John Hallam

Character & Episode: Johnny Crackan in It's Supposed to be Thicker Than Water
Born: 28/10/1941, Lisburn, Northern Ireland (as John William Francis Hallam)
Died: 14/11/2006, Clifton, Oxfordshire, England


Though born in Ireland, John's father was a superintendent at the London docks, who with his family was evacuated to Northern Ireland during the Second World War. The conflict over, the family soon moved back to England, where John later became a boarder at St Albans School in Hertfordshire.

He started his working life in a bank, later moving to the south coast where he sold deck chairs before he joined a local repertory company. He joined RADA in 1962, but missed a term due to cosmetic surgery to take an inch off his jaw. However, he learned to ride a horse to increase his chances of gaining work when he graduated. When he did, he soon joined Laurence Olivier in the National Theatre Company - and would meet his wife Vicky Brinkworth whilst with the company, though the couple would later divorce.


From 1967, he began a prolific screen career, in which he would often play hard men or military types, his 6 foot 3 inch frame making him ideal for such roles. He started in Much Ado About Nothing - a National Theatre production screened by the BBC in 1967 - and was soon seen in the films The Charge Of The Light Brigade (1968), Carry On Up the Khyber (1968), Murphy's War (1971), Anthony and Cleopatra (1972) and cult horror The Wicker Man (1973). On television in the Seventies, John appeared in Jason King (1972), Lord Peter Wimsey (1973), The Pallisers (1974), Public Eye (1975) and was a regular in The Regiment (1972), Moonbase 3 (1973), The Boy Dominic (1976) and Wings (1977). Later in 1979 John played Thomas Mallen in The Mallens, arguably his most high profile television role.


In the Eighties, he appeared in Dragonslayer (1981), The Black Adder (1983), Lifeforce (1985) and in 1986 starred as Captain Parker in the adventure series Return To Treasure Island, which starred Brian Blessed as Long John Silver. He was a regular in EastEnders for three years from 1988 and in 1990 he was briefly seen in Emmerdale. In 1993 he starred in the popular children's drama Grange Hill. His last television appearance was in 2000 when he starred a serialisation of Arabian Knights, though he provided the voice of the giant in The Selfish Giant in 2003. John, though tall with a tough guy image, was actually a keen gardener and loved the countryside. His cousin is Clive Mantle (1957-), who starred as Little John in Robin of Sherwood and as Mike Barratt in Casualty.


In his home life, John was married in 1966 to theatrical mask-maker Vicky Brinkworth. The couple had one son and three daughters, but the relationship ended in divorce many years later.


Doris Hare MBE

Character & Episode: Madame Hanska in But What a Sweet Little Room
Born: 01/03/1905, Bargoed, Monmouthshire, Wales (as Doris Breamer Hare)
Died: 30/05/2000, Denville Hall, Northwood, London, England


Born into a theatrical family, Doris Hare made her first stage appearance as a babe-in-arms, aged just three weeks. Her first professional engagement, a speaking role on stage, came at the age of three years, and as a child appeared in theatre all over the country playing in juvenile touring troupes. She would later go solo and would be known as 'Little Doris Hare'. Doris soon broadened her experience appearing in music hall, plays, cabaret and pantomimes. Her three sisters also became actresses. Doris later appeared in a number of plays written by well-known playwrights such as George Bernard Shaw, Noel Coward, Alan Bennett, Pinero and Harold Pinter. Doris was also on radio by the Thirties, and was hostess of Shipmates Ashore, the BBC's programme for the Merchant Navy, work which earned her an MBE in 1941.


Doris made her television debut as early as 1935 but would not appear regularly until the late 1940s, when it would become the main medium in which she worked. During the Sixties, she was seen in a number of series which included A House Called Bell Tower, The Avengers and for eight years she appeared occasionally in Coronation Street playing a character called Alice Pickens. Also during this time she spent a year with the National Theatre, three years with the Royal Shakespeare Company and performed with the Chichester Festival Theatre company for several seasons. Doris though is best remembered for her appearance as Mum in the popular sitcom On the Buses alongside Reg Varney and Stephen Lewis. She had taken over this role from Cicely Courtneidge, who featured only in the first series in 1969. The series ran until 1973 and spawned three spin-off films in which Hare recreated her small-screen role - On the Buses (1971), Mutiny on the Buses (1972) and Holiday on the Buses (1973). The cast also performed a stage version of the popular series in Vancouver, Canada, in 1988. Doris later appeared in three Confessions films with Robin Askwith and Tony Booth. During the Eighties, although well into her seventies, she appeared as a semi-regular in a number of series, most notably Diamonds, Comrade Dad and The Growing Pains of Adrian Mole. She made her last screen appearance in 1994.


