Sir Robert Stephens (14 July 1931 12 November 1995) was a leading actor in the early years of England's Royal National Theatre.
Stephens was born in Bristol, England, and rose to become one of the most respected actors of his generation. By the 1960s he was regarded as the natural successor to Laurence Olivier. He and his third wife, actress Maggie Smith appeared together on stage and in film, notably in the film version of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie in 1969.
His other films in this period included a minor role as Prince Escalus in Franco Zeffirelli's Romeo & Juliet (1968), as well as a starring role in Billy Wilder's The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes (1970) and the science fiction film, The Asphyx (1973). However, following his departure from the National Theatre in 1970 and the breakup of his marriage in 1973 he suffered a career slump, not helped by heavy drinking.
Although he continued to work on stage (notably in the National Theatre'sThe Mysteries in 1986),