Ronald Lacey

Character & Episode: Beatnik (Hendy) in My Late, Lamented Friend and Partner
Born: 28/09/1935, Harrow, Middlesex, England
Died: 15/05/1991, London, England

A popular character actor with a career spanning over thirty years, often known for playing villains. Perhaps his most famous role was as Major Arnold Toht in Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981). Ronald attended Harrow Weald Grammar School and after a brief stint of national service, he studied at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. He began his acting career in 1961 in a TV play called The Secret Agent. His first notable performance was at the Royal Court in 1962's Chips with Everything. Ronald had an unusual pug look with beady eyes and cherub's cheeks, which landed him repeatedly in bizarre roles on both stage and screen.

With nearly one hundred and fifty television and screen credits Ronald became a familiar face on the British screens and was often compared to Peter Lorre due to his mannerisms. Despite being busy, Ronald was disappointed with his career and by the late Seventies considered starting a talent agency. His role in Raiders of the Lost Ark changed his mind and he followed this up appearing with Clint Eastwood in Firefox (1982), Brooke Shields in Sahara (1983), and with Arnold Schwarzenegger in Red Sonja (1985).

Ronald was well liked and had time for his fans. He was of Welsh descent and he owned a cottage in Wales. He was married twice, firstly to Mela White, with whom he had two children. His daughter Rebecca Lacey is also an actress most notable for her appearances in Casualty. After a bitter divorce he married Joanna Baker and the couple had two sons - his son Matthew is the godson of Hammer Films' beauty Barbara Shelley. He was a heavy drinker and smoker and appeared regularly in the gossip pages, often for the wrong reasons. It is possible that his lifestyle contributed to his long-term battle with cancer. Even when in his twenties he had his lower intestines removed and as a result had to have a colostomy bag fitted. His health problems continued over the years and he was turned down for several film roles due to his health, though this period included a fine comic performance in Blackadder II as the Bishop of Bath and Wells. During the last decade of his life his weight ballooned dramatically, mainly due to his treatment as he fought his ongoing battle with cancer. He would succumb to the disease when it spread to his liver. He was a fine character actor.

Peter Lawrence

Character & Episode: Policeman in The Smile Behind the Veil
Died: 18/03/1998

An occasional minor supporting actor who was often uncredited in non-speaking roles. Peter first appeared on television in the the BBC Wales series How Green was My Valley, in which he played a barman in the second episode (transmitted 8th January 1960). He also featured in two other BBC Wales productions later that same year: Who Killed Menna Lorraine? (21st April 1960) and A Matter of Degree (13th June 1960). He appeared in several episodes of Z Cars and later, Softly Softly, and also featured in Crossroads as Detective Inspector Rigby, a recurring role between 1965 and 1972. He also had small roles in Call Oxbridge 2000 (a 1961 spin-off series of Emergency Ward 10), Doctor Who (he played the Visier in the serial Marco Polo in 1964), Department S and The Saint.

In common with his colleague Clare Jenkins from The Smile Behind the Veil, he also appeared in Anglia Television's 1966 soap opera Weaver's Green, in which he played the regular role of Police Constable Moneypenny. His last known appearance was playing a doctor in The Spongers, a Play for Today broadcast by the BBC on 24th January 1978.

George Lee

Character & Episode: Police Sergeant in For the Girl Who Has Everything

An occasional actor, George made his television debut in 1964 playing - ironically - a police constable in the BBC crime series Detective. He would often play policeman or security guards in a number of minor roles.

His contributions, mainly on television, would be to series including Softly Softly, Dixon of Dock Green, Blake's 7 and two episodes of Fawlty Towers. His last appearance was in 1988 in the drama series The Fear, for which he was credited as 'man in the pub'.

Philip Lennard MBE

Character & Episode: Johns, the Butler in Who Killed Cock Robin?
Born: 24/09/1908, London, England
Died: 09/1994, Lambeth, London, England

During the Second World War, Philip worked for British Intelligence in Germany, and was actually reported falsely as killed. His efforts for his country gained him an MBE in 1945. He came into acting late in life and would not make his debut on television until 1951. He was for a while busy during the Fifties appearing in such well known shows of the time as The Three Musketeers, The Count of Monte Cristo and The Grove Family. By the Sixties his output slowed, and he made his final television appearance in 1998 in A Villain's Tale, an episode of Law and Order.

