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A Fellowes' Imperfect Past

After failing as an actor, this "deb's delight" turned to writing--and won an Oscar.

Julian Fellowes in Vero Beach: “I didn’t exactly replace Robert Morley. Instead, I replaced the dwarf in Fantasy Island!”

Julian Fellowes in Vero Beach: “I didn’t exactly replace Robert Morley. Instead, I replaced the dwarf in Fantasy Island!”

British actor and writer Julian Fellowes arrived at the pinnacle of his life’s work in 2002 when he won the Best Original Screenplay Oscar for Gosford Park. However, it was not until he turned his considerable creative talents to writing novels that he found his true voice. Fellowes discussed his current bestseller, Past Imperfect, along with the odyssey of his four-decade career at a recent meeting of the Indian River Literary Society.

Fellowes traveled to Vero Beach from England exclusively for his appearance at the Orchid Island Beach Club, where he dedicated his speech to the late Nancy McLarty, a Vero Beach resident and patron of the British theatre whom he called “a force in my life.”

He had decided to become an actor, he told his audience, by the time he graduated from Cambridge. However, he wisely secured a place for himself at London’s Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art before springing the news on his parents, along with the tuition bill for the 2½-year course of study.

Read the entire article in the April 2010 issue