Christopher Benjamin (actor)

English actor (born 1934)

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Christopher Benjamin
Born (1934-12-27) 27 December 1934 (age 89)

Occupation Actor
Years active 1958–2016
Spouse Anna Fox

Christopher Benjamin (born 27 December 1934) is a retired English actor with many stage and television credits since the 1960s. His television roles include three appearances in Doctor Who, portraying Sir Keith Gold in Inferno (1970), Henry Gordon Jago in The Talons of Weng-Chiang (1977) and Colonel Hugh Curbishley in The Unicorn and the Wasp (2008). He also provided the voice of Rowf in the animated film The Plague Dogs (1982).[1] His radio acting career included two BBC Radio adaptations of Christopher Lee’s crime drama Colvil and Soames.[2]

Early life[edit]

Benjamin was born in Trowbridge, Wiltshire, England.[3]

Career[edit]

He is well known for his roles in some of the UK’s biggest cult television programmes.[4] This included playing the same character (“Potter”) in two Patrick McGoohan dramas, Danger Man and The Prisoner, fuelling speculation that they are possibly linked.[5] He played the Old Man (boss of Philip Roath) in the Thames Television comedy by Peter Tilbury, It Takes a Worried Man (1981).[6] He was also an occasional guest star in The Avengers and Doctor Who, making three appearances in each, mostly in comedy roles.[7]

He also played recurring roles in several period dramas. He was Sir John Glutton, the regular adversary in the period family adventure series Dick Turpin, Channing in several episodes of the third series of When The Boat Comes In, and Prosper Profound in the acclaimed 1967 adaptation of The Forsyte Saga.[8][9][3] He reprised the role of Henry Gordon Jago, from the Doctor Who serial The Talons of Weng-Chiang in thirteen series of Jago and Litefoot audio plays, after a well received episode of the Big Finish Productions audio C.D. series Doctor Who: The Companion Chronicles entitled The Mahogany Murderers.[10][11] He acted alongside Trevor Baxter who played Professor George Litefoot. He was Sir William Lucas in the acclaimed 1995 production of Pride and Prejudice.[12]

His few film roles include appearances in Ring of Bright Water (1969), Brief Encounter (1974), Hawk the Slayer (1980), The Tichborne Claimant (1998) and Angel (2007).[3] His final screen appearance was in The Legend of Tarzan (2016).[13]

Predominantly a stage actor, after six years in repertory theatres, Manchester, Salisbury and Bristol Old Vic (1958-1965) he has performed regularly over twenty years with the Royal Shakespeare Company.[14] He has played Bottom five times, at Bristol Old Vic, Regents Park, Radio 3, the RSC (including a tour of Australia and New Zealand) and finally at Glyndebourne in The Fairy-Queen, before retiring from the stage in 2012.[15][16]

His West End performances include How the Other Half Loves at the Duke of Yorks, A Voyage Round My Father at Wyndhams, The Clandestine Marriage at the Queens Theatre, Sweeney Todd at the Royal National Theatre, and The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui at the Saville (with Leonard Rossiter).[15] He has also appeared in several plays at the Donmar, the Kings Head, Mermaid, etc.[15] He has played Falstaff in rep at Salisbury, at Regents Park, and at the Globe in 2008 and after touring the US and UK in 2010.[17][18]

He has appeared regularly in TV and radio since 1965.[3]

Personal life[edit]

Benjamin is now retired, and living in Hampstead, London, with his wife, Anna Fox, an actress and writer.[19]

