Ian Ogilvy

Actor who played Simon Templar, alias The Saint, on Television

Ian Ogilvy as Simon Templar in The Return of The Saint Ian Ogilvy played The Saint in the 1970s TV series, The Return of The Saint. Ian is an Actor, Novelist, Playwright, and Director.

The Return of The Saint

In the late 1970's ITC decided to renew the Saint and continue the series. Robert Baker proposed a "Son of the Saint" solution to the age problem, with Roger Moore appearing in various episodes as the new Saint's father. This was scrapped, and Ian Ogilvy took over the halo for 24 episodes as Simon Templar. The show featured very high-quality production values, and was shot on location all over the world. People still saw the Saint as Roger Moore, and while some were beginning to accept Ian Ogilvy in the role, the show was cut short before he had a chance to turn the majority to his rendition.

1978 Return of the Saint Biography of Ian Ogilvy

This biography is taken from the advance publicity for 'Return of the Saint' that was circulated to all and sundry in 1978.


Return of the Saint The new Simon Templar, otherwise known as The Saint in "THE RETURN OF THE SAINT" is played by Ian Ogilvy, an actor who is as good-looking and athletic as the Saint himself, brown-haired, green-eyed, six feet in height and weighing 160 pounds.

Known in particular for his appearances in television classical series and for his role as Elizabeth Bellamy's poet husband in "Upstairs, Downstairs" he now attains sole stardom in a series for the first time, although he was one of the four stars (with William Mervyn, Nyree Dawn Porter and Isla Blair) in "The Liars", quite early in his career.

Born at Woking, Surrey, he is of Scottish descent. His father was one of London's leading advertising men; his uncle, David Ogilvy, became a legend in American advertising circles even before his retirement.

Ian, however, had few doubts about his future from the time he appeared in school plays. He served an apprenticeship as an assistant stage manager at London's Royal Court Theatre and then studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.

Unexpectedly, he achieved stardom with his first professional acting role. "But," he emphasizes, "it was modest stardom on a shoestring budget production on a £50-a-week salary for an 18-day schedule. It was no overnight fame or fortune!"

The film, "Revenge of the Blood Beast", was made by a friend, Michael Reeves, and other low-budget movies were to follow before Reeves' tragically early death. In the meanwhile, Ian was gaining experience in repertory at Colchester, Canterbury and Northampton, and then played guest roles in numerous television shows, including such series as "The Avengers" and "Strange Report". He had his first major success as Lord Windemere in "Lady Windemere's Fan". His greatest popularity came through "Upstairs, Downstairs", and most recently he has attracted attention in "I, Claudius" (as the father of Claudius when young) and as Moll's brother whom she married in ignorance of their relationship in "Moll Flanders".

As it happened, Leslie Charteris had never seen Ian Ogilvy on the screen before the announcement that he was to star in "The Return of the Saint". The opportunity came soon afterwards when the television "Moll Flanders" was repeated.

"I made a point of seeing it", Leslie Charteris says. "It was, of course, a very different type of role. 'Moll Flanders' is a costume drama and Ian Ogilvy was wearing a period wig. I thought he was very good--a good actor who should make a good Simon Templar".

Ian has also been seen in numerous films, the titles of which include "Stranger in the House", "The Invincible Six", "The Sorceress", "Witchfinder General", "Waterloo", "Wuthering Heights," and "Beyond the Grave," but for some time he has been absent from the big screen because of stage and television work. His most recent London appearance was in "Waltz of the Toreadors," with Trevor Howard, and he has also played in Shaw's "The Devil's Disciple" in Liverpool.

He is married, with two children--Emma (born 1963) and Titus (born 1969)--and lives in the London area of Chiswick.


Return of the Saint was a British action-adventure television series that aired for one season in 1978 and 1979 in Britain on ITV, and was also broadcast on CBS in the United States. It was produced by ITC Entertainment and ran for 24 episodes.

The series starred Ian Ogilvy as Simon Templar, an independently wealthy, somewhat mysterious "do-gooder" known as "The Saint" who was created in 1928 by Leslie Charteris and featured in a long-running series of novels and novellas. The series itself is a revival of The Saint, a long-running 1960s series that starred Roger Moore as Templar. One major difference between the two series is that the original was mostly filmed in British studios and locations, while many episodes of Return were filmed on location throughout Europe.

