Thursday, 31 May 2012

Christopher Fulford


Christopher Fulford: 

Compact, sensitive tough-nut sort of actor, who could almost be a Victor Maddern for the 2000s. Hasn't done as much as I would have thought, but very familiar from 1980s/90s crime TV, including 'Inspector Morse', 'Cracker', 'Touch Of Frost', 'Juliet Bravo', 'Dalziel & Pascoe', etc. Other roles run from "I'm A Stranger Here Myself', 'Minder', and 'Made In Britain', through to 'Wire In The Blood' and 'Whitechapel'.

Christopher Fulford - imdb profile

Michael Byrne


Michael Byrne: 

Gimlet-eyed, steely establishment type with a hint of menace, he has had a few high profile film roles and a very solid TV drama career, moving easily between playing Whitehall mandarins and Nazi psychopaths, although perhaps that's not such a huge leap. Movie highlights are 'Indiana Jones & The Last Crusade' (1989), 'The Eagle Has Landed' (1976), 'Gangs Of New York' (2002), 'Braveheart' (1995) and 'Butley' (1974). On television, he was seen in 'Within These Walls', 'The Gentle Touch', 'Hamish Macbeth', 'Smiley's People' and more recently 'Coronation Street'.

Michael Byrne - imdb profile

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

James Cosmo


James Cosmo: 

Craggy, red-headed Scottish actor with an extensive and impressive portfolio of work. Emanating an almost palpable Scottishness, he's been an obvious choice for roles ranging from hardcase copper to woad-covered warrior. He's instantly recognisable but, again, it's probably not a name you could easily put your finger on. You'll have seen him in any of quite an array of major films, from 'Battle Of Britain' and 'The Virgin Soldiers' (both 1969) and playing Father Christmas in 'The Chronicles of Narnia' (2005), to an undeniably tartan trio of 'Highlander' (1986), 'Braveheart' (1995) and 'Trainspotting' (1996). 

In the 'UFO' episode 'Reflections in the Water' from 1971

As for TV, it would be surprising if he hadn't popped up in 'Taggart', 'Rab C Nesbitt' and 'Rebus', but he was also seen in dramas such as 'Softly Softly', 'The Onedin Line' and 'Strangers', comedies like 'George & Mildred' and 'Fairly Secret Army', and cult classics 'Doomwatch', 'The Stone Tape', 'UFO' and, what a surprise, 'The Sweeney'. His movie profile has got him into some high-end fantasy shows like 'Merlin' and 'Game of Thrones', and more recently the FX biker drama 'Sons of Anarchy'. Rock solid stuff.

In 'Game of Thrones'


James Cosmo -imdb        

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Adrienne Posta



Adrienne Posta:

One of the faces of 1967/68, Ms Posta exemplified the pert dollybird and swinging London comedy glamour-puss. She featured in some of the middling hits of the era; 'To Sir With Love' (1967), 'Here We Go Round The Mulberry Bush' (1968),  'Up The Junction' (1968), and the late kitchen sink classic 'Spring And Port Wine' (1970). 
Looking for Robert Lindsay in 'Confessions of a Taxi Driver' (1976)

 By the '70s she was increasingly a victim of the trend towards dim-witted sex comedies that characterised British cinema in its most dismal phase: 'Percy's Progress' (1974), 'Carry On Behind' (1975), 'Adventures of A Taxi Driver' (1976), and playing Scrubba in 'Up Pompeii' (1971), for example. Small roles in some of the better TV of the period must have seemed a relief after these, and she was seen in nice TV Playhouse stuff like 'Bar Mitzvah Boy' in 1976 and 'The Cherry Orchard' in 1971. As she got older, roles followed suit with jaded glamour something of a speciality; see 'Minder', 'Budgie', 'The Gentle Touch', 'Boon', etc. Often on panel games and turned up in variety shows too. Quite an all-rounder.

