An actor is a person who portrays a character in a performance. The actor performs "in the flesh" in the traditional medium of the theatre or in modern media such as film and television; the analogous Greek term is ὑποκριτής "one who answers". The actor's interpretation of their role—the art of acting—pertains to the role played, whether based on a real person or fictional character. Interpretation occurs when the actor is "playing themselves", as in some forms of experimental performance art. In ancient Greece and Rome, the medieval world, the time of William Shakespeare, only men could become actors, women's roles were played by men or boys. After the English Restoration of 1660, women began to appear on stage in England. In modern times in pantomime and some operas, women play the roles of boys or young men. After 1660 in England, when women first started to appear on stage, the terms actor or actress were used interchangeably for female performers, but influenced by the French actrice, actress became the used term for women in theater and film.
The etymology is a simple derivation from actor with -ess added. When referring to groups of performers of both sexes, actors is preferred. Actor is used before the full name of a performer as a gender-specific term. Within the profession, the re-adoption of the neutral term dates to the post-war period of the 1950 and'60s, when the contributions of women to cultural life in general were being reviewed; when The Observer and The Guardian published their new joint style guide in 2010, it stated "Use for both male and female actors. The guide's authors stated that "actress comes into the same category as authoress, manageress,'lady doctor','male nurse' and similar obsolete terms that date from a time when professions were the preserve of one sex.". "As Whoopi Goldberg put it in an interview with the paper:'An actress can only play a woman. I'm an actor – I can play anything.'" The UK performers' union Equity has no policy on the use of "actor" or "actress". An Equity spokesperson said that the union does not believe that there is a consensus on the matter and stated that the "...subject divides the profession".
In 2009, the Los Angeles Times stated that "Actress" remains the common term used in major acting awards given to female recipients. With regard to the cinema of the United States, the gender-neutral term "player" was common in film in the silent film era and the early days of the Motion Picture Production Code, but in the 2000s in a film context, it is deemed archaic. However, "player" remains in use in the theatre incorporated into the name of a theatre group or company, such as the American Players, the East West Players, etc. Actors in improvisational theatre may be referred to as "players". In 2015, Forbes reported that "...just 21 of the 100 top-grossing films of 2014 featured a female lead or co-lead, while only 28.1% of characters in 100 top-grossing films were female...". "In the U. S. there is an "industry-wide in salaries of all scales. On average, white women get paid 78 cents to every dollar a white man makes, while Hispanic women earn 56 cents to a white male's dollar, Black women 64 cents and Native American women just 59 cents to that."
Forbes' analysis of US acting salaries in 2013 determined that the "...men on Forbes' list of top-paid actors for that year made 21/2 times as much money as the top-paid actresses. That means that Hollywood's best-compensated actresses made just 40 cents for every dollar that the best-compensated men made." The first recorded case of a performing actor occurred in 534 BC when the Greek performer Thespis stepped onto the stage at the Theatre Dionysus to become the first known person to speak words as a character in a play or story. Prior to Thespis' act, Grecian stories were only expressed in song, in third person narrative. In honor of Thespis, actors are called Thespians; the male actors in the theatre of ancient Greece performed in three types of drama: tragedy and the satyr play. Western theatre developed and expanded under the Romans; the theatre of ancient Rome was a thriving and diverse art form, ranging from festival performances of street theatre, nude dancing, acrobatics, to the staging of situation comedies, to high-style, verbally elaborate tragedies.
