Robert Archibald Shaw was born on August 9, 1927 in Westhoughton, Lancashire, England. Robert was the eldest son of Doctor Thomas Archibald Shaw and Doreen Nora Avery. The former Miss Avery met Shaw’s father while she was a nurse at the hospital in Truro, Cornwall. His father was an alcoholic and a manic depressive; he committed suicide when Robert was only 12. He had three sisters, Elizabeth, Joanna and Wendy and one brother, Alexander.
As a boy, he attended Truro and was quite an athlete, competing in rugby, squash and track events but turned down an offer for a scholarship at 17 to go to London with furthering education in Cambridge as he did not want a career in medicine but luckily for the rest of us, in acting. He was also inspired by one of the schoolmasters, Cyril Wilkes who got him to read just about everything, including all of the classics. He would take three or four of the boys to London to see plays. The first play Robert would ever see was “Hamlet” in 1944 with… read more