Selected filmography[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1965 The Wednesday Play Dan Royston Sir Jocelyn, the Minister Would Like a Word
Z-Cars Dennis Ludd Episode: “Give a Dog a Name”
The Man in Room 17 Chief Supt. Craythorpe Episode: “The Millons of Muzafariyah”
1966 Orlando The Great Cardini 5 episodes
The Baron Verel Episode: “The Seven Eyes of Night”
1966-8 The Avengers Various roles 3 episodes
1967 Danger Man Koroshi Episode: “Potter”
The Forsyte Saga Professor Profound 4 episodes
1967-8 The Prisoner Various roles 3 episodes
1968 Public Eye Barnby Episode: “There’s No Future in Monkey Business”
Late Night Horror Algy Somerville The Kiss of Blood
The Saint Fish Episode: “The Master Plan”
1969 Ring of Bright Water London Fishmonger Film
Fraud Squad Lal Choudhry Episode: “Over a Barrel”
The Gold Robbers Edward Meakin Episode: “An Oddly Honest Man”
1970 Ace of Wands Falk 2 episodes
Doctor Who Sir Keith Gold Serial: “Inferno
Paul Temple Roffey Episode: “The Artknappers”
The Roads to Freedom Assistant Superintendent 1 episode
1971 Jason King The Police Inspector Episode: “A Red Red Rose Forever”
Man at the Top Mr. Fisher Episode: “A Bit of Spare, Nothing Else”
Never Mind the Quality, Feel the Width Dr. Shapiro Episode: “Manny Cohen R.I.P.”
1972 Budgie Claude Episode: “Twenty-Four Thousand Ball Point Pens”
The Protectors Banker Episode: “The Quick Brown Fox”
The Strauss Family Domnayer 5 episodes
The Onedin Line Said Ben Alim Episode: “The Challenge”
1973 Bowler Supt. Chamberlain 3 episodes
Jack the Ripper Club Man 2 episodes
New Scotland Yard Mr. Foster Episode: “Rogues Gallery”
Upstairs, Downstairs Max Weinberg Episode: “A Change of Scene”
Van der Valk Mulder Episode: “Rich Man, Poor Man”
1974 Brief Encounter Porter Film
Father Brown Dukes Episode: “The Quick One”
Special Branch Dr. Eric Blyth Episode: “Stand and Deliver”
1975 Churchill’s People Peter Episode: “On the Anvil”
Village Hall Bill Jolly Old Scores
1975-6 Poldark Sir Hugh Boldrugan 9 episodes
1976 Angels Samuels Episode: “Challenges”
Hadleigh Oberman Episode: “Hong Kong Rock”
The Squirrels Craig Episode: “The Cruise”
1977 Doctor Who Henry Gordon Jago Serial: “The Talons of Weng-Chiang
Rooms Bernard Metcalfe 3 episodes
Target Panter Episode: “Blow Out”
When the Boat Comes In Channing 3 episodes
Yes, Honestly Roscoe B. Roscoe Episode: “Educating Mr. Roscoe”
1978 Armchair Thriller Det. Inspector Tarrant 5 episodes
Get Some In! Sergeant Foot 2 episodes
Scorpion Tales Arab Episode: “Crimes of Persuasion”
The Sandbaggers David Follett Episode: “The Most Suitable Person”
Wilde Alliance Miller Episode: “Affay in Amsterdam”
1979-80 Dick Turpin Sir John Glutton 14 episodes
1980 Hawk the Slayer Fitzwalter Film
Shoestring Leacock Episode: “Room with a View”
Play For Today Rabbi The Executioner
We, the Accused Inglewood 3 episodes