As the Western Roman Empire fell into decay through the 4th and 5th centuries, the seat of Roman power shifted to Constantinople and the Byzantine Empire. Records show that mime, scenes or recitations from tragedies and comedies and other entertainments were popular. From the 5th century, Western Europe was plunged into a period of general disorder. Small nomadic bands of actors traveled around Europe throughout the period, performing wherever they could find an audience. Traditionally, actors were not of high status. Early Middle Ages actors were denounced by the Church during the Dark Ages, as they were viewed as dangerous and pagan. In many parts of Europe, traditional beliefs of the region and time period meant actors could not receive a Christian burial. In the Early Middle Ages, churches in Europe began staging dramatized versions of biblical events. By the middle of the 11th century, liturgical drama had spread from Russia to Scandinavia
Here Comes Happiness
Here Comes Happiness is a 1941 American comedy film directed by Noel M. Smith and written by Charles L. Tedford; the film stars Mildred Coles, Edward Norris, Richard Ainley, Russell Hicks, Marjorie Gateson and John Ridgely. The film was released by Warner Bros. on March 15, 1941. Mildred Coles as Jessica Vance Edward Norris as Chet Madden Richard Ainley as Jelliffe Blaine Russell Hicks as John Vance Marjorie Gateson as Emily Vance John Ridgely as Jim Eddie Acuff as Bill Lucia Carroll as Peg Helen Lynd as Flo Marie Blake as Clara Edward Gargan as Joe Vera Lewis as Mrs. James Joseph Crehan as Tom Burke Ann Edmonds as Miss Barnes William Hopper as Best Man Here Comes Happiness on IMDb
The Smiling Ghost
The Smiling Ghost is a 1941 film directed by Lewis Seiler and starring Wayne Morris, Alexis Smith, Alan Hale. The film is in the horror comedy genre popular in the 1940s; the elderly Mrs. Bentley and her lawyer see a newspaper ad from an unemployed and unmarried engineer seeking work doing “anything legal.” The lawyer calls the engineer, Alexander “Lucky” Downing, sets up a meeting, during which Lucky is offered $1000 to feign an engagement to Mrs. Bentley’s granddaughter Elinor Bentley Fairchild for one month. Lucky considers it a strange offer. What Downing doesn’t know is that Elinor’s three former fiancés have met horrible ends; the first, Johnny Eggleston, mysteriously drowned. The second, Paul Myron, was paralyzed when his car rolled over and has been confined to an iron lung since; the third, Alan Winters, died by snakebite while on the 18th floor of a Boston hotel. Given the fate of her former beaus, there are those who believe Elinor is the victim of the “Smiling Ghost,” and she has been dubbed the “Kiss of Death Girl” by the local newspapers.
Lil Barstow, a reporter who has followed the case has been in touch with Myron, who persuades her to talk Downing out of the engagement before he too becomes a victim of the ghost. Lil attempts to intercept Lucky at the train station where he and his nervous valet, are to meet Elinor. Before Lil can warn Downing, Elinor smashes her camera and hustles Lucky and Clarence off to Bentley mansion. Downing is delighted to find Elinor so attractive and affectionate but has no idea what awaits him at the mansion. There he meets his prospective in-laws: a diabolical great-uncle Ames Bentley, who shows Lucky his collection of shrunken heads and mentions that he's only missing a good Negroid specimen; that evening Tennant drunkenly objects to Lucky sleeping in what had been his room, so Lucky agrees to switch rooms with him. That night, a man, the Smiling Ghost emerges through a secret wall panel and attacks Tennant, no doubt believing him to be Downing. In the ensuing confusion, Downing encounters the reporter Lil Barstow outside, who tells him about the fate of the former fiancés and persuades him to leave.
Lucky asks her, "Couldn't all these have all been accidents?" To which Lil reples, "Listen, it's more than an accident when a cobra strikes a man on the 18th floor of a Boston hotel." Convinced that the situation is perilous, Downing plans to sneak away with Clarence, who had found the semiconscious Tennant in a trunk in the cellar and is eager to depart. To find the ghost or whoever it is, Downing turns to Lil for help, she takes him to visit the crippled Paul Myron. Paul relates his ghost story, saying that the ghost appeared when he was pinned under his wrecked car and adding that the ghost resembled John Eggleston, Elinor’s first fiancé. Paul says he believes Eggleston drowned himself after Elinor broke off their engagement and is now intent on making sure she never marries. Downing rejects the idea that Eggleston is a ghost but finds it plausible that he faked his death and is bent on revenge. Lil and Lucky pay a visit to Eggleston’s crypt in the cemetery and discover it empty. While there, Downing is entombed.
After he is rescued by Lil, he is more determined to resolve the mystery. And to the end, he suggests to Elinor. In the ensuing denouement, the Smiling Ghost is unmasked as Paul Myron and an unexpected espousal is thrown in for good measure. Wayne Morris as Alexander "Lucky" Downing Alexis Smith as Elinor Bentley Alan Hale as Norton Brenda Marshall as Lil Barstow Lee Patrick as Rose Fairchild David Bruce as Paul Myron Helen Westley as Grandmother Bentley Willie Best as Clarence Charles Halton as Great-Uncle Ames Bentley Richard Ainley as Cousin Tennant Bentley Roland Drew as Uncle Hilton Fairchild George Meader as Mr. Dinwiddie Clem Bevans as Sexton The New York Times review of the film dated September 26, 1941 by Bosley Crowther is unfavorable, noting that the story is predictable and inane. Mr. Crowther’s comments, "Much of it seems like the nonsense at a party or Halloween." He is critical of most of the acting, although does praise the performances of Willie Best and Alexis Smith. Another reviewer comments, “There are some definite plot holes here, but the high level of acting keeps things from being too ridiculous.”
