David Forbes

Character & Episode: Police Constable in The Smile Behind the Veil

David appears to have made only three television appearances. In addition to his role as the police constable in The Smile Behind the Veil in Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased), he also appeared as Tomkins in an ITV Playhouse written by Alick Rowe called Up School (transmitted on 29th December 1970) and one episode - A Lion at Sunset - of The Regiment (17th April 1972), a BBC series that had grown out of a 1970 entry in the Drama Playhouse strand. David played a character called Cornelius Uys in this latter series.

Dudley Foster

Character & Episode: George Foster in All Work and No Pay
Born: 07/08/1924, Brighouse, West Yorkshire, England (as Frank Dudley Foster)
Died: 08/01/1973, Hampstead, London, England

Skinny-looking with sharp features and precise diction, Dudley was a busy character actor for more than twenty years, notching up nearly a hundred film and television appearances. He learned a lot of his craft with Joan Littlewood's Theatre Workshop, Dudley's wealthy father having financed several of the theatre's productions.

Dudley first appeared on screen in 1954 in the BBC television play Six Characters in Search of an Author. Other early BBC Television credits include Othello (1955), Incident at Echo Six (1958) and a December 1955 episode of Fast and Loose (a Bob Monkhouse and Denis Goodwin comedy show). Dudley made several notable contributions to well-known television series, which include Coronation Street (1961), The Worker (which featured Charlie Drake, 1965) and The Saint (1965). He also featured in three episodes of The Avengers (between 1965 and 1968), four episodes of Steptoe and Son and sixteen times in Z Cars (between 1962 and 1971). He also played the villainous space pirate Caven in the 1969 Doctor Who serial The Space Pirates, which starred Patrick Troughton. Dudley was a gifted actor, equally adept at playing straight and comedic roles.

Later appearances included The Persuaders! (1971), Jason King (1972), with Peter Wyngarde in the title role and Public Eye (also 1972, his second appearance in this series), alongside his fictional All Work and No Pay brother Alfred Burke.

Tragically, and quite unexpectedly, Dudley took his own life by hanging himself early in 1973. He left a widow, the actress Eileen Kennally, whom he had married in 1952. She is notable for her roles as Mrs Boswell in The Liver Birds and Mrs Johnson in In Sickness and in Health, the 1980s revival of the Alf Garnett saga starring Warren Mitchell.

Grazina Frame

Character & Episode: Gloria March in That's How Murder Snowballs
Born: 06/11/1941, Fylde, Lancashire, England (as Lydia Anne Grazina Obrycha)

Although occasionally working as an actress over the years, Grazina has spent most of her career as a singer and was an obvious choice for her role as Gloria Marsh in Thatís How Murder Snowballs. Grazina made her television debut in an uncredited role in the television play A Time to be Reborn in 1951. By the late Fifties, she was making occasional television appearances and in the early Sixties she sang with Cliff Richard on several songs as she over-dubbed Carole Gray in The Young Ones (1961) and Lauri Peters in Summer Holiday (1963), working as a session vocalist. She also released several singles for HMV between 1962 and 1964.

Grazinaís films roles include What a Crazy World (1963), The Bargee (alongside Harry H Corbett and Ronnie Barker, 1964) Every Day's a Holiday (1964) and The Alphabet Murders in 1965. On television, she appeared in such series as Up Pompeii! (1970), The Fenn Street Gang (1971), Doctor in Charge (1972) and The Morecambe and Wise Show as a regular from 1971 to 1974, playing supporting roles to the legendary comedians. Her last screen appearance was in the television movie Cuts in 1996. In her personal life, she is married to writer Mitch Murray and was a close friend of comedian and quiz show king Bob Monkhouse.

