Friday 27 April 2012

Richard O'Sullivan

Richard O'Sullivan: 

The fun-loving, trendy face of the 1970s sitcom, well-known from 'Man About The House', 'Robin's Nest', and 'Doctor At Large', he was also a child actor in 'Cleopatra' opposite Elizabeth Taylor, and appeared in 'Carry On Teacher' (1959) and 'The Young Ones' (1961). 

The 1961 drama 'Spare The Rod' which features
Max Bygraves as a new teacher at a tough school   

He's a bit of a household name compared to some actors I've been saluting, but he has fallen on hard times following a serious stroke and now lives in showbiz sheltered housing in south west London. If you're old enough, he's probably a part of your life, and I wish him well.

In 'Dandy in Aspic' (1967)

A bit bedraggled, but sitting in a Bentley with a nude  Gabrielle Drake
in the Val Guest sex comedy 'The Au Pair Girls' (1972). Can't be bad.

In the '80s sitcom 'Me and My Girl'


Richard O'Sullivan - imdb profile

Sheila Steafel

Sheila Steafel:

† May 26 1935 – Aug 23 2019

Satire boom star of the '60s in 'The Frost Report', this South African-born actress always seems barely able to conceal a little smile.

She was in a number of cult films, including 'The Bliss Of Mrs Blossom', Quatermass & The Pit', 'Daleks - Invasion Earth 2150AD', 'Percy' and 'Bloodbath At The House Of Death', and some TV shows and children's classics, from 'Sykes', 'Minder' and 'Q5', to 'Grange Hill', The Ghosts Of Motley Hall', and 'Z-Cars'. She was also married to Harry H Corbett in the early '60s.

Performing as the charmingly tiddly Miss Popsy Wopsy
on an edition of 'The Good Old Days' in the 1970s 

Sheila Steafel - imdb prof

George Sweeney

George Sweeney:

Rather hoggish, wild-eyed actor who has played a lot of henchmen, petty criminals, tough coppers and psychopaths, and was memorable as Speed in 'Citizen Smith'. He's also been in 'Z-Cars', 'Softly Softly', and naturally, 'The Sweeney'. 

His film credits include 'For Your Eyes Only' (1981), 'The Bitch' (1979), Holmes spoof 'Without A Clue' (1988), and the bizarre Reg Varney vehicle 'The Best Pair Of Legs In The Business' (1974).

George Sweeney - imdb profile

John Woodvine

John Woodvine: 

Craggy and dignified actor whose long association with the RSC and RADA hasn't translated into stardom or luvvie status. Instead he's been rather wasted in many mediocre TV shows including 'Peak Practice', 'Emmerdale' and 'The Bill', and small parts in films like 'The Devils' and 'Young Winston'. He does boast nice '60s full-house of 'Danger Man', 'The Saint', 'The Baron', 'The Avengers' and 'The Champions'.

John Woodvine - imdb profile

Brian Pettifer

Brian Pettifer: 

This mouse-faced Scottish actor, usually cast as downtrodden and put-upon - is probably best known for his TV work in 'Get Some In', 'Hamish Macbeth' and as the timid 'Andra' in 'Rab C Nesbitt'. He was also in 'If' (1968), 'O Lucky Man' (1973) and 'Britannia Hospital' (1981) playing a character called Biles in all three. You might also remember him in 'Timeslip' or struggling with a scouse accent in 'The Liver Birds' if you are over 40.

More recently, he was excellent playing the timid would-be magician Mr Honeyfeather in the BBC adaptation of 'Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell'.


Trivia point; His folk-rocker sister Linda is better known as Mrs Richard Thompson.

As Biles in 'If…' (1968)

Brian Pettifer - imdb profile

Anna Quayle

Anna Quayle: 

† Oct 6 1932 – Aug 16 2019

Charming character actress who is apparently now quietly retired on the south coast. She played a number of severe, sad, sexy and strange roles in the '60s and '70s, including cult films like 'A Hard Day's Night' (1964), 'Smashing Time' (1967), 'Casino Royale' (1967) and 'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang' (1968), TV high points include 'The Avengers', Brideshead Revisited', 'Mapp & Lucia', and low points 'Never The Twain' and 'Grange Hill'.

She also has a choochie face 

Anna Quayle - imdb profile

Wednesday 25 April 2012

Tony Haygarth

Tony Haygarth: 

† Feb 4th 1945 – Mar 10th 2017

Stolid-looking character actor who seems to bring unusual depth and oddness to the parts he plays. Despite appearing in dull fare like 'Emmerdale' and 'Casualty', he's also played a Nazi, a Roman slave, a prison warder (in 'McVicar'), and any number of coppers and shady businessmen. Films include 'A Private Function', 'Unman Wittering and Zigo', 'Clockwise' and 'Britannia Hospital'. 

