Tuesday, 21 August 2012
† Apr 4 1923 – Dec 6 2016
A big man, and something of a giant in the realm of British TV comedy and drama. Emanating an aura of cunning and dead-eyed menace, he is part of the collective consciousness as 'genial' Harry Grout, the Mr Big of Slade Prison in the classic sitcom 'Porridge', forever asking Ronnie Barker's wily, but good-natured Fletcher to run him some little errand. When not in prison blues, he was also Cheryl's dad in 'Citizen Smith' and one of the Fox clan in the tough 1980 drama series 'Fox'.
His acting career stretches back to the mid-'50s and traces a line through most of the cult TV output of the following decades: 'The Saint', 'Adam Adamant Lives!', 'Man In A Suitcase', 'The Avengers', 'The Strange Report', and 'The Protectors'. He also lent his innate gravitas and looming presence to some lavish and heavyweight dramas, such as playing Bill Sikes in an early '60s 'Oliver Twist'; the BBC's 1967 'Great Expectations' (playing Jaggers - the late Ronald Lacey played Orlick); a memorable Long John Silver in 'Treasure Island', and the ruthlessly unprincipled Horace Dorrington in 'The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes'. Coming up to date, he is to be seen in stuff ranging from 'Our Friends in The North' to 'Lark Rise to Candleford' and 'Game of Thrones'.
(pictured above in 'The Avengers' episode 'My Wildest Dream'; and in 'The Gold Robbers' with a teenaged Sally Thomsett)
In the cinema, notable titles include: 'Village of the Damned' (1960), 'Make Mine Mink' (1960), 'The Punch and Judy Man' (1963), 'Fanatic' - aka 'Die, Die My Darling' (1965), the Boulting brothers comedy 'Rotten to the Core' (1965), 'Straw Dogs' (1971), Ken Russell's 'Savage Messiah' (1972), and Terry Gilliam's 'Time Bandits' (1981) and 'Brazil' (1985).
†Edit: Sad to hear today that the wonderful Peter Vaughan has died. Tue 6th Dec 2016.
Peter Vaughan - imdb profile