Friday, 14 December 2012
Here's one of the old guard, an authentic character actor with his own small place in British entertainment history. Gimlet-eyed Welshman Glyn Houston started his film career in the 'Dixon of Dock Green' prototype, 'The Blue Lamp' in 1950, before hitting a rich vein of rugged stoker and sailor roles in a sequence of warship and shipwreck dramas, including 'Waterfront' (1950), 'The Cruel Sea' (1953), 'The Sea Shall Not Have Them' (1954), 'A Night to Remember' (1958) and 'Sink the Bismarck' (1960).
With the decline of the British film industry starting in the early '60s, he found himself in some demand in television, with appearances in Welsh classic 'How Green Was My Valley' and the newsroom drama series 'Deadline Midnight'. As the decade went on, potboiler movies like motor-racing thriller 'The Green Helmet (1961) and prisoner-of-war pic 'The Secret of Blood Island' (1964), gave way to regular roles in 'Softly Softly' and 'Z-Cars', and the odd 'Danger Man' and 'The Saint'.
In the early '70s he got a useful leg-up with a casting as Lord Peter Wimsey's valet, Bunter, in the Ian Carmichael-fronted adaptations of the Dorothy L Sayers whodunnits. He also played Nigel Havers' trusty foreman in 'A Horseman Riding By', before finding a curiously lasting fame as Robert Gillespie's exasperated editor in 'Keep It In The Family'.
He also appears in this forgotten gem of scenery-rattling TV drama: Beasts
Glyn Houston - imdb
Monday, 10 December 2012
The very versatile Gwen Taylor is still seen often on British TV, most recently (2011-2012) by millions of 'Coronation Street' viewers as the murderous mother of Frank Foster. Before that she was probably best known for the role of Amy in the farce series 'Duty Free' watching incredulously as her husband (played by Keith Barron) pursues fellow long-term holiday-maker Joanna Van Gyseghem. Long before that, she was a regular cast member of the legendary post-Python show 'Rutland Weekend Television', in a fantastic range of roles from sex-kitten to battle-axe. Other appearances include her own sitcom, 'Barbara', a mild-mannered domestic affair with Sherrie Hewson and Sam Kelly, and as Rita Simcock in 'A Bit of a Do' with David Jason.
She hasn't done much in the movies, but her Eric Idle/RWT connection secured her the roles of Mrs Leggy Mounbatten in 'The Rutles: All You Need Is Cash' (1978) and Mrs Big Nose at the sermon on the mount in 'The Life Of Brian' (1979), which isn't a bad combo.
Gwen Taylor - imdb