The National Theatre production of Anything Goes, which opened last year, featured Denis Quilley as one of its stars, playing Elisha Whitney, an aging tycoon with an eye for a good-looking woman. Mr. Quilley, who died Oct. 5 of cancer, was too ill to join the transfer of Anything Goes to the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, where it opens tonight, Oct. 7.
Held in great regard and affection by his colleagues and the public alike, Mr. Quilley starred in La Cage aux Folles at the Palladium in the mid-1980's, and in the stage and film versions of Peter Nichols' Privates on Parade, where he played Terri Dennis, a camp concert-party captain: a role for which he won a SWET Award.
Mr. Quilley also starred in two productions of Stephen Sondheim's Sweeney Todd — the last was at the National Theatre in the 1990's. Other National Theatre productions included Macbeth, Hamlet and, more recently, Humble Boy.