Mr Dean actor

Alessandro Nivola heats up Black Narcissus as Mr Dean

He's been setting pulses racing in the drama

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Mr Dean in Black Narcissus has been setting pulses racing over the festive period – who is the actor that plays him?

The three-parter is adapted from the book by Rumer Gooden’s celebrated 1939 novel.

And, while Gemma Arterton’s Sister Clodagh character is getting all the headlines,  it’s Mr Dean that’s supplying all the sexual tension.

But who plays Mr Dean and where have you seen the actor before?

Alessandro Nivola plays Mr Dean in Black Narcissus
Which actor plays Mr Dean in Black Narcissus (Dredit: BBC)

Who plays Mr Dean in Black Narcissus?

Sexy Mr Dean is turning the heads of all the nuns and getting them hot under the habit, most notably Sister Clodagh and Sister Ruth.

The man who plays him is American actor and producer Alessandro Nivola.

Read more: Gemma Arterton in Black Narcissus: Bond girl’s raunchiest roles as nun drama gets sexy

Aged 48, Alessandro has starred in blockbusters such as Face/Off and Jurassic Park in the 1990s.

More recently, you will see him in the Oscar-winning Selma, and the romantic drama Disobedience alongside Rachel Weisz and Rachel McAdams.

Black Narcissus star Alessandro Nivola is married to British actress Emily Mortimer
Alessandro married Emily in 2003 (Credit:

Is Alessandro married?

Alessandro married British actress Emily Mortimer in 2003.

Together, they have two children: 10-year-old May and 17-year-old Samuel.

And Alessandro’s ties to the UK deepen even further: Alessandro became a British citizen.

Furthermore, Emily also became an American citizen at the same time.

She appears next year in the BBC’s Pursuit Of Love.

David Farrer played the original Mr Dean in Black Narcissus
David Farrer was the original Mr Dean (Credit: YouTube)

Who played the original Mr Dean?

Black Narcissus was first adapted by the celebrated director/producer pairing Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger in 1947.

It went on to win two Oscars and a Golden Globe, and is now regarded as an iconic British classic.

Back then David Farrer played the roguish agent, Mr Dean.

London-born David had a long career, and died aged 87 in 1995.

His obituary said: “He was particularly adept at conveying the weaknesses and human qualities in figures of authority and intelligence…

“…and he could be considered an early exponent of ‘anti-hero’ roles.”

Black Narcissus star Alessandro Nivola on the set of The Sopranos sequel
The Sopranos prequel will hit next year (Credit: Jose Perez /

What can you see actor Alessandro in next?

Alessandro is appearing in the sequel to Mafia series The Sopranos.

Titled The Many Saints Of Newark, the prequel takes place in 1960s New York.

Read more: Black Narcissus on BBC One: Is it faithful to the book by Rumer Godden?

Alessandro plays Dickie Moltesanti, Christopher’s father.

It’s set to appear this year, and likely to be on Sky in the UK.

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Nancy Brown
Associate Editor