A taste of 'All The Way Up' (1970), with Warren Mitchell and a very mod Kenneth Cranham:  here 


Adrienne Posta - imdb profile

Shane Rimmer


Shane Rimmer: 

Yes, he's Canadian, but his career has been almost exclusively UK-based since 1958, and as he's the unmistakable voice of 'Thunderbirds' Scott Tracy, he now belongs to us. As well as nearly every Gerry Anderson production from the mid-'60s to 'Dick Spanner', he has been the go-to-guy for American character roles in films including 'The Spy Who Loved Me' (1977), 'Out Of Africa' (1985), 'Whoops Apocalypse' (1988), 'Rollerball' (1975), 'Dr Strangelove' (1964) and 'Gandhi' (1982). Disconcerting sometimes in other parts when you expect him to say "F.A.B, Virgil" at any moment.

Shane Rimmer - imdb profile

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Dudley Sutton


Dudley Sutton: 

The disconcerting, pug-faced Mr Sutton will be familiar to many as the eccentric Tinker from 'Lovejoy', but before that he was best known for a string of menacing, unstable young tearaways and sinister villains in some of the UK's most interesting TV and cinema. Notable films include 'The Leather Boys' (1964, as one of the screen's first openly homosexual characters), 'The Boys' (1962), 'A Town Called Bastard' (1971), 'Brimstone & Treacle' (1982), and of course Ken Russell's 'The Devils' (1971). His TV career covers the classic territory of 'The Saint', 'The Baron', 'Department S', 'Strangers' and of course, 'The Sweeney'. He was particularly good as the sinister Connie Rosenthal in 'Shine On Harvey Moon' and as the sardonic schoolteacher, Mr Carter, in 'The Beiderbecke Trilogy' by Alan Plater. I haven't seen the Gillingham FC movie 'The Shouting Men' (2010), so I won't mention it. 

Dudley Sutton in 'The Devils' (1971)
Dudley Sutton in 'The Devils' (1971)
About to trigger 'a series of small explosions' in 'The Beiderbecke Affair'
Dudley Sutton



Dudley Sutton - imdb

John Quayle



John Quayle: 

Good heavens! It's Malcolm! Terry and June's best friend. Or the harassed groom from the excruciatingly brilliant wedding/blind date 'Rising Damp' episode, 'Pink Carnations'. Tall, rangy and very middle-class, he was also seen on television ranging from the decent ('Doomwatch', 'The Fall & Rise Of Reginald Perrin', Steptoe & Son') to the doubtful ('The Jim Davidson Show', 'Kelly Monteith', 'Nanny', and 'Mind Your Language').

As a youngster, he also played cabin boy hero Jim Hawkins in the BBC's 1951 version of 'Treasure Island'.       


John Quayle - imdb profile

Linal Haft


Linal Haft: 

Tough-looking, bullet headed Jewish actor, who has cornered a certain market in ruthless spivs, tycoons, gangsters and lawyers, which probably says more about typecasting in British drama than it does about his acting range. A more domestic persona was seen in the popular series of BT adverts he did with Maureen Lipman. His best big-screen role was probably as Vic in 'Soft Fruit' (1999), but he was also seen in 'Moulin Rouge!' (2001) and the Billy Connolly comedy 'The Man Who Sued God' (2001). In classic character actor style, though, he has been a stalwart of British television, racking up appearances in 'Minder' (old and new series), 'EastEnders', 'First Among Equals', 'The Sweeney' and several roles in 'The Bill'. I liked him in the Marks & Gran comedy/drama 'Shine On Harvey Moon' where he appeared as the charmingly sleazy black-marketeer, Monty Fish.      

Linal Haft - imdb profile

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Ron Moody


Ron Moody:

Jan 8 1924 – June 11 2015

A more senior and familiar face than some I've saluted. Mr Moody is still going strong at 87. Best known, of course, for his iconic, now controversial, turn as Fagin in the musical 'Oliver!' (1968), which rather overshadows the rest of his career. Other movie work includes smallish roles in films like 'The Sandwich Man' (1966), 'The Mouse On The Moon' (1963) and 'Summer Holiday' (1963), and Merlin in 'The Spaceman & King Arthur' (1979). There are comparatively few TV highlights: 'The Avengers', and odd US cop comedy 'Hart Of The Yard', before hitting 'Holby/Casualty/ The Bill/EastEnders' territory. 

Factoid: He turned down the chance to replace Patrick Troughton in 'Doctor Who'.

