Timothy West was born in Bradford in 1934, the son of actor Lockwood West. Seasons in repertory in Wimbledon, Newquay, Hull, Northampton, Worthing and Salisbury, coming to the Piccadilly Theatre in the farce Caught Napping in 1959.
Since then his performances on the London stage have included Gentle Jack, The Italian Girl, Abelard and Heloise, The Homecoming, Beecham, Master Class, When we are Married, The Sneeze, Itís Ralph, Twelve Angry Men and The Birthday Party, The Old Country, The Collection and A Number.
At the National Theatre he has performed in Long Dayís Journey into Night, King Lear, and Luther; at the Royal Court in Laughter; in seasons with the RSC and at Chichester Festival; and with Prospect/Old Vic Company, for whom he played King Lear, Prospero, Shylock, Claudius and Enobarbus. At the Birmingham Rep, Galileo. For English Touring Theatre, on tour and in London he has played Falstaff in both parts of Henry IV, and Solness in Ibsenís The Master Builder and King Lear. At the Sheffield Crucible, Caryl Churchill's A Number. For the Rose Theatre, Kingston, and on tour The Winslow Boy and a UK Tour of Quartet. In 2012 he played Professor Serebryakov in Uncle Vanya at Chichester Festival Theatre and Romka in The Handyman UK Tour.
Television includes Edward VII, Churchill and the Generals, Brass, The Monocled Mutineer, The Good Doctor Bodkin Adams, What the Butler Saw, The Contractor, Blore, M.P., Beecham, Framed, Eleven Men Against Eleven, Murder in Mind, Bedtime, Bleak House, A Room with a View, Going Postal, Lewis, Exile and Titanic.
Recent films: Ever After, Joan of Arc, Villa des Roses, Iris, The Fourth Angel, Beyond Borders and Endgame.
Work as Director has included, recently, HMS Pinafore for Carl Rosa Opera.
He has taken part in over 500 radio broadcasts, and recorded many Talking Books. His autobiography A Moment Towards the End of the Play, and So You Want to be an Actor (co-written with his wife Prunella Scales) are published by Nick Hern Books.
He was made CBE in 1984, and is currently President of the London Academy of Dramatic Art, and of the Society for Theatre Research.