Valerie Leon

Character & Episode: Kay in That's How Murder Snowballs
Born: 12/11/1943, Islington, London, England

A strikingly good looking brunette actress, tall at 5 feet 11 inches, Valerie has many memorable credits to her name, though it is undoubtedly as the Hai Karate girl in a series of 1970s after shave advertisements that she is best remembered. Her father was the director of a textile company and her mother had trained at RADA but left acting to raise her family. The eldest of four children who were all taught privately, Valerie studied retail design at college from the age of 15. Afterwards, she worked briefly as an au pair in France, but soon returned to Britain and was employed by Harrods as a trainee fashion designer. She played truant to audition for a part as a chorus girl in a theatre production and gained the part. She also decided to take singing lessons which led to a tour with Barbara Streisand in Funny Girl.

Valerie, though, wanted to be an actress. In 1967 she made her screen debut in The Saint. She soon followed this with minor roles in The Baron (1967) and The Avengers (1968). Later that year she played a hospitality girl in Carry On Up the Khyber. The following year she returned with a speaking part as Miss Dobbin in Carry On Camping and showed Charles Hawtrey "How to put the pole up". Later that year she had an uncredited role in The Italian Job, and played Kay in an episode of Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) That’s How Murder Snowballs.

In 1970 she starred as Tanya alongside Peter Cook in The Rise and Rise of Michael Rimmer; the film was not a box office success though it has since become a cult favourite. Her biggest screen role followed in 1971 when she was cast as Margaret Fuchs and Queen Tera in the horror film Blood from the Mummy’s Tomb which also starred Peter Cushing, Andrew Keir and James Villers. In this film, Valerie showed that she was much more than just a pretty face, putting in a fine acting performance. Sadly, no further major roles were to follow for her.

In 1972 Valerie was cast as Jane Darling in Carry On Matron and she returned for her last Carry On film, with a much more sizable role as Paula Perkins, in Carry On Girls in 1973, though her voice was dubbed by June Whitfield.  In the same year, she also featured in the film No Sex Please, We’re British.

In 1974 she married television producer Michael Mills (1919-1988) and the couple had two children and remained married until his death.

In 1975 Valerie appeared in an episode of Space: 1999 and the following year was seen in The Goodies - It Might As Well Be String. She was twice a James Bond girl, making her first appearance in 1977 in The Spy Who Loved Me with Roger Moore, before returning in 1983 as the ‘Lady in Bahamas’ in Never Say Never Again, which saw the unexpected return of Sean Connery as Bond. In 1978 she played prostitute Tanya, dressed in black leather gear and brandishing a whip, in Revenge of the Pink Panther.

Valerie retired from the screen in 1983 to raise her family but returned in 2006 in the thriller Gas and is still acting today. Her appearances in horror, Bond films and the Carry Ons have resulted in Valerie gaining cult status; she is regularly seen at conventions. In 2008 she attended the fiftieth anniversary Carry On convention at Pinewood and looked as stunning as ever. Valerie has her own company called Valerie Leon Promotions and specialises in gourmet restaurants and art-related activities.

Charles Lloyd Pack

Character & Episode: Cecil Purley in Whoever Heard of a Ghost Dying?
Born: 10/10/1902, London, England
Died: 22/12/1983, London, England

A well known and popular character actor with nearly two hundred film and television credits to his name in a career lasting almost fifty years. Although he made his screen debut in 1936 he was not a regular in films and television until the Fifties, and initially appeared in a number films that are now long forgotten. Early notable roles from the Fifties and Sixties include a succession of guest roles in The Adventures of Robin Hood (1955-1960), The Larkins (as the Reverend Spoonforth from 1958-1963), Hancock (The Lift, 1961) and four Armchair Theatre plays between 1956 and 1964. Charles was also seen in several horror movies produced by Hammer Studios including Dracula and The Revenge of Frankenstein (both 1958), The Man Who Could Cheat Death (1959) and The Reptile (1966). His best known role was as Professor Marks in the ITC television series Strange Report (1969-1970) but he is also fondly remembered for his work in Quatermass 2 (the Hammer Films adaptation of Nigel Kneale's classic BBC Television serial, 1957), The Avengers (Silent Dust, 1965, and You'll Catch Your Death, 1968) and The Prisoner (It's Your Funeral, 1967).

