January 2, 2017


Jack Warner [Horace John Waters] (1895-1981) b. London, England.

Jack Warner

British actor born Horace John Waters in Bow, East London, whose career on both film and television made him an icon of responsible post-war ordinariness. After leaving school he started work in the motor trade in Balham, as a general hand, and in 1913 was sent to Paris to learn more about the cars and the company Sizaire Berwick. During WWI he served in the RFC and flew a Camel airplane. His stage career began to take off in the 1920s as part of a musical-comedy double-act and by the 1940s Warner had made the successful transition to films.

His role as the paterfamilias of the Huggetts in the series of Gainsborough films which grew out of Holiday Camp (1947) represented the values of working-class decency and community inspired by the Attlee Labour government. The Huggetts anticipated such television families as the Appleyards and the Groves of the 1950s, and the community values of the early Coronation Street.

Despite his role as an embittered and heartless killer in My Brother’s Keeper (1948), Warner’s role as PC George Dixon in The Blue Lamp (1950) established him as the image of benevolent community policing. Translated to television in 1955 as Dixon of Dock Green, his Saturday night homilies on order, justice and the British way of life ran until 1976, by which time both Jack Warner and the image of the police which he represented were ready for retirement. He was awarded the OBE in 1965.

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