And here's a little treat: The trailer for 'Murder Most Foul' (1964) 


Ron Moody - imdb profile

Monday, 21 May 2012

Keith Smith

Keith Smith pictured on a rugged coastline.

Keith Smith: 

Trim, versatile, dormouse-faced actor whom I always remember as one of Spike Milligan's smiley stooges in the 'Q' series. He was also a feature of such classic TV as 'The Beiderbecke Trilogy', 'Z-Cars', 'Gurney Slade', 'Minder' (naturally), 'Worzel Gummidge', 'George & Mildred', and 'The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists'.


'The Magnificent Seven Deadly Sins' (1971) - the RAC man
spots the badge on Ian Carmichael's roller... 


As the punctillious headmaster in 'The Beiderbecke Connection'


Keith Smith - imdb

Clive Swift





Clive Swift: 

Tidy and precise sort of actor, often typecast as the timid official or henpecked husband - for example, the long-suffering Richard Bucket in the interminable 'Keeping Up Appearances'. His earlier career included some interesting British films like 'Death Line' (1973), 'Frenzy' (1972), the Dave Clark 5 clunker 'Catch Us If You Can' (1965) and Peter Hall's 'Midsummer Night's Dream' (1968). I'd be disappointed if he hadn't been in 'Doctor Who', 'Heartbeat', 'Tales Of The Unexpected' and 'Minder', but of course, he was.

He was also in the 1972 BBC 'Dead of Night' ghost story 'The Exorcism' - looking pretty groovy.


Clive Swift - imdb profile

Friday, 18 May 2012




Film of the day:
MELODY (1971)


I wasn't aware of this film until I was working on an interview with American director Wes Anderson. He cites it as one of the major influences on his new film 'Moonrise Kingdom'. Starring Jack Wild and Mark Lester, recapping their cocky urchin and sensitive angel roles from 'Oliver!' (1968), 'Melody' is a London-set puppy-love tale blending gritty urban locations with a lyrical, sun-dappled childhood innocence, written by Alan Parker and directed by Waris Hussein.

The kids are meant to be the stars, but for me it's the locations and the brilliant cast of adult character actors that makes it: Roy Kinnear, Sheila Steafel, Ken Jones, James Cossins, Keith Barron, Kate Williams, and John Gorman (of 'Tiswas' and Scaffold fame).

A winsome sunshine-pop soundtrack by the Bee Gees is an added attraction for some, as is the featured Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young song, 'Teach Your Children'.

Apparently it was a big hit in Japan and South America, which explains why the versions you can check out on YouTube are mostly subtitled for those markets.

See it here. for instance.      

Gerald Sim



Gerald Sim:

† Jun 4 1925 – Dec 11 2014

Delighted to find that this distinguished gent is still around, having made his film debut in 1947's 'Fame Is The Spur'. Sixty years is a long time, so it's likely that you'll have seen his knitted brows in 'The Wrong Box', 'Ryan's Daughter', 'Dr Jeckyll & Sister Hyde', 'Oh What A Lovely War!', 'Dr Phibes Rises Again' or 'A Bridge Too Far' on the big screen. His TV career stretches from 'Man In A Suitcase' and 'The Avengers' to 'Cribb', 'Ripping Yarns', 'The Fall & Rise Of Reginald Perrin' and the unavoidable 'Bergerac'. A full house.

Gerald Sim - imdb profile

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

John Tordoff


John Tordoff: 

He retired from acting a few years ago – and now designs gardens and paints in Umbria – but a welcome sight whenever he pops up in roles as put-upon coppers, harassed officials, and quizzical passers-by. Seen in TV including 'Campion', 'The Sweeney', 'The Rivals Of Sherlock Holmes', 'Citizen Smith', 'Coronation Street' (as three different characters, in '68, '78 and '99), and, more memorably for me, 'Murder Most English: A Flaxborough Chronicle' as ghoulish forensic officer Mr Warlock. Film parts range from a tiny  role in a cafe scene in 'Billy Liar' (1963) to 'Without A Clue' (1988),  Michael Winner's 'Parting Shots' (1999) and 'Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves' (1991).