Doris won a Variety Club of Great Britain Special Award for her contributions to show business in 1982. She was married to John Roberts from 1941 to 1973, the union ending in divorce. She did not remarry. Doris Hare died in the actors' home Denville Hall in Northwood. She left two children.


Juliet Harmer

Character & Episode: Miss Holliday in You Can Always Find A Fall Guy
Born: 11/05/1941, St. Albans, Hertfordshire, England (as Juliet Linda Harmer)


Juliet Harmer's father was a Harley Street doctor, and as a child she went to a boarding school in Hampshire, before finishing her education in Kent. She began training to be an actress and started in revue whilst at Homerton College in Cambridge. However, she trained as a primary school teacher before trying her hand as a serious actress, having been persuaded by a parent to have a go in the profession. She then spent two years on BBC Schools television working on series including English by Television. Her first dramatic screen performances were in two episodes of the medical soap opera Emergency Ward 10 in October 1963. Other early appearances were in series including Armchair Mystery Theatre (Time and Mr Madingley), The Avengers (The Town of No Return) and Danger Man (Sting in the Tail and The Man on the Beach). Her most famous role came in 1966 when she played regular character Georgina Jones in Adam Adamant Lives!, with Gerald Harper in the lead role - the series being the BBC's attempt to replicate the success of ITV's The Avengers. It was reasonably successful, lasting two seasons, and remains a cult favourite. Juliet had been a late replacement for the role and chosen out of three hundred applicants. Juliet later revealed that she was never screen tested for the role.


Like many Randall actors, Juliet also appeared in sister series Department S, figuring in two episodes, The Man in the Elegant Room and Ticket to Nowhere. She also made two appearances in The Persuaders!, another series from the same 'stable', featuring as Prue in The Old, the New and the Deadly and That's Me Over There alongside Roger Moore and Tony Curtis. Other than these appearances, her television roles would be infrequent, particularly after the Sixties had drawn to a close. In 1978, Juliet gave up her acting career to live a quiet life in a country cottage in the Cotswolds and become an artist. She briefly returned to acting for walk-on part in Paris by Night in 1988.


Juliet has also been a successful author and illustrator, publishing several books, which include children's stories and an illuminated manuscript celebrating the healing properties of herbs and flowers. In recent years she has also staged art exhibitions in Gloucester and London, which have led to several of her paintings being sold and prints made and sold of others.


In her home life, Juliet married actor William Squire (1916-89) in 1967, a partner who was more than twenty-five years her senior. Squire featured in A Sentimental Journey, the Randall and Hopkirk episode filmed directly before Juliet's You Can Always Find a Fall Guy. Her second marriage was to the British stage actor Robert Walker (1936-75, birthname Alexander Walker Stewart), and the couple had a daughter, Jessie, born in 1974. Juliet is now married to the theatre director Bill Alexander. They have one daughter, Lola.


Robin Hawdon

Character & Episode: Grant in The Smile Behind the Veil
Born: 28/03/1939, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England (as James Robin Hawdon Oldroyd)


A dependable supporting actor, Robin Hawdon attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) in London, graduating in 1959. He began his screen career in 1961 with an uncredited appearance in the film The Day The Earth Caught Fire. Robin would occasionally gain minor roles throughout the Sixties, most notably in the 1969-1970 television series Department S and in the feature film Bedazzled (1967), which starred Peter Cook and Dudley Moore. His best remembered film role was as a caveman in the Hammer film When Dinosaurs Ruled The Earth (1970). A year earlier he also had a prominent 'Bondian' role in Zeta One, a low-budget science fiction sex comedy starring Charles Hawtrey and James Robertson-Justice that was received exceptionally poorly but which has developed a cult following as one of the 'turkeys' of British cinema. On television, his face became well known to British viewers through his appearances in popular series including the BBC soap opera Compact and the Thames Television situation comedy Robin's Nest.