The Smiling Ghost on IMDb The Smiling Ghost at AllMovie The Smiling Ghost at the TCM Movie Database The Smiling Ghost at the American Film Institute Catalog Review at Classic Film Guide New York Times review Title cards
As You Like It (1936 film)
As You Like It is a 1936 British film, directed by Paul Czinner and starring Laurence Olivier as Orlando and Elisabeth Bergner as Rosalind. It is based on William Shakespeare's play of the same name, it was Olivier's first performance of Shakespeare on screen. It was the final film of stage actors Leon Quartermaine and Henry Ainley, featured an early screen role for Ainley's son Richard as Sylvius, as well as for John Laurie, who played Orlando's brother Oliver. Bergner had played the role of Rosalind in her native Germany and her German accent is apparent in most of her scenes. Duke Frederick has deposed his older brother, Duke Senior. Frederick allows the exiled Duke's daughter, however, to stay, as she is the closest friend of his daughter, Celia. Orlando, forced to flee his home due to the oppression from his brother, comes to the Frederick's Duchy, enters a wrestling tournament. On leaving the Duchy, Orlando encounters Rosalind, it is love at first sight. Frederick becomes angry, banishes Rosalind.
Celia decides to accompany her, along with Touchstone. Rosalind and Celia disguise themselves as "Ganymede", a boy, "Aliena" and venture into the Forest of Arden, where they encounter the exiled Duke. Orlando in love, posts love poems on the trees in praise of Rosalind. Orlando comes across Ganymede, who tells him he can teach Orlando how to cure love by pretending to be Rosalind. At the same time, Phoebe, a shepherdess, falls in love with Ganymede, though he continually rejects her. Sylvius, a shepherd, is in love with Phoebe. Meanwhile, Touchstone attempts to marry the simple farmgirl, before he can be stopped by Jaques, a Lord who lives with the exiled Duke. Orlando rescues Oliver from a lioness in the forest, causing Oliver to repent and re-embrace his brother. Ganymede, Orlando and Silvius are brought together to sort out who marries whom. Ganymede proposes that Orlando promise to marry Rosalind, Phoebe promise to marry Silvius if she cannot marry Ganymede; the next day, Rosalind reveals herself.
Orlando and Rosalind and Celia, Silvius and Phoebe, Touchstone and Audrey are all married, they learn that Frederick has repented and decided to reinstate his brother as the Duke. Elisabeth Bergner as Rosalind. Rosalind is the daughter of the senior Duke. Bergner was an Austrian actress who had played Rosalind in Germany before moving to the US. Laurence Olivier as Orlando. Orlando is the youngest son of Sir Rowland de Boys; this film marked the first time. Sophie Stewart as Celia. Celia is the daughter of Duke Frederick. Henry Ainley as Duke Senior, banished. Leon Quartermaine as Jacques. Jacques is an melancholy Lord attending Duke Senior. Felix Aylmer as Duke Frederick, who has banished his brother; the 1936 adaptation is the first time. It was directed in London by Paul Czinner, an Austrian Jew that fled his home country to avoid political persecution; the film stars his wife, Elizabeth Bergner an Austrian Jewish refugee. To the persecuted, the escape to the Forest of Arden does not represent, as Celia sees it, a place to spend time and relax so much as an escape to freedom.
This view is reflected in the film created by refugees, speaks to other refugees and exiles. The film is notable for being scored by William Walton, to become Olivier's longtime musical collaborator, scoring his films of Henry V, Hamlet and Richard III, defending his score for the film Battle of Britain against its replacement by Ron Goodwin's; as You Like It on IMDb As You Like It is available for free download at the Internet Archive
Anthony Ainley was an English actor best known for his work on British television and for his role as the Master in Doctor Who. He was the fourth actor to play the role of the Master, the first actor to portray the Master as a recurring role since the death of Roger Delgado in 1973. Ainley was born in Stanmore, Middlesex the son of the actor Henry Ainley on 20 August 1932 although his birth was not registered until January 1938 at around the time that he was admitted to the actors' orphanage; the birth certificates of Anthony and his brother Timothy identify their mother as Clarice Holmes and it is under this surname that they are recorded in the Official Register. Although no father is named on the birth certificates Timothy's marriage certificate identifies Henry Ainley as his father. Under the name of Anthony Holmes, Ainley attended Cranleigh School from 1947 to 1950, his first job was as an insurance clerk, followed by a period at RADA. He won the Fabia Drake Prize for Comedy whilst at RADA.
