Wednesday 22 February 2023

Arthur White


Actor Arthur White in an episode of Thriller

Arthur White: 

The elder brother of national treasure David Jason, Arthur has kept the family name and had his own long career in acting, albeit in a far less celebrated way than his little brother. His earliest forays into acting were while he was still in his teens, in a couple of budget post-war comedies 'Let's Have A Murder' (1950) with Jimmy Jewel, and 'It's A Grand Life' (1953) with Diana Dors and music hall veteran Harry Randle. He's also very briefly in 'The War Lover' (1962) a Yanks in England WWII potboiler with Steve McQueen and Robert Wagner, and the influential kitchen sink drama 'The L-Shaped Room' (1962). 

'The War Lover' (1962)  

Another news vendor role, this time in
'The Prisoner' episode 'It's Your Funeral'

Television roles take over from film in the '60s, when he appears in popular franchises such as 'The Plane Makers', 'Redcap', 'Emergency Ward 10' and 'No Hiding Place', as well as the Rediffusion sci-fi series 'Object Z' and 'Object Z Returns'. There's an episode of 'The Prisoner' with him in it, but he doesn't appear in any of the other big cult TV favourites, at least until a 'Space:1999' episode ten years later.       

Replacing Hugh Paddick in the second series
of the kids TV show 'Pardon My Genie'

The '70s saw his young brother rise to stardom, but Arthur's own star stayed relatively low in the entertainment firmament. He can be spotted in a fair bit of comedy; 'For The Love Of Ada', You're Only Young Once', 'Hark At Barker', 'The Squirrels', 'Bless This House' etc, and his younger sibling's own sitcom vehicle, 'A Sharp Intake Of Breath'.  

With the late Bernard Kay in an
episode of 'The Professionals'

Drama roles in the '70s and '80s would include a sprinkling across the likes of 'The Duchess Of Duke Street', 'The Professionals', 'Warship', 'Secret Army', the nuclear thriller 'The Brack Report' and the freaky BBC costume drama 'The Cleopatras'.  

With George Costigan in the opening scenes of the 
misfiring Miriam Carlin sitcom 'So Haunt Me'

The latter half of his 60-year career is a roll-call of the middle-brow entertainment of those decades, though, unusually, not dipping into the soaps. It's almost impossible for a character actor to avoid the multi-episode machines: the likes of 'Casualty', 'Holby City', The Bill', and the unending flow of 'Doctors'. Better things might include the 'Ruth Rendell Mysteries', 'Wycliffe' and 'The Darling Buds Of May' with little bruv. And of course, his best known role in recent years has probably been as PC Trigg, playing opposite David Jason again, as Inspector Morse's uniformed confidant and sounding board.

He must have been an inspiration to the young fella and I'm glad they've shared an obvious love of the business, so here's a salute to a big brother.  

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