Robin arguably met with his greatest successes in the theatre, both as an actor and playwright. He has appeared in a number of London West End plays, ranging from the title roles in Hamlet and Henry V to Henry Higgins in Shaw's Pygmalion and began writing his own plays in 1964. He founded the Bath Fringe Festival in the Eighties and became director of the Theatre Royal Bath, one of Britain's premier touring companies. He would later be the author of several novels, the first of which was A Rustle in the Grass (Hutchinson's, 1984); The Journey (Hawthorn's, 2002) and Survival of the Fittest (SBPRA, 2013) are among his others. Robin was last seen on our screens in the television series Chalk and Cheese in 1979 alongside Michael Crawford. He has been married for well over forty years, has two daughters and several grandchildren, and has homes in Bath, France and Australia. Considering his achievements in theatre, it is perhaps a shame that his film and television career has not been as extensive.

In his personal life, he has been married to actress and psychoanalyst Sheila Davies for more than forty years. The couple have two daughters, Lindsay and Gemma.


Maurice Hedley

Character & Episode: Colonel Chalmers in Who Killed Cock Robin?


Maurice Hedley was a distinctive actor with over fifty credits to his name. Maurice came into acting late in life, making his television debut in December 1956 in The White Carnation, an edition of Play of the Week for ITV. Most of his credits are limited to guest appearances in television series. These included Emergency Ward 10, The Avengers, The Saint and Adam Adamant Lives!. His final work was in The Wednesday Play: The Sad Decline of Arthur Maybury (transmitted 29th October 1969), though his appearance in Who Killed Cock Robin? (filmed in 1968) was first screened some weeks after this in November 1969. Arguably his most high profile role was as the British Prime Minister in the BBC science fiction serials A for Andromeda (1961) and The Andromeda Breakthrough (1962).


Drewe Henley

Character & Episode: Tony in A Sentimental Journey
Born: 1940, Malvern, Worcestershire, England (as Gordon Drewe Henley)
Died: 14/02/2016, Exeter, Devon, England


For more than a decade from the early Sixties, Drewe Henley was an in-demand supporting actor. Initially he attended Collyer's School Drama Club in late 1950s. Later, he attended the Slade School of Art, and then he and his friend James Scott raised £100 and the University College London Film Society helped provide the crew and equipment for their short film The Rocking Horse (1962). He then studied at the Central School of Drama. He made his first appearance on television in the drama series The Badger Game (1962). It was also in this year that he married actress Jacqueline Pearce (1943-2018), best known for her role as Servalan in Blake's 7, though the couple would divorce in 1967. Following his television debut, Drewe soon gained minor roles in the films Heavens Above! (1963) with Peter Sellers and 633 Squadron (1964). By the end of the decade, he was featuring regularly as a guest artiste in a number of well known television series. These included Man In A Suitcase, UFO and The Avengers. In 1968 he married actress Felicity Kendall (who would later become well-known for her role in the BBC situation comedy The Good Life). The couple would have a son, Charley (who became a special effects technician), but this marriage also ended in divorce, in 1979.


Drewe's career slowed as the Seventies progressed. He also suffered depression and this contributed to the breakdown of his second marriage. One of his last acting roles was in Star Wars in 1977. Shortly after completing his work on the film, he was diagnosed with manic depression and retired from acting, his promising career cut short through illness. Drewe would later recover and marry for a third time. In recent years, Drewe and third wife Lyn ran a 'bed and breakfast' guest house in Devon and the couple were also involved in the local theatre at Colyton. Sadly Lyn passed away in September 2015 and Drewe himself died in hospital just five months later in February 2016 at the age of 75.


Patrick Holt

Character & Episode: Barry Jones in That's How Murder Snowballs
Born: 31/01/1912, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England (as Patrick George Parsons)
Died: 12/10/1993, London, England


Patrick spent some of his childhood in India with his uncle. He later went to Christís Hospital, a famous charity school in Britain. Whilst there he met Michael Wilding, another who would later go into acting, and the pair became lifelong friends. Patrick started his career using his real name of Patrick Parsons, changing his name to Patrick Holt in December 1946.