His half-brother, Richard Ainley, was an actor. Ainley's swarthy appearance tended to get him parts as villains, though an early regular role on British television was as Det. Sgt Hunter, sidekick to William Mervyn's Chief Inspector Rose in the second series of It's Dark Outside in 1966. Other notable roles include a subaltern in the 1969 film version of Oh! What a Lovely War, Dietz in the 1975 film version of The Land That Time Forgot, Reverend Fallowfield in the Tigon film The Blood on Satan's Claw, Henry Sidney in Elizabeth R, Clive Hawksworth in Spyder's Web, Rev. Emilius in the BBC's adaptation of The Pallisers, Johnson in the first episode of the BBC programme Secret Army, Sunley in The Avengers episode "Noon Doomsday", he was one of the Hong Kong policemen who discover James Bond's supposed corpse in the opening sequence of You Only Live Twice. Ainley played the role of the wealthy young peer Lord Charles Gilmour in the ITV series Upstairs, Downstairs, it was his performance as Rev. Emilius that led to him being offered the role of the Master by John Nathan-Turner, who had worked on The Pallisers seven years before becoming producer of Doctor Who.
Ainley first portrayed the Master in the 1981 serial The Keeper of Traken and appeared in every season up until the cancellation of the original series in 1989, including its final serial, Survival. Ainley's Doctor Who appearances included: The Keeper of Traken 1981, Logopolis 1981, Castrovalva 1982, Time Flight 1982, The King's Demons 1983, The Five Doctors 1983, Planet of Fire 1984, The Caves of Androzani 1984, The Mark of the Rani 1985, The Ultimate Foe 1986, Survival 1989, he reprised the role for the 1997 BBC computer game Destiny of the Doctors. Ainley's great love of the role is cited in documentaries and DVD commentaries. Script editor Eric Saward claimed that he introduced himself over the phone by saying "This is the Master" and would laugh. In the commentary and documentary for The Mark of the Rani, both Colin Baker and Kate O'Mara say that "He only wanted to play the Master." Baker remarked that he could afford this luxury because he had built up a private income by the mid-1980s and had inherited a considerable sum of money from his father.
In "Cat Flap - Making of Survival", Sylvester McCoy confirms that all he wanted to be is the Master, he kept his role active not on set. "He was as scary off camera as he was on it." Ainley remained unmarried throughout his life. He joked on the DVD commentary for The Keeper of Traken that he didn't like the three rings of marriage: the engagement ring, the wedding ring and the bickering. Ainley was a keen sportsman, he was a rugby player, he played at fly-half for the Old Cranleighans and Middlesex. He turned his attentions to cricket—even abruptly citing Sophie Aldred as his friend once he learned that she played the game, he appeared on many occasions for the Stage and London Theatres C. C. as an opening batsman. Ainley died at the age of 71 on 3 May 2004; the Times' obituary for him listed the cause as cancer. Ainley was known to be private, remained out of the public eye for most of his life after Doctor Who was placed in long-term hiatus in 1989. Anthony Ainley on IMDb Obituary in The Guardian Obituary at the Wayback Machine in The Independent
Bristol Old Vic
Bristol Old Vic is a British theatre company based at the Theatre Royal, Bristol. The present company was established in 1946 as an offshoot of the Old Vic in London, it is associated with the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, which became a financially independent organisation in the 1990s. Bristol Old Vic runs a Young Company for those aged 7–25; the Theatre Royal, the oldest continually-operating theatre in the English-speaking world, was built between 1764 and 1766 on King Street in Bristol. The Coopers' Hall, built 1743–44, was incorporated as the theatre's foyer during 1970–72. Together, they are designated a Grade I listed building by Historic England. Daniel Day-Lewis called it "the most beautiful theatre in England."In 2012 the theatre complex completed the first phase of a £19 million refurbishment, increasing the seating capacity and providing up to ten flexible performance spaces. Besides the main Theatre Royal auditorium, the complex includes the Studio theatre and the Side Stage, Paint Shop and Basement performance areas.
