The Page Boy from Nottingham

A few weeks ago a good friend of this web site, Neil Vessey, sent in another stunning still from Walt Disney’s live-action film the Story of Robin Hood. It shows Joan Rice as Maid Marian, dolefully looking out from Nottingham Castle towards Sherwood Forest, as she tries to think of a way of finding her lost love, Robin Fitzooth.

But Neil wanted some information on Giles, the Page Boy, who stands behind, asking her, “Mistress Marian, why so sad?”

This rekindled an inquiry that I started a few years ago and set me off once again, looking for the young actor who mysteriously does not appear on the list of credits at the end of the film, even though his character had dialogue.

Well it looks like I could have found him! It seems that Giles the Page Boy was played by television and film actor Brian Smith. I can not find anything else about his life apart from the fact that he was born in Nottingham, England on 24th December 1932. His film career started in 1950 and he appeared as Taplow in the classic, The Browning Version (1951) alongside Michael Redgrave. Smith went on to appear in TV’s Billy Bunter in 1954, the colorful swashbuckler, Quentin Durward (1955) with Robert Taylor and the 1957 version of The Barretts of Wimpole Street.

Through the next four decades, Brian Smith appeared in a whole range of various television programs, the last of which was Peak Practice in 1996.

Why did his name not appear in the acting credits of Walt Disney’s Story of Robin Hood? Perhaps it will remain a mystery. But The Browning Version was released in April 1951 and amongst the cast and crew were the familiar names of Bill Travers and Carmen Dillon who would start working, it seems, with Brian Smith on Disney’s Story of Robin Hood at the end of that month.


Clement of the Glen said...

Brian Smith/Giles the Page Boy
Joan Rice/Maid Marian

Neil said...

I am surprised at your discovery of the name of the actor who played the page boy. Brian Smith was born in 1932 ans so would have been 18 or so when he played Taplow in The Browning Version, a film I know well. He doesn't look that old in the film. If you are right he then went on to play again with Richard Todd in Yangtse Incident made in 1957. I just feel that this wasn't the actor we have been looking for.

Clement of the Glen said...

Hi Neil,

Brian Smith was the only person that seemed to fit. His features are similar. He would have been about 19 when he appeared in Robin Hood and of course would have worked with Carmen Dillon a year earlier on The Browning Version.

I stress this was a shot in the dark and I hope someone will perhaps help us solve the mystery one way or another!