John Tordoff - imdb profile

Jacki Piper



Jacki Piper:

Effervescent and sweetly saucy as lead dollybird Sally Martin in 'Carry On Loving' (see also Richard O'Callaghan) she went on to appear in several 'Carry Ons' and some other minor films in the same year, including 'Doctor In Trouble' and the Roger Moore vehicle 'The Man Who Haunted Himself'. She then popped up occasionally in 'The Two Ronnies' and 'The Fall And Rise Of Reginald Perrin', before hitting the hospital/police potboiler circuit of 'The Bill', 'Doctors' and 'Wire In The Blood' as a run of nice middle aged ladies.

Jacki Piper - imdb profile

Monday, 14 May 2012

Frank Williams


Frank Williams: 

Forever associated with the role of 'his reverence' Timothy Farthing, the vicar in 'Dad's Army', he has rarely been out of television work since the late '50s. Aside from his stock-in-trade vicars and bishops, he has played academics, clerks, salesmen, a hypnotist and various fusty, odd types in 'The Rutles', 'Z-Cars', 'Adam Adamant Lives!', 'Minder', 'Bergerac' and 'Boon'. Also a stalwart of TV sketch comedy with Morecambe & Wise, Kenny Everett, Jimmy Tarbuck and Dick Emery. Timeless catchphrase: "Oh, do be quiet Mr Yeatman".

Frank Williams - imdb profile

Richard O'Callaghan


Richard O'Callaghan: 

Son of the inimitable Patricia Hayes, he is probably best known as the shy tinfoil aeroplane enthusiast Bertram Muffet from 'Carry On Loving' and the idealistic young master Boggs from 'Carry On At Your Convenience'. 





He has aged into a rather craggy and disreputable-looking type, with some Shakespearean stage roles to back up his parts in TV from 'Dalziel & Pascoe', 'Mr Pye', and 'McCallum', to 'Boon', 'Casualty', and 'Heartbeat'-type fare. I should also mention his role in the bleak, bisexual, black-comedy, 'Butley' (1974), with Alan Bates. Directed by Harold Pinter.

Richard O'Callaghan - imdb profile

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Jacqueline Pearce


Jacqueline Pearce:

RADA-trained, eternal gamine with a haughty demeanour, whose image was burned onto the adolescent beta male retina of the early '80s as Servalan in 'Blakes 7'. Before that she had been the glamour in a couple of low-budget Brit horrors - 'The Reptile' and 'Plague Of The Zombies' - and also 'Carry On Don't Lose Your Head' all in 1966. Her TV appearances include a nice set of '60s cult classics: 'Danger Man', 'The Avengers', 'Man In A Suitcase', and 'Callan'; before hitting the small-screen sci-fi big-time in 'Doctor Who' and 'Blakes 7', as well as some classy period pieces like 'The Edwardians', 'Churchill's People' and 'Moondial'.

In 'The Reptile' (1966)
In the Jerry Lewis swinging London romp
'Don't Raise The Bridge, Lower The River' (1968)

Jacqueline Pearce - imdb profile

Peter Cellier


Peter Cellier: 

Another actor specialising in patrician roles, particularly judges, politicians and high-ranking civil servants - and perhaps the odd supercilious head waiter or shifty ex-officer. He has rarely been out of work since the early '60s, with roles in films including 'Barry Lyndon' (1975), 'Young Winston' (1972), 'Morgan - A Suitable Case For Treatment' (1966), 'Jabberwocky' (1977), 'Personal Services' (1987) and 'The Remains Of The Day' (1993). His TV CV is extensive and stretches from 'Randall & Hopkirk' to 'Yes, Minister' and from 'Rumpole' to 'Jackanory'. 





A giant in his field, but few could put a name to the face.

Peter Cellier - imdb profile

Tony Selby


Tony Selby:

A perennial chirpy cockney tough-nut, well-suited to any kind of petty criminal and henchman, as well as bin men, lorry drivers and of course the sadistic Corporal Marsh in the grimly amusing National Service comedy 'Get Some In!'. Film roles include parts in classics like 'Alfie' (1966), 'Villain' (1971), and 'Witchfinder General' (1968), but he found his niche in TV. 'Catweazle', 'Callan', 'Minder', 'Doctor Who' and 'Department S' is just scratching the surface. Saw him drinking in the Dog & Duck in Soho a few times; his wheezily sarcastic voice and frizzy barnet are unmistakable.