As the milkman in 'Whatever Happened To The Likely Lads?'

With Paul Greengrass in Roy Clarke's 'Rosie' 

For many, he'll always be the endearingly bone-idle PC Wilmot from the inoffensive police comedy 'Rosie', but might also be remembered for the utterly baffling, Nigel Kneale-written, sci-fi sitcom 'Kinvig', in which he starred. 

Tony Haygarth - imdb profile

Julian Holloway

Julian Holloway: 

A 'Carry-On' regular, of course, but a versatile actor - son of Stanley Holloway; and the father of Sophie Dahl - who also appears in 'The Knack', 'Young Winston', 'The Stud', 'The Great Rock And Roll Swindle' and 'Captain Kronos - Vampire Hunter'. Not to forget the Children's Film Foundation classic, 'Sammy's Super T-Shirt'. TV credits are exemplary; 'Sweeney', 'The Saint', 'Doctor Who', The New Avengers' and the rest.

A typical 'Carry On' moment: Bringing comic relief to this scene featuring a powerfully erotic performance by the late Terry Scott.  

Julian Holloway - imdb profile

David Daker

David Daker: 

Stolid bloodhound type with a classic comb-over, he has played convicts, dads, lorry-drivers, coppers (eg Constable Culshaw in 'Z-Cars'), teachers, heavies, and various nervous, shifty types. Films include a role as the disinterested dad in Terry Gilliam's 'Time Bandits' (1981),  and 'Stardust' (1974), 'The Black Windmill' (1974) and 'Britannia Hospital' (1982). 

On TV he has been seen in 'Dick Turpin', 'Minder', 'Boon', 'UFO', 'Juliet Bravo', and the last resort of the British character actor, 'Holby City'. An old dependable.

And let's not forget his appearance as medieval warrior Irongron, the first human to encounter a Sontaran in Dr Who.

David Daker - imdb profile

Tuesday 24 April 2012

Jeremy Lloyd

Jeremy Lloyd: 

† July 22 1930 – December 23 2014

Definitive upper-class twit and lecherous toff in British cinema of the '60s, he sadly abandoned acting in the '70s in favour of writing and producing TV shows like 'Are You Being Served?', 'Allo Allo' and 'Hi-De-Hi'. See him at his best in 'Smashing Time', 'School For Scoundrels', 'The Magic Christian' and 'Salt & Pepper' (as one Lord Ponsonby, naturally). He'd make a good sinister MI5 type these days.

But here's possibly his most obscure screen appearance (with thanks to punk potentate and beat-group aficionado Richard Huggins): Sabotaging The Tornados in the film 'Just For Fun' (1963).

Jeremy Lloyd - imdb profile

George Innes

George Innes: 

Wolfish tough guy and con-man type who got his first break opposite Tom Courtenay in 'Billy Liar' (1963). Since then he's been seen in films including 'The Italian Job', 'A Bridge Too Far', 'Quadrophenia', and 'Last Orders', as well as TV from 'Callan', 'Danger UXB', and 'Upstairs Downstairs', to 'The Sweeney', 'Crown Court' and 'I, Claudius'. 

Publicity still from 'Gumshoe' (1971) with Albert Finney

He also did a stint in the States with appearances on 'Hart To Hart', 'Magnum PI', 'M*A*S*H', and 'Hill Street Blues'.

 George Innes - imdb profile

Janine Duvitski

Janine Duvitski: 

Appealingly quirky and budgie-like actress. She was Angela in 'Abigail's Party', of course, but also well-known from appearances in 'Little Dorrit', 'One Foot In The Grave', 'Boys From The Blackstuff', 'Waiting For God', 'Brushstrokes' and 'Benidorm'. 

In the 'Play For Today' from 1975, 'Diane' when she was still known 
as Janine Drzewicki. Her name was changed by the time of 'Abigail's Party' 
Film credits include 'The Madness Of King George', 'Dracula' (1979), and 'About A Boy' (2002).

In the sitcom 'Waiting for God'
A children's TV role, as Emily in 'Old Jack's Boat' 

Janine Duvitski - imdb profile

Michael Jayston

Michael Jayston: 

† Oct 29 1935 – Feb 5 2024 

"Headache? Tense, nervous headache?"

Despite leading-man good looks and a rich speaking voice, he has tended to play supporting roles as suave villains, businessmen, bounders and decadent aristocrats. After a series of stage Shakespeare successes and a few starring roles in 'Quiller' and 'The Power Game', and as Rochester in 'Jane Eyre', he is now a staple of 'Emmerdale' and 'Holby City' and one of the most in-demand voice-over artists in the country. 

