Chris Gannon

Character & Episode: Salesman in But What a Sweet Little Room
Born: 08/08/1931, Ireland (as Christopher Gannon)
Died: 19/04/1983, Kensington, London, England

 

A useful supporting actor active in the main from the mid-Sixties to the very early Eighties. Chris was mainly engaged for television work, guest starring in a number of popular series, including Doctor in the House, The Liver Birds, The Fenn Street Gang and Dad's Army. One of his best remembered roles was as the ill-fated stage manager Casey in the Doctor Who classic The Talons of Weng-Chiang (1977). Illness caused his early retirement in 1981 and his last credited screen appearance was in Armchair Thriller, playing a publican in The Chelsea Murders. He died in 1983 at the age of just 51.

 
 

John Glyn-Jones

Character & Episode: The Chemist in Money to Burn
Born: 28/08/1909, London, England
Died: 21/01/1997, Casablanca, Morocco

 

A busy character actor, John’s career began just before the Second World War. He was born in London, the son of a Member of Parliament, and was educated at Bishop’s Stortford College; he later attended Oxford University. It was whilst at Oxford that John joined the local repertory company. As well as going into acting, John would also later produce and direct plays.

 

His career was interrupted by the war but afterwards John resumed his theatre career and, from 1950 until the mid-Seventies, would chalk up over a hundred film and television appearances, though many were small supporting roles. Notable film roles included ones in The Adventures of Hal 5 for the Children's Film Foundation (1958), Waltz of the Toreadors (1962) and I'm All Right Jack (1959) which featured Peter Sellers in the lead role.

 

On television he made contributions to many well known series of the time, most notably The Avengers, The Persuaders!, The Saint and Danger Man. Later, John could be seen at times in regular soaps or dramas – these included Middlemarch (1968), The Pallisers (1974) and Emmerdale Farm (1972-73).

John retired in his mid-sixties and would live to the age of 87, passing away in Morocco.
 

 

Michael Goldie

Character & Episode: Gimbal in Who Shot Cock Robin?
Born: 26/02/1932, Edmonton, London, England
Died: 27/08/2013, France

 

A steady supporting actor with well over sixty film and television credits to his name. Michael made his screen debut in the comedy film Doctor in Distress in 1963. He starred or appeared in numerous television serials including Coronation Street, Doctor Who (in the serials The Dalek Invasion of Earth and The Wheel in Space), Wycliffe, Inspector Morse, The Bill and Z Cars. His film credits include Where the Bullets Fly (1966), The Body Stealers (1969), The Horror of Frankenstein (1970), The Pied Piper (1972), Lady Jane (1986) and Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991), all of which were minor, supporting roles. His last credit came in 1996 when he played a fisherman in an episode of Wycliffe.

 
 

Michael Goodliffe

Character & Episode: Arthur de Crecy in But What a Sweet Little Room
Born: 01/10/1914, Bebington, Cheshire, England (as Lawrence Michael Andrew Goodliffe)
Died: 20/03/1976, Wimbledon, London, England

 

Born in Cheshire, a parson's son, Michael was educated at St Edmund's School in Canterbury, Kent. He later went to Keble College, Oxford. From here he then entered repertory theatre in Liverpool before moving on to the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford upon Avon. The war interrupted his career and he joined the British Army. He would later be promoted to Second Lieutenant in the Royal Warwickshire Regiment in February 1940. He received a leg wound at Dunkirk during the evacuation and was captured by German forces. He was actually listed as killed in action and his obituary was published in a number of newspapers. However, Michael spent the rest of the war as a prisoner in Germany. Whilst held captive, Michael produced, wrote and acted in a number of theatrical productions.

 

After the war, he resumed his acting career and made his first television appearance in Saint Joan (1946). Michael soon graduated to film and became a regular in a number of features, most notably in the Fifties in such productions as The Wooden Horse, Sea Devils, The Battle of the River Plate and Up The Creek. He was noted for playing doctors, lawyers and army officers. Michael soon became a recognisable and dependable character actor. He remained busy during the Sixties and appeared in many well-known television series such as The Saint, Z Cars and The Avengers. He also appeared in such films as Sink The Bismarck!, 633 Squadron and Von Ryan's Express.

 

As the Seventies approached, Michael focused more on television and is well remembered for his role as Jack Barraclough in the successful Granada Television series Sam which starred Mark McManus. Sadly, Michael suffered from bouts of depression throughout his life and during one breakdown in 1976, he committed suicide by leaping from a hospital fire escape, while being treated as a patient at the Atkinson Morley Hospital.

 
 

Howard Goorney

Character & Episode: First Ghost in The Trouble with Women
Born: 11/05/1921, Cheetham, Manchester, England (as Howard Jacob Goorney)
Died: 29/03/2007, Bath, Somerset, England

 

Born into a Jewish family in Cheetham, Manchester, the son of a textile agent, Howard was educated at the local high school. He started his professional career in an accountant's office in Altrincham. After a visit to the theatre he decided to dedicate his life's work to acting. The following year he applied to join Joan Littlewood's theatre company and was accepted; he would become one of her stalwart actors for many years.