From 1921 until his death he was married to Ulrike Elizabeth Pulay (1921–2000). The couple had two children, one of whom was the actor Roger Lloyd Pack (1944-2014) who is fondly remembered for his role as Trigger in the hugely popular BBC situation comedy Only Fools and Horses. Roger's daughter is actress Emily Lloyd (1970-) who met with success as a young actress, though her career has suffered more recently due to psychological issues. Charles' grandson is the writer Louis Lloyd Pack and Charles' other son Christopher was a stage manager, so there is plenty of family tradition in the creative arts.

Harry Locke

Character & Episode: Night Porter (Sid) in My Late, Lamented Friend and Partner
Born: 10/12/1913, London, England
Died: 07/07/1987, London, England

Harry was a familiar face for over three decades on our screens and appeared in well over one hundred films and television series, often being a member of the supporting cast. He started his career in the theatre in the early Thirties, but the war intervened during which he spent six years serving in the Intelligence Corps. He was involved in all aspects of the media and even had a go at being a stand-up comedian.

He made his screen debut in the film drama The Day Will Dawn in 1942 which also starred Deborah Kerr and Ralph Richardson. After being demobbed, Harry started acting as a full-time career and steadily gained bit parts in films. In 1949 he played a Sergeant in Passport to Pimlico. The following year he played Haggot in Treasure Island, which starred Bobby Driscoll and Robert Newton. As the Fifties progressed, Harry won roles in Doctor in the House (1954), Reach for the Sky (1956), Doctor at Large (1957) and Carlton-Browne of the F.O. (1959). Later in 1959 he played Mick the Orderly in the first of his three Carry On films in Carry On Nurse (he would return to the series in 1967 in Carry On Doctor and in 1969 in Carry On Again Doctor). The Fifties ended for Harry with a role as a union official in another comedy, I'm All Right Jack. In 1962 he starred in Crooks Anonymous, and later that year he was cast as Albert Huggin in The Amorous Prawn. Later, in 1965, he starred in the Norman Wisdom film The Early Bird. The following year he was in two episodes of Disneyland. As the Seventies approached, Harry was seen less on our screens: in 1972 he played a cook in the horror film Tales From The Crypt, and his last appearance was as a gardener in the children's series Just William in 1977.

David Lodge

Character & Episode: Beeches in Who Killed Cock Robin?
Born: 19/08/1921, Rochester, Kent, England
Died: 18/10/2003, Denville Hall, Northwood, London, England

David's father was a well-known orator in the Royal Navy; his mother was a singer. As a child, David attended St Nicholas School in Golden Square, London, and enjoyed singing comic songs in concerts. Whilst there, he worked as a paperboy and butcher's assistant. When he left school, he joined the Post Office, but when war broke out, David, who had grown to six feet tall with the physique to match, joined the RAF. His career in showbusiness stems from being heard singing in the bath one evening by a pianist called Teddy Rubach who invited him to sing in his band. By the end of the war, David was one of twelve members of Ralph Reader's Gang Show, alongside the likes of Dick Emery and Peter Sellers, with whom David would remain a close friend until Sellers' death in 1980.

On being demobbed, David worked in rep, holidays camps and was even the circus. After a short spell in Ireland as part of a double act, he came back to Britain and featured in the comedy Orders Are Orders (1954). David would appear in well over a hundred films, though he was never cast in a lead role. David said that he was not cut out for romantic roles, insisting "this ugly mug of mine gets me the meaty parts". Early on, his roles were often in war film like The Cockleshell Heroes (1955) but by the end of the Fifties he was coming to notice in comedy roles in films including Girls at Sea (1958) and I'm All Right Jack (1959, alongside Sellers). Other roles with Sellers followed swiftly in its wake: Two Way Stretch (1960) and A Shot in the Dark (1964). In 1961 he appeared in the first of five Carry On films, starting with Carry On Regardless (he would also feature in seven television episodes of Carry On Laughing in 1975). Other Sixties film roles included small parts in The Intelligence Men (1965), The Wrong Box (1966) and Casino Royale (1967), while on television he could be seen in the BBC's Benny Hill series, The Avengers and The Champions. In the following decade, he figured notably in The Amazing Mr Blunden (1972) as Mr Wickens, returned to the side of Peter Sellers' Inspector Clouseau in The Return of the Pink Panther (1975), and filmed his final Carry On appearance as Captain Bull in Carry On England (1976). On television from 1975 he was a regular cast member of the anarchic comedy sketch show Q which was written by and starred Spike Milligan.