Patrick, in common with many actors, learned his trade in the theatre. He made his feature film debut (a minor uncredited role) in 1938 in the adventure film The Challenge. He had just landed a leading part in a London production when war broke out and he joined the army. He saw service in Burma, Singapore and India, often on secret missions behind enemy lines, and rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel.

After the war, he joined the J. Arthur Rank charm school and steadily established himself as a leading actor in 1950s 'second features'. He would go on to be dubbed "the Dennis Price of the B film" in Quinlan's Film Stars by film critic David Quinlan. Over a long career, Patrick amassed more than one hundred and thirty film and television credits, but by the Sixties he was often relegated to supporting roles.


Patrick made a number of notable contributions on television in such shows as Ivanhoe (1958), The Vise (1955 to 1960), The Avengers (1963), The Saint (1967) and Poldark (1975 to 1977). Notable film work includes Genghis Khan (1965), Thunderball (1965) and The Wild Geese (1978).


By evolving into a character actor, he sustained his career into old age, working on stage and television as well as in the cinema, and he was still listed in the Spotlight casting directory at the time of his death. His first wife was the actress Sonia Holm (1920-1974). In 1955, he married Sandra Dorne (1924-1992), with whom he had occasionally co-starred. The marriage was happy, and he is said never to have recovered from her death on Christmas Day, 1992. Patrick passed away the following year.


George Howe

Character & Episode: Brooks in The Smile Behind the Veil
Born: 19/04/1900, Valparaiso, Chile (as George Winchester Howe)
Died: 24/06/1986, Brighton, East Sussex, England


Originally a comedian and mimic, George Howe eventually turned to the theatre and radio drama, making his radio debut on 11th December 1923 (2LO London) with The Meredyll Quartette, when he and Elizabeth Pollock contributed imitations of London actors and actresses. His radio drama debut came just under seven years later, in Copy, "a radio intrigue" set on the Continent and written by Cyril L. Ashhurst (transmitted on the BBC Regional Programme on 29th May 1930). George took a further step, appearing for the first time in 1938 on the nascent BBC Television service in The Wooing of Anne Hathaway (transmitted 27th November 1938).


The war interrupted his career but then in the late Forties he appeared in a number of BBC television plays including Richard of Bordeaux (transmitted 6th April 1947), The Little Dry Thorn (4th and 5th September 1947), Romeo and Juliet (5th October 1947) and The Coventry Nativity Play (24th and 29th December 1949). He would appear in a second BBC production of Richard of Bordeaux in 1955, taking again the role he played in the original version - Sir Simon Burley.


He is arguably best remembered for his contributions to The Pickwick Papers (a 1952-53 serialised BBC adaptation in which he played Samuel Pickwick), the BBC television play Sing For Your Supper (25th June 1957) and The Great Waltz (a 1972 film musical). In addition to his starring role in the BBC's The Pickwick Papers, he also featured for the corporation in two other 1950s adaptations of Charles Dickens: Nicholas Nickleby (1957) and Our Mutual Friend (1958). He made his last screen appearance in 1982 in the BBC Shakespeare King Lear play before retiring.


Stuart Hoyle

Character & Episode: Kim in That's How Murder Snowballs


Stuart Hoyle was an actor, not often seen on screen, who trained at Kensington Drama School, and whose screen credits were mainly limited to the 1960s. He made his debut as a semi-regular in the 1962 BBC sci-fi series The Monsters playing a character Police Constable Mills. Today, this serial is completely lost from the archives.


Stuart also played a pilot in the epic war film Battle of Britain (1969). Other screen contributions included Hadleigh (1969), Z Cars (1971) and the ITC television movie Madame Sin (1972) which starred Bette Davis. His final television appearance was in The Flaxton Boys in 1973. Stuartís decade-long career only amounted to thirteen feature film and television credits. He married actress Eva Whishaw in 1959.


John Hughes

Character & Episode: Bank Worker in Money to Burn
Born: 23/08/1934, Hereford, Herefordshire, England (as John Price Hughes)
Died: 07/03/2006, Brighton, East Sussex, England


John Hughes was supporting actor who made more twenty-five screen appearances mainly on television in a long career which spanned nearly thirty years. Born into a musically talented family, John, a gifted solo singer as a child, won a scholarship at the age of nine and rose to be a head chorister, inspiring in him a love of performing. On leaving school, he worked at H.P. Bulmer in Hereford and then served his National Service with the RAF in Aden, during which time he acted in and presented programmes on Radio Aden. On returning to Hereford, he acted in many productions of the Greeland Players and with the YMCA, finally moving to London in the late 1950s to become a professional actor.


