Peter Vaughan

Character & Episode: James Howarth in Never Trust a Ghost
Born: 4/4/1923, Wem, Shropshire, England (as Peter Ewart Ohm)
Died: 6/12/2016, Mannings Heath, West Sussex, England

 

Though born in Shropshire, Peter was brought up in Staffordshire where he attended Uttoxeter Grammar School. Soon after leaving he joined the Wolverhampton Repertory Theatre, also gaining experience in other repertory theatres across the country before army service brought a halt to his acting career. During the war he served in the Army and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Royal Corps of Signals, serving in Normandy, Belgium and the Far East. At the end of the war, he was in Singapore and present during the liberation of Changi Prison.

 

After the war, he resumed acting but purely in theatre. Then in 1952 he married the well-known actress Billie Whitelaw (1932-2014). For a while Peter was in the shadow of the up and coming Billie. He made his screen debut in 1954 in the TV series Stage by Stage, the first of more than two hundred film and television appearances. He rose to become one of Britainís leading character actors.

 

An early well-known role for Peter was as the Police Chief in the spy drama The Devilís Agent (1962). A further role in the film Smokescreen (1964) gained him wider notice within the industry. He was often cast as villains; in 1965 he starred with Tallulah Bankhead in the Hammer Horror Fanatic and two years later he starred alongside Frank Sinatra in The Outside Man.

 

Having divorced Billie Whitelaw in 1966, Peter would marry another actress, Lillias Walker Ė the couple would occasionally act together and remained married until Peterís death in 2016. A role that people particularly remember Peter for is his portrayal of Grouty in the BBC situation comedy Porridge (1974) - though he is also well remembered for his more dramatic roles, such as in The Gold Robbers (1969), a series in which he took the lead role. Peter would remain busy and hugely in demand for both television and film,  until shortly before his death and his final role was as Maester Aemon Targaryen in the HBO hit series Game of Thrones between 2011-15.

 

Peterís stepdaughter Victoria Burton (1955-), an actress most notable for her role in High Road as Jennifer Goudie, is married to comedian and actor Gregor Fisher (1953-). Peter appeared in an episode of Fisher's popular Rab C Nesbitt series in 1994.

 
 

Sue Vaughan

Character & Episode: Blonde Girl in Car in Vendetta for a Dead Man

 

Sue Vaughan made a handful of screen appearances in 1968 and 1969. Her first role was uncredited as a hospitality girl in the comedy feature film Carry On Up The Khyber (1968). Towards the end of that year, she recorded an episode of The Wednesday Play called The Fabulous Frump. It was screened in early January 1969 and starred Sheila Steafel, Peter Butterworth and Donald Churchill. She filmed her role in Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) in March 1969, although Vendetta for a Dead Man was not actually screened until November 1970. Another uncredited role brought her brief career to an end, much as it had started, when she played a ĎLa Belle Amie Girlí in the black comedy adventure film The Assassination Bureau, which starred Oliver Reed, Diana Rigg and Telly Savalas.

 
 

Don Vernon

Character & Episode: The Choreographer in Money to Burn
Born: 26/07/1927, Brentford, Middlesex, England (as Donald Woodbridge)

 

A very occasional actor with only a handful of television credits to his name. By profession a dancer and choreographer, Don made his screen debut in 1954 in the second episode of the Bob Monkhouse / Denis Goodwin comedy show Fast and Loose for the BBC. His first feature film appearance was as a dancer in the horror film The Flesh and the Fiends (filmed 1959, released 1960). The film, based on the murderous activities of Burke and Hare, featured Peter Cushing and Donald Pleasance in the starring roles. Don also had uncredited roles in The Witches (1966) and the musical Half a Sixpence (1967), which featured Tommy Steele. He also featured in three episodes of the BBC science fiction series Doomwatch, but only in walk on parts. His last role was again as a dancer in Roman Polanski's Macbeth (1971). In his personal life, he married actress Julia Sutton in 1963. They had four children, Kate-Alice (a West End performer), Harvey, Nicholas and Stuart, all of whom carry their father's original surname, Woodbridge.

 
 

Anne de Vigier

Character & Episode: Julia Fenwick in But What a Sweet Little Room
Born: 22/12/1943, Ealing, London, England

 

An actress who had a brief career, mainly in the Sixties, with almost twenty credited roles to her name, almost all confined to television. Her most notable role was as Imogen in the BBC's epic period drama The Forsyte Saga (1967, based upon John Galsworthy's popular novels). As the series followed the story of a family through a period of change from 1879 to 1926, Anne's character did not feature in the full 26-episode run (she appeared in seven episodes), but she would be considered a regular cast member nonetheless. Other notable appearances included roles in ITC film series The Saint and The Persuaders!.

 

Section compiled by Darren Senior

Additional research and presentation by Alan Hayes and Denis Kirsanov

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