Tuesday 2 April 2013

Conrad Phillips

Conrad Phillips: 

† 13 April 1925 – 13 January 2016

With his thick black hair and dramatic eyebrows, here's a handsomely serious face from the past –  yet happily Mr Phillips is still with us. An almost-leading-man, who briefly attained star status in the late '50s in the swashbuckling adventure series 'William Tell', he was sometimes given top billing in a series of minor British movies up to the early '60s, before settling into a long and productive character career.

Some of those feature films were minor cult classics, like the grand guignol melodrama 'Circus of Horrors' (1961), and the feline psychological horror 'The Shadow of the Cat' (1961), but most fit firmly into the police pot-boiler category. Take your pick from 'Three Steps to the Gallows' (1953), 'The White Trap' (1959), 'Witness In The Dark' (1960), 'The Fourth Square' (1962) and quite a few others.   

Conrad Phillips in the opening credits of 'William Tell"
About to take aim at that apple in 'William Tell'

Fortunately, TV was in need of accomplished actors with handsomely serious faces, and offered parts in the likes of 'The Saint', 'The Avengers', 'The Prisoner', 'Callan' and even 'UFO' (playing a sea captain whose ship is sunk by a flying saucer).

By this time a little grey was showing and he found a stream of steady work through the latter '70s and into the '80s, in comedies such as 'Fawlty Towers', 'The Gaffer', 'Never the Twain', and 'Sorry!', and in dramas ranging from 'Crown Court' and 'Emmerdale Farm' to 'Hannay' and 'Robin of Sherwood'. 

Now retired from acting (internet sources differ on his birth year between 1925 and 1930) he lives in Wiltshire and enjoys the odd pint of real ale. Solid performance all round.                    

As a doctor in 'The Prisoner', (Episode: 'The General')  

Another dissatisfied guest at 'Fawlty Towers', (Episode: 'The Wedding Party')

Update Jan 13, 2016: Sad to hear that Conrad Phillips has died aged 90.

Conrad Phillips - imdb

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