January 2, 2017


Terence Longdon (1922-2011) b. Newark-on-Trent, Nottinghamshire, England.

Terence Longdon

Terence Longdon was born Hubert Tuelly Longdon in Newark, Nottinghamshire. He boarded at Minster school, Southwell, where he excelled as a choral scholar. On leaving, aged 17, he worked as a bank clerk and in other jobs until joining the Fleet Air Arm in 1940 was posted to a naval air station near Blackpool, becoming a pilot protecting Atlantic convoys during hostilities. He also took part in a camp concert; it was at that point that he decided to make acting his career.

Longdon successfully auditioned for RADA and made his first TV appearance with a walk-on part when the BBC screened the drama school’s live production of Stephen Phillips’s play Paolo and Francesca (1947). He then joined the Lyceum, Sheffield, as an assistant stage manager and made his theatrical debut there as Robin in French for Love (1948). West End work followed with two John Gielgud productions, Euripides� Medea (1948) and a comedy, Treasure Hunt (1949).

By now, film roles were forthcoming and he became a staple of the B-movies that kept up the quota of domestically made productions in British cinemas. Many were war dramas, as was the main feature Angels One Five (1952), in which he played an RAF pilot. Longdon then became a contracted artist for the Rank Organisation, but roles in Simon and Laura (1955) and Doctor at Large (1957) required little of him. Then came the early Carry On pictures, Longdon appeared in Carry On Sergeant (1958), Carry On Nurse (1959), Carry On Constable (1960) and Carry On Regardless (1961). He was offered a contract to become a Carry On regular but turned it down because he didn�t wish to be �confined to one particular line of movies�. Longdon drove to Italy to earn the role of Drusus in the epic Ben-Hur (1959). His last starring film role was in the superior b-movie Clash by Night (1963), in which his efforts to thwart the demented arsonist Peter Sallis were handicapped by being handcuffed to Harry Fowler.

Although his stage work continued, television began to occupy him more and more. Following his exposure as a Biggles-type airline adventurer in Garry Halliday, Longdon became more in demand on TV, taking character roles in the series No Hiding Place (1963), Danger Man (1964), The Avengers (1968), The Return of Sherlock Holmes (1986) and Victoria Wood: As Seen On TV (1986 and 1987). There was also a short run in Coronation Street (1982) as Wilf Stockwell, a sales rep and business associate of Mike Baldwin.

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