Whilst the theatre was closed, the company continued to present work in the Studio and Basement spaces, as well as at other sites around Bristol. The Theatre Royal re-opened in 2012 with Wild Oats; the theatre is situated a few yards from the Floating Harbour. From 1972 until 2016, the public entrance was through the Coopers' Hall, the earliest surviving building on the site; the Coopers' Hall was built in 1744 for the Coopers' Company, the guild of coopers in Bristol, by architect William Halfpenny. It has a "debased Palladian" façade with four Corinthian columns, it only remained in the hands of the Coopers until 1785, subsequently becoming a public assembly room, a wine warehouse, a Baptist chapel and a fruit and vegetable warehouse. The theatre was built between 1764 and 1766; the design of the auditorium has traditionally been taken to have been based, with some variations, on that of the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane in London. Although Bristol architect Thomas Paty supervised construction, the theatre was built to designs by James Saunders, David Garrick's carpenter at Drury Lane.
Saunders had provided drawings for the theatre in Richmond, built in 1765. A long section and a survey plan of the Richmond theatre show close similarities with the Bristol theatre in the proportions and in the relationship between the actors on stage and the spectators surrounding them on three sides; the site chosen was Rackhay Yard, a rectangular empty site behind a row of medieval houses and to one side of the Coopers' Hall. Two new passageways built through the ground floor of the houses fronting King Street gave access to Rackhay Yard and the "New Theatre" inside it; the theatre opened on 30 May 1766 with a performance which including a prologue and epilogue given by David Garrick. As the proprietors were not able to obtain a Royal Licence, productions were announced as "a concert with a specimen of rhetorick" to evade the restrictions imposed on theatres by the Licensing Act 1737; this ruse was soon abandoned, but a production in the neighbouring Coopers' Hall in 1773 did fall foul of this law.
Legal concerns were alleviated when the Royal Letters Patent were granted in 1778, the theatre became a patent theatre and took up the name "Theatre Royal". At this time the theatre started opening for the winter season, a joint company was established to perform at both the Bath Theatre Royal and in Bristol, featuring performers such as Sarah Siddons, whose ghost, according to legend, haunts the Bristol theatre; the auditorium was rebuilt with a new sloping ceiling and gallery in 1800. After the break with Bath in 1819 the theatre was managed by William M'Cready the elder, with little success, but rose again under his widow Sarah M'Cready in the 1850s. Following her death in 1853 the M'Creadys' son-in-law James Chute took over, but he lost interest in the Theatre Royal, which fell into decline when he opened the Prince's Theatre known as the New Theatre Royal, in 1867. A new, narrow entrance was constructed through an adjacent building in 1903. Chute relinquished his lease on the Theatre Royal in 1861, concentrating his business at the Prince's Theatre, destroyed by bombing during the Second World War.
In 1942 the lease owners put the building up for sale. The sale was perceived as a possible loss of the building as a theatre and a public appeal was mounted to preserve its use, as a result a new Trust was established to buy the building; the Council for the Encouragement of Music and the Arts leased the building from the Trust and in 1946 CEMA's successor, the Arts Council, arranged for a company from the London Old Vic to staff it, thus forming the Bristol Old Vic. Early members of the company included Peter O'Toole, John Neville, Timothy West, Barbara Leigh-Hunt and Dorothy Tutin; the first artistic director was Hugh Hunt. An early triumph for the Bristol Old Vic occurred when the 1954 première production of Salad Days transferred to the West End and became the longest-running musical on the London stage at that time; the Arts Council remained involved until 1963. In the same year the London Old Vic was disbanded and the Bristol company became independent; the Bristol Old Vic put plays on in the council-owned Little Theatre from until 1980.