 

His early work was almost exclusively for the theatre until he broke through into television on a regular basis in the 1960s, though he had made his television debut in 1952 in the BBC's Portrait of Peter Perowne, in which he portrayed Kleinitz. He would eventually appear in almost one hundred television and films, with his final role coming in 2004 in the BBC One soap opera EastEnders. He figured in several ITC series, including Danger Man (Are You Going to Be More Permanent?, 1965), The Saint (A Double in Diamonds, 1967), Man in a Suitcase (The Boston Square, 1968) and The Adventurer (Deadlock, 1972). Other notable appearances included The Avengers (1961, 1963), Z Cars (the recently recovered Family Feud, 1962), Under the Same Sun (1978) and The Borgias (1981).

 

In his personal life, Howard was married in 1957 to the actress Stella Riley. The couple had two children, a son and a daughter, and remained together until Howard's death in 2007.

 
 

Michael Gothard

Character & Episode: Perrin in When the Spirit Moves You
Born: 24/06/1939, London, England (as Michael Alan Gothard)
Died: 02/12/1992, Hampstead, London, England

 

Michael was born in London in 1939. As a small child, he lived in both Wales and London. After leaving Haverstock School, he travelled in France for several months before returning home. He went through various jobs, including being a building labourer and a trainee reporter. He even had a brief spell as a clothes model.

 

He joined the New Arts Theatre as a scenery mover, and became part of an amateur film a friend was making. After landing the lead role, he was encouraged to take up the profession. He attended evening classes at an actors' workshop whilst holding down a day job. He was involved working in some of the first 'lunchtime theatre' productions in the 1960s, from pub cellars to top floor spaces off St Martin's Lane.

 

His first television role was in an episode of Out of the Unknown in 1966, The Machine Stops. For an inexperienced actor, it was a remarkable performance, and it led to Australian director Don Levy casting him in his challenging 1967 film, Herostratus, which concerned a young man (Gothard) who was driven to commit suicide in public by throwing himself from a tall building. Tragically, both men would later commit suicide themselves. The film brought Michael acclaim, but no major work. Consequently, he appeared in both Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) and Department S in second-string roles, the demands of which were really beneath his ability. He then acquired a female following after taking a role as the villainous Mordaunt in the BBC's adaptation of Twenty Years After (Further Adventures of the Musketeers).

 

Michael had a stand-out role in Ken Russell's controversial 1971 horror film, The Devils, as a fanatic witch-hunter and exorcist who defiles Vanessa Redgrave and tortures Oliver Reed. His performance as a young disillusioned hippie in Barbet Schroeder's La Vallée (1972) contrasted with the rest of his career. He also played a fictionalised version of the 17th century assassin John Felton in Richard Lester's 1973 film of The Three Musketeers and its 1974 sequel, The Four Musketeers.

 

Michael had a regular role as Kai opposite Oliver Tobias' King Arthur in the ITV Arthur of the Britons series during the early 1970s. He also appeared as the menacing, non-speaking Belgian villain Loque in the Bond film For Your Eyes Only in 1981. His later appearances included supporting roles in Tobe Hooper's 1985 science-fiction horror extravaganza Lifeforce, and as George Lusk in the 1988 TV movie Jack the Ripper, which starred Michael Caine and Lewis Collins.

 

Michael continued to work in television and film, but the depression which he had suffered from for most of his life became more of an issue. Unfortunately, it was during a bout of melancholia that he committed suicide by hanging on 2nd December 1992. He lived in Hampstead at the time of his death and had never married. His final role was in David Wickes' 1992 television movie of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, in which he played alongside Patrick Bergin and Randy Quaid. He was an actor of great versatility, who possessed the intangible ability to draw the camera to him, and his legacy is an impressive one.

 
 

Michael Graham

Character & Episode: Anaesthetist in You Can Always Find a Fall Guy

Born: 24/09/1935

 

A supporting actor who made occasional screen appearances, Michael had commenced his acting career on the South African stage in the early 1950s. At this point he was going by the name Leonard Graham, although it is unclear whether this was a stage name or his birth name. During this time, he courted controversy in the apartheid regime by performing on stage before an audience of black people, and was arrested (according to a retrospective 1961 report in the British newspaper The Daily Herald). English shipping records show Leonard Graham, an actor with a British Passport, arriving in Southampton from Durban, South Africa, on 11th April 1958.

 

After arriving in England, in order to continue a career in acting he was required to change his name as there was already an actor in the actor's union Equity with the name Leonard Grahame. To avoid confusion Equity insisted that no two actors working in the United Kingdom did so under identical or phonetically similar names - and therefore when Leonard Graham joined the Derby Repertory Company in 1958, he had magically transformed himself into Michael Graham. He remained with Derby Rep for a couple of years, while also making his first steps into a British screen career.