According to Burl Barer in his history of The Saint, the series was originally conceived as Son of the Saint, with Ogilvy's character identified as the offspring of Simon Templar. As production neared, it was decided to drop the relative angle and make the series about the original character, albeit updated to the late 1970s.

The premise of the series is identical to that of the 1960s TV series, and the later instalments in the Charteris canon; Templar is shown travelling around Britain and Europe, helping out the people he encounters, though he is also often summoned by past acquaintances.

The series borrowed a few storytelling elements from its predecessor. Once again, each episode began with Simon narrating an introduction to set the scene for viewers, and each pre-credit sequence ended with an animated halo appearing above Templar's head as he was identified. The series also made a recurring reference to the 1930s-40s film series. as well as the 1940s radio series that starred Vincent Price as Templar: as the halo appears over Simon's head and just before the opening credits begin, a short phrase of music is heard; this is not actually part of the specially composed theme music for the Return of the Saint series, but is in fact the signature theme of the Saint from film and radio.

Oglivy became very popular in Britain and Europe because of the series, and in the early 1980s was considered a major contender for replacing Moore as James Bond. Oglivy never got the role, but did record a series of popular audio book adaptations of the Bond novels in the late 1970s and played a Bond-like character for a 1980s TV commercial.

Unlike the earlier series, Return of the Saint did not adapt any Leslie Charteris stories, however several teleplays (such as "The Imprudent Professor" and "Collision Course") were adapted as novels that were credited to Charteris but written by others. A number of Saint books were reprinted with covers depicting Ogilvy as Templar as a tie-in with the series; these collectable volumes carried the Return of the Saint title. The adaptation of "Collision Course", retitled Salvage for the Saint was published in 1983 (several years after the series ended) and was the 50th and final Saint book to be published in a series of publications dating back to the 1920s. The two episodes of "Collision Course" were also edited together to form the syndicated TV-movie, The Saint and the Brave Goose.

Broadcasts of the series on CBS, which lasted into 1980, sparked a revival of interest in Moore's original series.

Robert S. Baker, who developed and produced the earlier The Saint series for Roger Moore, performed the same duties with Return of the Saint. Years later, Baker would also serve as executive producer of the 1997 Saint film starring Val Kilmer as Templar.

The Saint and the Brave Goose TV screenshots1980 The Saint and the Brave Goose

ITC Television, Approx. 90 minutes, 8145 feet.

The original working title was Vanishing Point. First shown on television in two parts as Collision Course: The Brave Goose, and Collision Course: The Sixth Man. Novelized by Peter Bloxsom as Salvage for The Saint (50-BX, 1983). Directed by Cyril Frankel. Produced by Robert S. Baker. Screenplay by John Kruse.

Starring Ian Ogilvy as Simon Templar, Gayle Hunnicutt as Annabel, Stratford Johns as George Duchamps, and Derren Nesbitt as Inspector Lebec. Shown as a TV movie in many counties, possibily shown in theatres in some...

Ian Ogilvy Details

Older News:
Ian Ogilvy Ian starred in an episode of Babylon 5 entitled "In the Kingdom of the Blind". It aired in the US at the end of March and will air in the UK, on Channel 4, on Sunday 7th June (if they keep to their schedule).

Ian is guest-starring in a February sweeps (one of the three key ratings periods on American TV) episode of Diagnosis Murder entitled TALKED TO DEATH. He plays a talkshow host in the Jerry Springer-mold. In the episode, famed American talkshow hosts Regis Philbin and Kathy Lee Gifford portray thinly-veiled versions of themselves... and Regis guns down Kathy Lee (fullfilling the dreams of millions of Americans). Ian is suspected of putting real bullets in Regis' prop gun. Ian previously guest-starred in an episode of Diagnosis Murder that spoofed the TV series ER.

Ian's second novel, The Polkerton Giant, is out in paperback from Headline Publishing in the UK this April. Price £5.99. Online ordering available from the Internet Bookshop.

