Nicholas Anthony Phillip Clay (18 September 1946 - 25 May 2000) was a British actor. Born in Streatham London, to Bill and Rose Clay, he studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) and began his acting career in the early 1970s with small parts in film and television. He also appeared in several West End theatre productions. He was cast in several of Laurence Olivier's Old Vic productions and during the decade came to be regarded as one of British theatre's most promising actors. Among his successes was The Misanthrope, which led Clay to the United States, where he also played this role on Broadway in 1975. His most widely seen screen performance was as Lancelot in the 1981 film Excalibur, and he also appeared in the film versions of D. H. Lawrence's Lady Chatterley's Lover (1981), and Agatha Christie's Evil Under the Sun (1982), the latter reuniting him with his The Misanthrope co-star Diana Rigg. Clay continued working regularly on stage and appeared in a number of made-for-television movies and miniseries. In 1984, he played Mike Preston in the Hammer House of Mystery and Suspense episode "Child's Play". A year later, in 1985, he took the role of Doctor Percy Trevelyan in an episode of The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes entitled The Resident Patient. In 1992 he appeared with Kim Thomson in the BBC TV series Virtual Murder. In the last years of his life he taught drama at the Actors Centre and the Academy of Live and Performing Arts, and also worked in association with RADA, generally in the role of promoting the organisation, or providing advice to acting students. Clay married actress Lorna Heilbron in 1980. He died of cancer in London and was survived by his wife, daughters and mother.