John Fraser

Character & Episode: David Hellingworth in Whoever Heard of a Ghost Dying?
Born: 18/03/1931, Glasgow, Scotland

Born in Scotland and brought up on a council estate in Glasgow, John always wanted to be an actor and would received his first lead role in 1952 in the BBC Television adventure series Kidnapped as David Balfour. Blessed with striking good looks, John was cast in leading roles, particularly in the Sixties, and continued to work steadily until 1996, after which he retired and moved to Italy. He had appeared in more than seventy film and television roles. One of his earliest feature film roles was as Flight Lieutenant J. V. Hopgood, D.F.C. in The Dam Busters, the acclaimed 1955 war film. He went on to have starring roles in films such as the second movie version of J.B. Priestley's The Good Companions (1957), El Cid (1961) and Roman Polanski's Repulsion (1965). He became a familiar face on television, with guest roles in series including Danger Man (1964), Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) (1969), Columbo (1972), Doctor Who (1981) and The Bill (1995).

Following his retirement, John reflected on his life and career in his autobiography Close Up (2004), in which he wrote frankly about his gay life and friendships with well-known actors. He also discovered the body of fellow actor Patrick Wymark who died in Australia whilst on a theatre tour. John now has his own website and has written three novels. He was also nominated for a British Academy Award for his role as Lord Alfred Douglas in the film The Trials of Oscar Wilde (1960), which featured James Mason and Peter Finch. For sixteen years he toured the world with the London Shakespeare Group, a company he formed with fellow actors Gary Raymond and Delena Kidd.

Liz Frazer

Character & Episode: Fay Crackan in It's Supposed to be Thicker Than Water
Born: 14/08/1930, Southwark, London, England (as Elizabeth Joan Winch)

Blonde, busty Liz has had a colourful career as an actress, mainly working in comedy. London born, she attended a girls' grammar school and later studied acting at the London School of Dramatic Art. Upon leaving, Liz started her professional career in repertory theatre in Accrington. She made her big screen debut in an uncredited role in Touch And Go in 1955, a comedy film which starred Jack Hawkins. Her first major film role came in 1959 when she played Cynthia Kite in I'm All Right Jack alongside Peter Sellers, who she would work with again in Two Way Stretch (1960). On television, Liz had been appearing in several episodes of the comedy series Hancock's Half Hour between 1956 and 1960. She would work with Hancock again on the feature film The Rebel (1961) and with Hancock's co-star Sid James in a number of comedies including Citizen James and the Carry On series (four appearances, in Carry On Regardless, Carry On Cruising, Carry On Cabbie and Carry On Behind). Sixties film highlights for Liz were as Leonora in Doctor In Love (1960) with Joan Sims, The Bulldog Breed (also 1960) with Norman Wisdom, and The Amorous Prawn (1962), starring with Joan Greenwood, Dennis Price and Ian Carmichael, whom she had worked with previously on I'm All Right Jack. Double Bunk (1961) saw her cast as Sid James' girlfriend Sandra, leading to a hit record of the same name for Sid James with Liz adding some vocals.

Her Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) role represented a rare 'straight' screen appearance, though she had previously featured in The Avengers and No Hiding Place. She would later make further appearances in drama series such as Jason King (1971), The Professionals (1979), Miss Marple (1987) and The Bill (1994). However, comedy remained her staple employment on film and television, with roles in Here Come the Double Deckers!, The Goodies and The Benny Hill Show (all 1970), and in many low budget sex comedies including the Confessions of a... and Adventures of a... series at a time when the British film industry was otherwise in the doldrums. She also appeared notably as Mrs Pike in the feature film version of Dad's Army (1971). Her last screen appearance was in Holby City for the BBC in 2007.

In her private life, Liz was married to Michael Hitchcock, who died suddenly in 1974, leaving her widowed. When not acting, Liz has been a landlady and in the late Seventies could be seen on television playing darts against the professionals of the time. She was also a one-time ladies' bowls champion at the famous Hurlingham Club. In 2012, she wrote her autobiography Liz Fraser... and Other Characters, which tells of her career and of her more recent battles with ill health. She remains a remarkable lady who has led an interesting life to the full.

Section compiled by Darren Senior

Additional research and presentation by Alan Hayes

Back to Top