Film credits include:
Death Becomes Her, Witchfinder General (The Conqueror Worm in the US), Wuthering Heights, Waterloo, No Sex Please, We're British, The Sorcerers, The Day the Fish Came Out, Anna Karenina, Tales From Beyond the Grave, And Now the Screaming Starts

Television credits include:
Return of the Saint, Murder She Wrote, JAG, Caroline in the City, Murphy Brown, Diagnosis Murder, Phenom, I Claudius, BL Stryker, Tom, Dick and Harriet, Upstairs Downstairs, Candide, Oh God Nigel, I Can't Stand It Anymore, Malibu Shores, Generations, Kung Fu, Bristow County, PS I Love You, Three of a Kind, Menace Unseen, Maigret, Burke's Law, Man of Straw, The Spoils of Poynton, Ripping Yarns, The Two Ronnies, The Morecombe & Wise Show and many others too numerous to mention.

Theatre credits:
Ian Ogilvy has starred many times in London's West End, in plays such as Design for Living, Three Sisters, Run For Your Wife, The Common Pursuit, Stagestruck, Happy Family, One of Us, Rookery Nook, The Millionairess, Waltz of the Toreadors, The Importance of Being Earnest and The Devil's Disciple. In the USA he has played Higgins in My Fair Lady, Andrew in Sleuth and John/James in Love! Valour! Compassion! - he has been awarded three Dramalogue awards and a Los Angeles Times Critics Award.

Loose Chippings (ISBN 0-7472-1607-X)
What happens when a charismatic T.V. evangelist from Florida buys Graveley Place, the ugliest stately home in the British Isles, with the intention of turning the estate into a replica of his Lord's Playground, a religious Disneyland-type theme park. Jim Pohackett and his wife Rosallaline aren't prepared for the reaction of the local villagers, which ranges from happy enthusiasm to embarassed resentment. The Four Horsemen of The Apocalypse are no help either...
'A Comedy of the frothiest sort'...Image
'Outlandish comedy...pokes fun at a whole range of targets'...The Times


The Polkerton Giant (ISBN 0-7472-1608-8)
The Polkerton Giant - a vast, Paleolithic chalk outline on the side of an obscure hill in the West of England - becomes (after millenia of indifference by the locals) the sudden focal point of their interest. One group wants it obliterated, on the grounds that the frank depiction of its aroused genitals is causing the moral decline of Somerset youth; another is passionate to preserve it on historical grounds; a third group, militantly feminist, would like to alter its sex - with the help of shovels and some white paint - in their favor. Of course, it all ends in tears...


Ian Ogilvy Shop on Amazon USA


Ian Ogilvy Shop on Amazon UK

The History of The Saint on TV

The Saint was finally adapted for television in 1962, with Roger Moore portraying the Saint in 71 black and white, and 47 color episodes. The show came to an end in 1969, but later resurfaced in 1979, aptly named The Return of The Saint. Ian Ogilvy was the new Saint for 24 color episodes, but didn't last long. A pilot for a new Saint show was made in 1987 by D.L. Taffner, starring Andrew Clarke as The Saint. There were no other episodes other than the one pilot episode. Then, in 1989 the Saint was once again welcomed back to television in six 2-hour movies featuring Simon Dutton as Simon Templar, alias the Saint. The Saint returned again to the small screen in 2013, with Adam Rayner in the starring role.

Other Actors Who've Played The Saint

Portrals of Simon Templar on Film in Movie Motion Pictures:

Louis Hayward, George Sanders, Hugh Sinclair, Jean Marais, and Val Kilmer

The Saint Radio shows on Old-Time Radio:

Vincent Price, Barry Sullivan, Brian Aherne, Edgar Barrier, Felix Marten, Lawrence Dobkin, Paul Rhys, Terence De Marney, Tom Conway, and Tom Meehan

Actors who played The Saint on Television TV Programs:

Roger Moore, Ian Ogilvy, Andrew Clarke, Simon Dutton, and Adam Rayner

Starring as The Saint in Photoplay:

Leslie Charteris



Saint Logo 1944
Watch for the sign of The Saint, he will be back.
Copyright © 1995-2017 - About The Saintly Bible - Website Statistics - Make a Donation