January 2, 2017


Terence Alexander (1923-2009) b. Islington, London, England.

Terence Alexander

Terence Alexander was born on 11 March 1923, the son of a doctor. He was brought up in Knaresborough, North Yorkshire, where his parents were the master and matron of Knaresborough Hospital. After attending Ratcliffe College, Leicester, and Norwood College, Harrogate, he entered the theatre at 16 as an assistant stage manager with the White Rose Players, Harrogate. Following war service from 1942 with the 27th Lancers in Italy, Alexander made his London stage debut at the Princes Theatre in 1950 in Party Manners,

He made his debut first film appearance in Comin’ Thro’ The Rye (1947), in which he played Robert Burns. He then acted the Duke of Dorset in The Elusive Pimpernel (1950). He showed his talent as comic a foil by appearing three Norman Wisdom comedies; The Square Peg (1958), The Bulldog Breed (1960) and On the Beat (1962). The comedy actor was at the height of his screen success but Alexander didn�t find him remotely funny and accepted the roles due to the financial rewards.

Further film roles included Death Is a Number (1951), a villainous turn in The Runaway Bus (1954), Dangerous Cargo (1954), a solitary Carry On outing in Carry on Regardless (1961), the delightful comedy short The Spare Tyres (1967) and the thriller The Day of the Jackal (1973). Perhaps his best film role was as a subjugated husband in the comedy heist adventure The League of Gentlemen (1960), in which a number of ex-Service misfits short on funds take part in a military-style bank robbery.

He also began his successful television career in the 1950s and subsequently appeared in many plays, shows and series including Hancock�s Half-Hour, The Forsyte Saga, Armchair Theatre, the Les Dawson and Dick Emery shows, Terry and June, and The New Statesman. His best-known role was supporting John Nettles in the title role of Bergerac, Alexander brought humour to the series as the detective’s tax-exile millionaire ex-father-in-law. His lightness of touch was perfect for the slim, silver haired Charlie, constantly puffing a cigar and often in a flap. His last screen acting role was in Casualty, after which he retired, suffering from Parkinson�s disease.

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