John made a bright start to his career, as straight man to comedian Vic Oliver and went on to join theatre repertory companies in Basingstoke, Edinburgh, Farnham, Liverpool and Westcliff-on-Sea. His television career really took off in 1962 when he was cast as Police Constable Jones, a regular character in Dixon of Dock Green, and he made over fifty appearances in the series over the following two years. His television career however became sporadic, with occasional appearance in series such as Z Cars, Elizabeth R, Budgie and New Scotland Yard. His last screen appearance was in 1997 in the science fiction film The Fifth Element (pictured).


However, it was the theatre that was his great love. John appeared in many comedies on the West End stage and was a noted member of the Theatre of Comedy, for which he appeared in and sometimes directed a slew of productions including Ray Cooney's smash hit stage farce Run for Your Wife. He was also a well-respected teacher of drama at the Arts Educational School and the RADIUS summer schools.


Peter Hughes

Character & Episode: The Butler in Whoever Heard of a Ghost Dying?
Born: 20/05/1922, London, England (as Peter Clowe Hughes)
Died: 05/02/2019, London, England


Peter Hughes was a solid character actor with more than one hundred film and television appearances to his name. He initially trained as a draughtsman designing car chassis, and moved to Coventry when his mother died in 1939 to design armoured cars. There, he joined a small repertory company and helped establish the Talisman Theatre in 1942, where he worked following some years before gaining a scholarship to the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA) in late 1940s.


In the 1950s, Peter was a stalwart of the Richmond Theatre repertory company along with actress Anne Ridler. He made his television debut in the series Robert Montgomery Presents in 1957 (Montgomery's daughter in real life was Elizabeth Montgomery who played Samantha Stevens in the long running US comedy Bewitched). 


After his debut, Peter appeared in many notable series which included Z Cars, Ghost Squad, The Avengers, Danger Man and Dixon of Dock Green. He also featured in a recurring role as a bank manager in the BBC television series Bergerac, and played General Franco in Sir Alan Parker's film adaptation of Evita, a policeman in the John Boorman movie Hope and Glory (1987), and the P&O manager in the 1984 David Lean movie A Passage to India. His last appearance came in 1999 in the popular detective series Jonathan Creek, which featured Alan Davies in the lead role.


Peter was a keen cricketer and coached for many years at Ealing Cricket Club. His son is Simon Hughes (1959-) who played first class cricket for Middlesex and Durham and is now a cricket journalist. Peter has a daughter who is a well-known historian and writer. He passed away at the grand old age of 96 in a West London hospital in 2019.


Harry Hutchinson

Character & Episode: Second Ghost in The Trouble with Women
Born: 15/09/1892, Dublin, Ireland (as Henry Edward Hutchinson)
Died: 16/04/1980, Milan, Italy


A long serving actor, initially starting in the theatre in 1911, who would not make his feature film debut until 1932 at the age 40 in The Silver Greyhound, made at the Teddington studios of Warner Brothers. His television career kicked off five years later in 1937, when television itself was less than a year old, in a BBC television play, The Coiner. He went on to appear regularly in BBC Television drama until the Television Service was interrupted in 1939 by the outbreak of the Second World War.  When the service resumed in 1946 he found himself less in demand for television work and instead concentrated on theatre and film work, which included an uncredited role in the noir classic Odd Man Out (1947) starring James Mason and directed by Carol Reed. He returned to regular television roles in the mid-Fifties.


Over the course of his career, Hutchinson would appear in nearly eighty film and television roles, albeit mainly as elderly gentlemen in minor roles. He returned to regular television roles in the late Fifties, most notably featuring in Bootsie and Snudge, ITV Play of the Week, The Avengers and Armchair Theatre. His final appearance arrived in 1973 when he played a butler in an episode of The Protectors, the ITC action series which starred Robert Vaughn and was produced by Gerry Anderson.


In his personal life, Harry married the stage actress May Fitzgerald in 1924 and it is thought that the couple had two children.


Section compiled by Darren Senior

Additional research and presentation by Alan Hayes and Denis Kirsanov

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