Tony Selby - imdb profile

Leslie Schofield


Leslie Schofield: 

One of those long-faced types who often populate the perifery of British drama, appearing as ratty villains, petty bureaucrats, sleazy bohemians and indignant customers. He has appeared in films ranging from 'Star Wars' (as the splendidly named Moradmin Bast) to 'Villain' and 'Force 10 From Navarone'. His TV career started on a moderate high, with parts in 'Doctor Who', 'Softly Softly', 'The XYY Man', 'Blakes 7' and of course modern parent Tom* in 'The Fall & Rise of Reginald Perrin'. Latterly he's been seen in 'Juliet Bravo', 'Coronation Street', 'EastEnders', 'ChuckleVision' and the inevitable 'Midsomer Murders'.


In 'Randall & Hopkirk (Deceased)'.
Leslie Schofield - imdb profile

*It had been bothering me that Mr Schofield somehow wasn't the Tom from Reggie Perrin that I remembered. Turns out that the part was played by TIM PREECE in the first series. Accordingly, I add an annexed mini-salute to Mr Preece here.

Albert Moses


Albert Moses: 

The Sri Lankan-born actor came to the UK trading on a slight likeness to Clark Gable, but is perhaps best known for appearing as Ranjeet Singh in the blithely racist 'Mind Your Language', a show he also produced, and a plethora of film roles as doctors, secret agents, merchants, assassins, and petty Raj officials, as well as stereotypical bus conductors and waiters in many unreconstructed '70s British movies and TV shows.  He can be seen in two James Bond movies, 'The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), and 'Octopussy' (1983), as well as 'The Man Who Would Be King' (1975), 'Carry On Emanuelle' (1978) and 'An American Werewolf in London' (1981).


In 'Mind Your Language'
With Kenneth Williams in 'Carry On Emanuelle' (1978)


He's also a poet, a chairman of Equity, and pillar of the community in St Albans.

Albert Moses - imdb profile

Richard Davies


Richard Davies:

† Jan 25 1926 – Oct 8 2015

Marvellous as the cynical Welsh foil to John Alderton's idealist teacher in the school sitcom 'Please Sir!', he has a long list of roles as seedy nobodies, minor officials, and Taffy stereotypes behind him. In the cinema, he appeared in 'Zulu' (1964) and a few uncredited comedy parts, but has really made his career in television. Notable among these are perhaps 'Fawlty Towers', 'Coronation Street, 'Robert's Robots', 'Dr Who', and the forgotten Jenny Agutter TV vehicle 'And The Beat Goes On'. Your go-to guy for anything Welsh, he was an obvious choice for roles in 'Taff Acre', 'The Citadel', and Burton's 'Under Milk Wood'. But it's always the staffroom at Fenn Street School for me. "I pity you, Hedges".


As Clive Jenkins in 'Not The Nine O'clock News'


Richard Davies - imdb profile

Clive Wood


Clive Wood:

Fleshily handsome actor who came to prominence in the racy '80s TV version of 'A Kind Of Loving'. Other lead roles have been thin on the ground since, but he has a record of regular cast parts in TV dramas 'London's Burning' and 'The Bill', and has popped up in 'Minder' (new version), 'Frost', 'Casualty' and a 'Dr Who'. Presumably his RSC work keeps him in clean shirts.

Clive Wood - imdb profile

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Moray Watson


Moray Watson: 

Jun 25 1928 – May 2 2017

Specialising in the affable sort of toff, jolly sort of magistrate and approachable sort of army officer, this old Etonian has been popping up on TV and in films for the last 60 years. My favourites among his many roles are Lord Collingford in 'Catweazle' and Chief Constable Chubb in 'The Flaxborough Chronicles', but you may have seen him in 'The Avengers', 'The Saint', 'Quiller', or 'Rumpole of The Bailey'. Or maybe 'The Darling Buds Of May' or, quelle surprise, 'Midsomer Murders'. Seems like a gent, anyway.

With the late Elspeth Gray in 'Catweazle'
In the 1982 Dr Who story 'Black Orchid'

In 'The Darling Buds of May'


Moray Watson - imdb profile