Although the frequency of David's screen appearances lessened in the Eighties, he did however write his autobiography in 1986 entitled Up The Ladder to Obscurity. His last screen appearance was in Lovejoy in 1993. For many years he lived as a bachelor with his parents and a budgerigar in Winchmore Hill, North London. However, in June 1963, while working in Yugoslavia on the Viking epic The Long Ships he surprised everyone - after a whirlwind 24-hour courtship, he proposed to a French journalist and ex-model Lyn Guillermin, to whom he remained devoted until her death in 1996.

Maggie London

Character & Episode: Nurse in You Can Always Find a Fall Guy
Born: 1937, England (as Margaret E. Lyndon)

Maggie was a well known model in the Sixties and made a few minor film and television appearances during this time. She had an uncredited role in the Beatles film A Hard Day's Night in 1964, and also appeared in Maroc 7 (1967), a largely forgotten film which featured Gene Barry and Leslie Phillips. Maggie also featured in The Desperate Diplomat, a 1968 episode of The Saint and There Must Be a Mr X, a 1969 Paul Temple story. Her last role was - aptly - playing a model in the television drama Menace in 1970.

In her personal life she was once married to Mike d'Abo, the lead singer of Manfred Mann. They had a son and daughter, both of whom went into the acting profession.

Cyril Luckham

Character & Episode: Laverick in Who Killed Cock Robin?
Born: 25/07/1907, Salisbury, Wiltshire, England
Died: 08/02/1989, London, England

A popular and recognisable character actor with a considerable acting range, Cyril was well known in theatre and has more than one hundred television and screen credits to his name. He made his debut in the thriller Murder in Reverse in 1945. He would, during a lengthy career, appear in many well-known television series. These included playing the White Guardian, a powerful being acting in the interests of order in the universe, in the long running science fiction television series Doctor Who. He appeared in The Ribos Operation, the first serial in the 1978-79 season (retrospectively dubbed the Key to Time season), and returned in Enlightenment in 1983. Viewers following the post-Doctor Who career of actress Louise Jameson (Leela in the series) might well have tuned into The Omega Factor, a 1979 psychological thriller series made by BBC Scotland and seen the urbane, gentle White Guardian in another, quite terrifying guise, as rogue psychic Edward Drexel - perhaps Cyril's most impressive role.

In other genres on television, Cyril had featured in the 1967 BBC serialisation of The Forsyte Saga, in which he played Sir Lawrence Mont, father-in-law of Fleur Forsyte. He also portrayed Archbishop Thomas Cranmer in the film adaptation of A Man for All Seasons (1966) and the long-suffering Father O'Hara in the BBC situation comedy Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em.

In his personal life he was married to actress Violet Lamb (1911-2009). Taken ill while visiting his doctor, Cyril died suddenly of a heart attack in 1989.

Reg Lye

Character & Episode: Manny in When the Spirit Moves You
Born: 14/10/1912, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia  (as Reginald Lye)
Died: 23/03/1988, Australia

Born in Australia, Reg built up a good career in his home country before moving to England, where he became a familiar face on television. When he moved to Britain in the early Sixties, he was already regarded as one of the best character actors in Australia. In a long career he figured in nearly one hundred and fifty film and television productions.

Reg immediately found regular work in Britain, appearing in many of the series of the day. Notable appearances include The Saint (1964-65), Mrs Thursday (1966-67), Doctor Who - The Enemy of the World (1968) and Dixon of Dock Green (1964-69). In the Seventies, he appeared in shows such as Jason King (1971), Doctor on the Go (1975), Crown Court (1973-76) and Return of the Saint (1978).

However, by the Seventies he was splitting his time between Britain and Australia. He won the Australian Film Institute award for the 1975 production Sunday Too Far Away, opposite Jack Thompson. By the turn of the decade his output slowed considerably and he would pass away in his native country in 1988.

Section compiled by Darren Senior

Additional research and presentation by Alan Hayes

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