1980-2 Holding the Fort Col. Aubrey Sanderson 5 episodes
1981 A Spy at Evening Stevens 4 episodes
Play For Today Mr. Porter A Brush with Mr. Porter on the Road to El Dorado
Winston Churchill: The Wilderness Years Air Ministry Official Episode: “The Flying Peril”
1981-3 It Takes a Worried Man The Old Man 16 episodes
1982 Shine on Harvey Moon Mr. Hartley 2 episodes
The Life and Times of Nicholas Nickleby Mr. Vincent Crummings 3 episodes
The Plague Dogs Rowf (voice) Film
1984 Minder Mr. Rushmere Episode: “The Car Lot Baggers”
1985 Blott on the Landscape Chief Constable Episode: “Man in a Tree”
Black Silk Judge Episode: “Winner Takes All”
1986 Dempsey and Makepeace Sam Powell Episode: “Mantrap”
Call Me, Mister Shop Manager Episode: “The Other Woman”
The Return of Sherlock Holmes Dr. Huxtable Episode: “The Priory School”
1987 Boon Teddy Rawlingston Episode: “A Fistful of Pesetas”
Casanova Massimo TV movie
The Diary of Anne Frank Mr Van Daan 3 episodes
Yes, Prime Minister French Ambassador Episode: “A Diplomatic Incident”
1988 Melba Col. Otway 4 episodes
King and Castle Enwright Episode: “Cons”
1989 Saracen Charles Saunders Episode: “Girls’ Talk”
1990 Brass Sir Dudley Tilstock Episode: “Bradley Gets on Top”
Campion Coroner Episode: “Flowers for the Judge – Part 1”
Haggard Lord Tartlet Episode: “The Great Lover”
Spymaker: The Secret Life of Ian Fleming McKinnon TV movie
1991 Rumpole of the Bailey Sir Denis Tolston Episode: “Rumpole and the Right to Silence”
Thatcher: The Final Days George Younger TV movie
She-Wolf of London Dr. Morris Episode: “Voodoo Child”
1992 A Likely Lad Harold Sowter 6 episodes
Casualty Henry Lindall Episode: “Cry Wolf”
Maigret Guillaume Saure Episode: “Maigret and the Burgular’s Wife”
Inspector Morse Professor Furlong Episode: “Cherubim & Seraphim”
London’s Burning Mr. Brody 2 episodes
1994 Lovejoy Walid Episode: “Fruit of the Desert”
The Tomorrow People Middlemass 4 episodes
1995 Pride and Prejudice Sir William Lucas 5 episodes
1998 Seesaw Malcolm Green 2 episodes
The Last Salute Sir Gilbert Episode: “One for the Road”
The Tichborne Claimant Gibbes Film
1999 Treasure Island Squire Trelawney TV movie
2001 Sword of Honour Doctor TV movie
2003 Foyle’s War Brigadier Harcourt Episode: “War Games”
Looking For Victoria Lord Stanley TV movie
2003-6 Judge John Deed Steve Gaydon 4 episodes
2004 Down to Earth Mr. Yates Episode: “Family Ties”
2005 Midsomer Murders Harvey Crane Episode: “Midsomer Rhapsody”
2006 Heartbeat Oliver Ridley Episode: “Accidents Happen”
Rosemary & Thyme Trevor Squires Episode: “Seeds of Time”
2007 Angel Lord Norley Film
2008 Doctor Who Colonel Hugh Curbishley Episode: “The Unicorn and the Wasp
2009 Doctors Arthur Cuthbert Episode: “Up the Garden Path”
2011 The Merry Wives of Windsor Sir John Falstaff Video
2016 The Legend of Tarzan Lord Knutsford Film

