolm (unknown actor)
Filmography to be verified
  • Conrad Nagel Theater (1955) (TV series) - episode "The Jewels of Rosanna Higgins"
  • 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
  • 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.
Notes and sources
1. Copleston Family History website.
2. Interview with Nick Alexander in the book "Profondo Argento" (2004)
Last edited by Johan Melle on 05/07/2022, 3:26, edited 39 times in total.

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Johan Melle
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Re: Geoffrey Copleston

Post by Johan Melle » 31/03/2020, 20:37

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

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Johan Melle
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Re: Geoffrey Copleston

Post by Johan Melle » 31/03/2020, 20:38

La ragazza che sapeva troppo (1963) as Asylum employee
Ragazza Che Sapeva - Geoffrey Copleston1.jpg
Ragazza Che Sapeva - Geoffrey Copleston2.jpg

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Johan Melle
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Re: Geoffrey Copleston

Post by Johan Melle » 31/03/2020, 20:39

Due marines e un generale (1965) as High-ranking American officer
Due Marines - Geoffrey Copleston1.jpg
Due Marines - Geoffrey Copleston2.jpg

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Re: Geoffrey Copleston

Post by Johan Melle » 31/03/2020, 20:41

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

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Johan Melle
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Re: Geoffrey Copleston

Post by Johan Melle » 31/03/2020, 20:44

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

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Johan Melle
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Re: Geoffrey Copleston

Post by Johan Melle » 31/03/2020, 20:49

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

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Johan Melle
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Re: Geoffrey Copleston

Post by Johan Melle » 31/03/2020, 20:50

Io, io, io... e gli altri (1966) as Man in train restaurant
Io Io Io - Geoffrey Copleston.jpg

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Johan Melle
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Re: Geoffrey Copleston

Post by Johan Melle » 31/03/2020, 20:52

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

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Re: Geoffrey Copleston

Post by Johan Melle » 31/03/2020, 20:54

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

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