A new theatre complex, designed by Peter Moro, was completed in 1972. The 1903 entrance building was demolished, as were a number of surrounding buildings and, more controversially, the stage area of the 1766 theatre. A new stage and fly tower were built along with technical offices; the 150-seat New Vi
National Portrait Gallery, London
The National Portrait Gallery is an art gallery in London housing a collection of portraits of important and famous British people. It was the first portrait gallery in the world when it opened in 1856; the gallery moved in 1896 to its current site at St Martin's Place, off Trafalgar Square, adjoining the National Gallery. It has been expanded twice since then; the National Portrait Gallery has regional outposts at Beningbrough Hall in Yorkshire and Montacute House in Somerset. It is unconnected to the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh, with which its remit overlaps; the gallery is a non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Culture and Sport. The gallery houses portraits of important and famous British people, selected on the basis of the significance of the sitter, not that of the artist; the collection includes photographs and caricatures as well as paintings and sculpture. One of its best-known images is the Chandos portrait, the most famous portrait of William Shakespeare although there is some uncertainty about whether the painting is of the playwright.
Not all of the portraits are exceptional artistically, although there are self-portraits by William Hogarth, Sir Joshua Reynolds and other British artists of note. Some, such as the group portrait of the participants in the Somerset House Conference of 1604, are important historical documents in their own right; the curiosity value is greater than the artistic worth of a work, as in the case of the anamorphic portrait of Edward VI by William Scrots, Patrick Branwell Brontë's painting of his sisters Charlotte and Anne, or a sculpture of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert in medieval costume. Portraits of living figures were allowed from 1969. In addition to its permanent galleries of historical portraits, the National Portrait Gallery exhibits a changing selection of contemporary work, stages exhibitions of portrait art by individual artists and hosts the annual BP Portrait Prize competition; the three people responsible for the founding of the National Portrait Gallery are commemorated with busts over the main entrance.
At centre is Philip Henry Stanhope, 4th Earl Stanhope, with his supporters on either side, Thomas Babington Macaulay, 1st Baron Macaulay and Thomas Carlyle. It was Stanhope who, in 1846 as a Member of Parliament, first proposed the idea of a National Portrait Gallery, it was not until his third attempt, in 1856, this time from the House of Lords, that the proposal was accepted. With Queen Victoria's approval, the House of Commons set aside a sum of £2000 to establish the gallery; as well as Stanhope and Macaulay, the founder Trustees included Benjamin Disraeli and Lord Ellesmere. It was the latter. Carlyle became a trustee after the death of Ellesmere in 1857. For the first 40 years, the gallery was housed in various locations in London; the first 13 years were spent at Westminster. There, the collection increased in size from 57 to 208 items, the number of visitors from 5,300 to 34,500. In 1869, the collection moved to Exhibition Road and buildings managed by the Royal Horticultural Society. Following a fire in those buildings, the collection was moved in 1885, this time to the Bethnal Green Museum.
This location was unsuitable due to its distance from the West End and lack of waterproofing. Following calls for a new location to be found, the government accepted an offer of funds from the philanthropist William Henry Alexander. Alexander donated £60,000 followed by another £20,000, chose the architect, Ewan Christian; the government provided the new site, St Martin's Place, adjacent to the National Gallery, £16,000. The buildings, faced in Portland stone, were constructed by Son. Both the architect, Ewan Christian, the gallery's first director, George Scharf, died shortly before the new building was completed; the gallery opened at its new location on 4 April 1896. The site has since been expanded twice; the first extension, in 1933, was funded by Lord Duveen, resulted in the wing by architect Sir Richard Allison on a site occupied by St George's Barracks running along Orange Street. In February 1909, a murder–suicide took place in a gallery known as the Arctic Room. In an planned attack, John Tempest Dawson, aged 70, shot his 58 year–old wife, Nannie Caskie.
His wife died in hospital several hours later. Both were American nationals. Evidence at the inquest suggested that Dawson, a wealthy and well–travelled man, was suffering from a Persecutory delusion; the incident came to public attention in 2010 when the Gallery's archive was put on-line as this included a personal account of the event by James Donald Milner the Assistant Director of the Gallery. The collections of the National Portrait Gallery were stored at Mentmore Towers in Buckinghamshire during the Second World War, along with pieces from the Royal Collection and paintings from Speaker's House in the Palace of Westminster; the second extension was funded by Sir Christopher Ondaatje and a £12m Heritage Lottery Fund grant, was designed by London-based architects Edward Jones and Jeremy Dixon. The Ondaatje Wing opened in 2000 and occupies a narrow space of land between the two 19th-century buildings of the National Gallery and the National Portrait Gallery, is notable for its immense, two-storey escalator that takes visitors to the earliest part of the collection, the Tudor portraits.
In January 2008, the Gallery received its largest single donation to date