References[edit]

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  1. ^ Profile, behindthevoiceactors.com; accessed 23 January 2016.
  2. ^ .mw-parser-output cite.citation{font-style:inherit;word-wrap:break-word}.mw-parser-output .citation q{quotes:”””””””‘””‘”}.mw-parser-output .citation:target{background-color:rgba(0,127,255,0.133)}.mw-parser-output .id-lock-free.id-lock-free a{background:url(“//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/65/Lock-green.svg”)right 0.1em center/9px no-repeat}body:not(.skin-timeless):not(.skin-minerva) .mw-parser-output .id-lock-free a{background-size:contain}.mw-parser-output .id-lock-limited.id-lock-limited a,.mw-parser-output .id-lock-registration.id-lock-registration a{background:url(“//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d6/Lock-gray-alt-2.svg”)right 0.1em center/9px no-repeat}body:not(.skin-timeless):not(.skin-minerva) .mw-parser-output .id-lock-limited a,body:not(.skin-timeless):not(.skin-minerva) .mw-parser-output .id-lock-registration a{background-size:contain}.mw-parser-output .id-lock-subscription.id-lock-subscription a{background:url(“//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/aa/Lock-red-alt-2.svg”)right 0.1em center/9px no-repeat}body:not(.skin-timeless):not(.skin-minerva) .mw-parser-output .id-lock-subscription a{background-size:contain}.mw-parser-output .cs1-ws-icon a{background:url(“//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/4c/Wikisource-logo.svg”)right 0.1em center/12px no-repeat}body:not(.skin-timeless):not(.skin-minerva) .mw-parser-output .cs1-ws-icon a{background-size:contain}.mw-parser-output .cs1-code{color:inherit;background:inherit;border:none;padding:inherit}.mw-parser-output .cs1-hidden-error{display:none;color:#d33}.mw-parser-output .cs1-visible-error{color:#d33}.mw-parser-output .cs1-maint{display:none;color:#2C882D;margin-left:0.3em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-format{font-size:95%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-left{padding-left:0.2em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-right{padding-right:0.2em}.mw-parser-output .citation .mw-selflink{font-weight:inherit}html.skin-theme-clientpref-night .mw-parser-output .cs1-maint{color:#18911F}html.skin-theme-clientpref-night .mw-parser-output .cs1-visible-error,html.skin-theme-clientpref-night .mw-parser-output .cs1-hidden-error{color:#f8a397}@media(prefers-color-scheme:dark){html.skin-theme-clientpref-os .mw-parser-output .cs1-visible-error,html.skin-theme-clientpref-os .mw-parser-output .cs1-hidden-error{color:#f8a397}html.skin-theme-clientpref-os .mw-parser-output .cs1-maint{color:#18911F}}Lee, Christopher (19 September 2019). “Colvil & Soames: The Complete Series 1-2”. Retrieved 12 February 2024.
  3. ^ a b c d “Christopher Benjamin – BFI”. Archived from the original on 16 September 2017. Retrieved 15 September 2017.
  4. ^ “Christopher Benjamin”. TVGuide.com.
  5. ^ “The Danger Man Website”. danger-man.co.uk.
  6. ^ “Soul Mates (1981)”. BFI. Archived from the original on 3 July 2022.
  7. ^ “Christopher Benjamin”. www.aveleyman.com.
  8. ^ “Jail Birds (1979)”. BFI. Archived from the original on 25 October 2020.
  9. ^ “.:: WHEN THE BOAT COMES IN ::”. www.britishdrama.org.uk.
  10. ^ “BBC – Doctor Who Classic Episode Guide – The Talons of Weng Chiang – Details”. www.bbc.co.uk.
  11. ^ “Jago & Litefoot Series One | Doctor Who Reviews”. 9 January 2018.
  12. ^ “BFI Screenonline: Pride and Prejudice (1995) Credits”. www.screenonline.org.uk.
  13. ^ “Christopher Benjamin | Movies and Filmography”. AllMovie.
  14. ^ “Search | RSC Performances | Shakespeare Birthplace Trust”. collections.shakespeare.org.uk.
  15. ^ a b c “Christopher Benjamin | Theatricalia”. theatricalia.com.
  16. ^ “The Fairy Queen, Glyndebourne” – via www.thetimes.co.uk.
  17. ^ “Henry IV, Part One (2004): Open Air Theatre, Regent’s Park, London | BBA Shakespeare”. bbashakespeare.warwick.ac.uk.
  18. ^ Brantley, Ben (31 October 2010). “A World of Silliness, but No Winking This Time”. The New York Times.
  19. ^ “An Evening with Louis MacNeice – Lee Montague 10th Oct”. www.keatscommunitylibrary.org.uk.

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