 

His career in British television started with an appearance in ITV's Play Of The Week (The Liberty Man, transmitted on 1st October 1958). In 1960 he appeared in Josetta, an episode of Danger Man, playing a character called Ruez. In 1963 he played PC Haywood in three episodes of Z Cars, and later that year had an uncredited role in Carry On Cabby being referred to as "male kisser". Michael mostly appeared in small roles on television in such programmes as Dr Finlay's Casebook, Thursday Theatre (The Young Elizabeth), The Champions (A Case of Lemmings), The Saint (The Convenient Monster and The Persistent Patriots) and Return of the Saint (Dragonseed). After this he made only a few screen appearances, the last being in The Three Gables, the opening episode of The Memoirs Of Sherlock Holmes in 1994.

 
 

Earl Green

Character & Episode: Ramon Crackan in It's Supposed to be Thicker Than Water

 

An occasional bit part actor with only a dozen known credits to his name. Earl made his screen debut in a television play called Mario in 1959. Other highlights include Z Cars, Ghost Squad and The Saint. His last television appearance was in the BBC series Churchill's People in 1975.

 
 

Keith Grenville

Character & Episode: PC Russell in The Trouble with Women

 

An occasional actor who made his debut in 1965 in the hospital drama series Emergency Ward 10. Other highlights include the situation comedy George and the Dragon with Sid James and Peggy Mount, Gerry and Sylvia Anderson's UFO and the well-remembered children's time travel adventure series Timeslip.

 
 

Michael Griffiths

Character & Episodes: Inspector Nelson in
That's How Murder Snowballs
and A Disturbing Case
Born: 12/11/1943, Islington, London, England (possible as John Michael Griffiths)

 

Michael Griffiths made the first of his two appearances as Inspector Nelson in That's How Murder Snowballs (the other being in A Disturbing Case). The character, less acerbic than Ivor Dean's Inspector Large, still displays a contempt for Randall's methods, but once on board with the private detective's investigation, he is a supportive foil. Griffiths was again directed by Paul Dickson shortly after filming That's How Murder Snowballs in the Department S episode The Bones of Byrom Blain - he would play another policeman, Superintendent Collins. Griffiths' earliest screen credit was in 1958, in the serialisation of The Diary of Samuel Pepys. Notable appearances followed, including roles in No Hiding Place, Dixon of Dock Green, Softly Softly and its follow up Softly Softly: Task Force (1969), and The Professionals (1980). In recent years, Michael has become a sought after voice artiste and is also a highly skilled trombone player. He was married from 1961 until 1985 to the actress Annette Crosbie, most famous for her role alongside Richard Wilson in the BBC situation comedy One Foot in the Grave. he couple have two children, Owen who is a sound engineer, and actress Selina Griffiths (1969-), who plays Pauline in the comedy series Benidorm. To date, his last screen appearance was in the film short First Press in 2011.

 
 

Michael Gwynn

Character & Episodes: Hyde Watson in The Man from Nowhere
Born: 30/11/1916, Bath, Somerset, England (as Michael Denys Gwynn)

Died: 29/01/1976, London, England

 

Michael Gwynn was a tall (6ft 4ins), craggy-faced character actor who made nearly one hundred film and television appearances in his career. Growing up, Michael went to Mayfield College in Sussex, and during the war he served in the King’s African Rifles. It was not until after the war that he really took to acting and started appearing in theatre. He would make his TV debut at the age of 35 as Sandy Arbuthnot in The Three Hostages (1952), a BBC serialisation of John Buchan's fourth Hannay novel, with Patrick Barr starring in the lead role of Richard Hannay. The six-part serial was performed and transmitted live and was not recorded for posterity.

 

For the rest of his career, Michael mixed theatre with TV and film roles. His most notable film roles include playing Bernard in science-fiction classic Village of the Damned (1960, based on John Wyndham's The Midwich Cuckoos) with George Sanders in the lead role. Michael also gave a good performance in the Ray Harryhausen classic Jason and the Argonauts in 1963, playing the priest Hermes. He also appeared in several Hammer films, including the controversial and bloodthirsty war film The Camp on Blood Island (1958) and Never Take Sweets from a Stranger (1960), a rare straight drama film for the studio. Michael also appeared in one of Hammer's very best horror movies, The Revenge of Frankenstein (1958), in which he played a tragic experimental subject who turns into a cannibalistic killer. He was later to return to Hammer to appear in the much less well-regarded Scars of Dracula (1970), in which he portrayed an ill-fated village priest determined to battle Count Dracula.

 

Perhaps the most famous role that Michael is remembered for was in A Touch of Class, the first episode of the highly-acclaimed BBC comedy Fawlty Towers (1975), as the conman 'Lord' Melbury. Gwynn's character preys on, robs and humiliates the hotelier Basil Fawlty, who is keen to ingratiate himself and his hotel with the aristocracy. Of course, Melbury is not what he seems and is eventually captured by the police.

 

Michael was a busy stage actor and also appeared in several adaptations of plays on the Caedmon Records label. Among them were Cyrano de Bergerac, in which he played Le Bret, and Julius Caesar, in which he played Casca. Both productions starred Ralph Richardson in the title roles.

 

Michael was married in 1940 and remained so until his death in 1976, which was the result of an unexpected heart attack.

 

Section compiled by Darren Senior

Additional research and presentation by Alan Hayes and Denis Kirsanov

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