Marius Goring 1932
Charles Buckman Goring Sketch

Early Life


Marius Re Goring was born in Newport, Isle of Wight on 23 May 1912.



He was the son of an eminent physician and researcher, Dr Charles Goring and Kate Winifred Macdonald.

Charles Buckman Goring (1870–1919) was a pioneer in criminology and author of the influential work The English Convict: a statistical study, published in 1913.


His mother, Kate Macdonald (1874-1964) was a writer, suffragette and talented pianist who had studied under Clara Schumann. Kate had spent a considerable time in Paris and this was where his parents were married in 1905.

See About and Updates page for further information on his ancestry including his Family Tree and ancestry charts.

Charles Goring worked in various institutions, including at HMP Parkhurst on the Isle of Wight, where he was a prison doctor at the time of Marius's birth in 1912. Their first child, a son Charles Donald Austin Goring, known as Donald, had also been born on the Isle of Wight in 1907.


The family moved to Brixton in London and later to Manchester where Dr Goring was employed as Chief Medical Officer at HMP Strangeways. In May 1919, shortly before Marius turned seven years of age and during the height of the Spanish flu epidemic, Dr Goring contracted the influenza and died. He was only 49 years of age.

After the death of their father, Donald and Marius became the wards of their godfather Dr Ernest George Leopold Goffe. Dr Goffe was born in Port Maria, Jamaica in 1867, the ninth son of John Beecham Goffe, who owned sugar plantations and who was a descendant of Willy Goffe, one of Oliver Cromwell’s major generals. John’s wife Margaret was the natural daughter of a landowner and his favourite household slave. 


Ernest Goffe was sent to England to study medicine at University College, London. During his time at University College and Hospital, he became a good friend of Dr Charles Goring and Donald and Marius were frequent visitors to the Goffe’s home at Kingston Hill, spending Christmas and other times with the family.

Marius first became enamoured of the theatre at the age of three when he saw a pantomime. From then on, he was determined to become an actor when he grew up. His mother encouraged him in his ambitions but insisted that he obtain a good education. He attended the Perse School in Cambridge for eight years and lived nearby with his mother and older brother Donald.

Tragically, Donald died in 1936 in Aden, Yemen as the result of a car accident at the age of twenty-nine. He had been working there for Shell Oil.

Marius Goring Birth Register Entry 1912.
Charles Buckman Goring Death Register Entry 1919

Anecdote by SPIKE HUGHES in the Daily Herald 16 December 1935


Goethe was a bit of a bore at times, but he had the knack of saying profound things on simple subjects. 


The one which roughly means that you’ve got to start in short pants if you’re going to look anything in long pants applies very much to a young actor who has finished a most versatile year on the stage with a success as Philip of Spain in Flora Robson’s “Mary Tudor.” 

Marius Goring, still in the earliest of twenties, had his stage training in three countries.

For some time he was a member of the “Compagnie des Quinze,” in Paris, then he was a member of the Old Vic., and I seem to remember a time when he disappeared for a while to Germany to play Shakespeare.

Marius, now grown up, with a wife and child, I first met longer ago than I care to remember—as a small boy with a shock of red hair, who was some three or four years my junior at school.


At that sort of age, of course, the difference in years is enormous—the difference between wearing “shorts’ and “longs,” between playing football on “little side” and on “upper middle,” which was three sides harder work.


Young Goring, however, was lucky enough to be a day boy; his mother took pity on us boarders and asked us to tea on Sundays, a welcome function that meant incredibly rich cream buns and a beautiful Steinway to play on. Mrs. Goring had been a pupil of Schumann’s widow Clara and was a fine pianist.


It was during these Sunday teas that Marius would disappear to return wearing false beards, red noses, a face covered with make-up and speaking long scenes from Shakespeare in which he would play all the parts.


Though he was barely out of the rocking-horse stage he had a small room that would have shamed many a theatre wardrobe. Any old clothes that could possibly be used as theatrical costumes were carefully hung up on pegs and labelled.


If any impresario had had the sense to see it, Marius at twelve would have made the most natural and vigorous Peter Pan ever.


Perhaps it was as well, though. It would have taken a lot of living-down, and he is getting the breaks he deserves without that.


Marius Goring is not one of your fly-by-night actors who get a whole week’s publicity on the strength of one performance and are never heard of again except when people ask: “I wonder what became of So-and-So?”

Letter to columnist Layah Riggs re Marius Goring in the Herald and Review (Decatur, Illinois) on 19 October 1947
Dr Ernest Goffe (1867-1948)