Thursday 24 March 2022

John Nettleton

John Nettleton: 

† Feb  5 1929 – July 12 2023

A stalwart interpreter for the viewing public of the blandly powerful faces of the establishment, John Nettleton is probably most associated with the role of Sir Arnold Robinson, the civil service grandee in 'Yes Minister', and he appeared as a Tory MP in the equally satirical (if rather broader) political comedy 'The New Statesman'. 

In 'The Avengers' episode, 'The See-Through Man'

Among his well-remembered roles in television are those in 'The Avengers' ('The See-Through Man', in the Diana Rigg era, and 'The Rotters' with Linda Thorson), and in several other cult adventure properties of the time such as 'The Champions', 'Department S' and later 'The Protectors'. 'Doctor Who' fans may remeber him as the Reverend Ernest Matthews in the 1989 story Ghost Light, while mystery TV obsessives might cite his turns in 'The Rivals Of Sherlock Holmes', 'Tales Of The Unexpected', 'Haunted', 'Shadows' and 'Out Of The Unknown. He also graced popular favourites from 'Minder' and 'The Professionals' to 'Rumpole Of The Bailey' and 'The Adventures Of Black Beauty'. And let us not forget the authoritative voiceovers for Valerie Singleton's 'Blue Peter: Special Assignment' historical and factual programmes.

With Celia Imrie in a religious skit on
'Victoria Wood: As Seen On TV' 

In middlebrow TV drama, he brought his patrician demeanour to the screen many times and can be seen as Francis Bacon in 'Elizabeth R', 'The Country Wife' , 'Brideshead Revisited', 'The Flame Trees of Thika', 'The Citadel', 'Martin Luther, Heretic', 'Longitude' and 'Kingdom'. Other smaller comedy turns, which rather pale beside his 'Yes, Minister' years, include 'Please Sir!', 'If It Moves File It', 'Doctor at Large' and 'Brass'. 

Production still from the ABC series 'Haunted' from 1968

Born in 1929, John Nettleton is now into his 90s and, I hope, enjoying a pleasant retirement.
[edit 12/7/23 - John Nettleton has sadly passed on since this salute was first uploaded. Guardian obit is here]

John Nettleton-imdb