Michael Jayston - imdb profile

John Standing

John Standing

John Standing: 
A baronet in real life, he has made quite a career from playing patrician roles, and the occasional butler, in television and film over the years. A lot of cult TV boxes are ticked, including 'The Avengers', 'The Saint', 'Danger Man' and 'Space: 1999', and movies good and bad, from 'The Elephant Man' and 'V For Vendetta' to 'The Au Pair Girls' and 'Torture Garden'...

In 'The Au Pair Girls' (1972)
A less typical role, as a bubble-wrapped, eye-shadowed alien
in the 'Space:1999' episode 'The Mark of Archanon'
The opening credits to 'The Other 'Arf', in which he starred
as a posh Tory MP entranced by cockney model Lorraine Chase

John Standing - imdb profile

George A Cooper

George A Cooper: 
† Mar 7, 1925 - Nov 16, 2018

To those of a certain generation, he's Mr Griffiths, the school caretaker in 'Grange Hill', but this seemingly unchanging actor played grumpy old gits for forty years in television including 'Billy Liar' (TV), 'Sykes', 'Budgie', 'Randall & Hopkirk (Deceased)', 'Rising Damp', 'Bless This House', 'Steptoe & Son' and 'Juliet Bravo'. 

On the big screen, he appeared in 'The Rise and Rise of Michael Rimmer', 'The Bargee', 'Tom Jones', and 'Dracula Has Risen From The Grave'.

In case you were wondering, the 'A' in his name stands for Alphonsus.  

Jo Rowbottom

Jo Rowbottom: 

Tending to be cast as strong-willed and sassy women, she was often seen in TV comedies and drama in a string of parts as barmaids, tarts and troublesome servants. She was equally adept at portraying society ladies as she was cockney sparrows, but is best remembered as Betty in "Romany Jones' with the late James Beck. See also 'Little Women', 'I, Claudius' (as Calpurnia), 'The Professionals', 'Z-Cars', 'Steptoe & Son', 'The Baron', 'London's Burning' and 'Dr Who' ('The Evil of the Daleks' in 1967). Terrific legs apparently.

Jo Rowbottom - imdb profile

Christopher Benjamin

Christopher Benjamin, British actor, in the ITV series 'It Takes A Worried Man'

Christopher Benjamin: 

Delighted to find that this instantly recognisable actor is still going strong with the Royal Shakespeare Company. He was the link between 'Danger Man' and 'The Prisoner' playing the same character, Potter, and was a natural for 'The Avengers', 'The Saint' and 'Jason King' playing pompous, officious, charming and effete characters with equal brio and verve. Mix in an impressive high-brow and low-brow CV ranging from 'Rumpole' and 'Poldark' to 'When The Boat Comes In' and 'Dick Turpin' and you have a one-man history of British television. A stalwart.

In the opening episode of 'The Prisoner'
As Marmalade Atkins' much put-upon headmaster
He portrayed the memorable Henry Jago in the classic 'Doctor Who' story, 'The Talons Of Weng Chiang' in 1977, teaming up with the late Trevor Baxter's Professor Litefoot so successfully that the pair became spin-off characters 'Jago & Litefoot' with their own canon of adventures.  
In the 1966 'Avengers' episode 'How To Succeed... At Murder'

As Victorian actor-manager Henry Gordon Jago, a character so popular
with 'Dr Who' fans that he gained his own adventures: 'Jago & Litefoot'  

Christopher Benjamin - imdb profile

Derek Deadman

Derek Deadman: 

† May 1940 – November 21 2014

A former window-cleaner who has made a decent career out of playing dimwits, to the point that he hardly needs to act at all. Which is a good thing, as his acting seems to consist mostly of scratching his head and doing huge double-takes. See his definitive turn as Ringo in the excruciating 'Never The Twain', and spots in 'Benny Hill' (as a sort of junior Bob Todd), 'Porridge', 'George & Mildred', 'Get Some In' and hundreds of bit-part hospital porters, cabbies, butchers, and petty crooks, as well as Stor the Sontaran in the 1978 'Doctor Who' story 'The Invasion of Time'.

'Get busy with the fizzy!' Sodastream advert circa 1980 
In Michael Winner's star-studded but so dreary
British-set version of "The Big Sleep' (1978)  

He was in 'Brazil' (1985), 'Bullshot' (1983), 'Time Bandits' (1981) and a 'Harry Potter' (Philosopher's Stone, 2001), doing more of the same, and fulfilling a constant need within British cinema. For which we salute him.

Update Mar 2015: Sorry to hear that Derek Deadman passed away in Nov 2014.

Derek Deadman - imdb profile