Anton Rodgers

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Anton Rodgers
Anton Rodgers.jpg
Anthony Rodgers

(1933-01-10)10 January 1933
Ealing, Middlesex, England
Died1 December 2007(2007-12-01) (aged 74)
Alma mater
Years active1947–2007
Children5 [1]

Anthony "Anton" Rodgers [2] (10 January 1933 1 December 2007) was an English actor and occasional director. He performed on stage, in film, in television dramas and sitcoms. [3] [4] He starred in several sitcoms, including Fresh Fields (ITV, 1984–86), its sequel French Fields (ITV, 1989–91), and May to December (BBC, 1989–94).


Early life and career

Rodgers was born in Ealing, [5] the son of William Robert Rodgers and Leonore Victoria (née Wood). [6] His early education was at Westminster City School. [6] [7] The family were evacuated to Wisbech, Isle of Ely during the war, where his father worked for Balding and Mansell, printers of ration books, permits and passes; Rodgers was sometimes erroneously reported as having been born in Wisbech. [5] Later he was educated at the Italia Conti Academy and LAMDA. He appeared on stage from the age of 14. He was known for his television performances, specifically his long-running roles in the television sitcoms Fresh Fields in the 1980s and May to December from 1989 to 1994.

He also had a long career both on stage and in film. His stage roles ranged from contemporary comedy and satirical farce to Restoration comedy, Ibsen, Shaw and Wilde and Peter Nichols. He appeared in films such as The Man Who Haunted Himself (1970), Scrooge (1970, in which he performed the Academy Award-nominated Best Original Song "Thank You Very Much"), The Day of the Jackal (1973), and The Fourth Protocol (1987). He also narrated the children's animated TV series Old Bear Stories and appeared as Andre, the comically corrupt French policeman who aided Michael Caine in his romantic/financial schemes in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.

He narrated programmes for the railway video production company Video 125, including Cornish Branchlines: A Drivers Eye View. [8]

Personal life

Rodgers first married Morna Watson, a ballet dancer, in Kensington in 1959, [9] and they had a son and a daughter and later divorced. [7] Rodgers's second wife was the actress Elizabeth Garvie; they frequently appeared on stage together and toured giving readings from the works of Jane Austen [10] and Robert Browning, among others.

He was a patron of the Angles Theatre, Wisbech.

Rodgers died in Reading, Berkshire on 1 December 2007, aged 74. [11] At the time of his death, he was a resident of Whitchurch-on-Thames, Oxfordshire. [1]



Rodgers made his first West End appearance in 1947, aged 14, in Carmen at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. He followed this in same year with a tour of an adaptation of Charles Dickens' Great Expectations playing Pip, and the title role in a revival of Terence Rattigan's The Winslow Boy which toured the UK in 1948. After repertory experience at Birmingham, Northampton and Hornchurch, he trained at LAMDA.

Returning to London in November 1957 he joined the cast of The Boy Friend at Wyndham's Theatre. Thereafter his credits include:

Selected filmography



Further reading

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  1. 1 2 "Mr. Anton Rodgers". Reading Post . 6 December 2007. Retrieved 4 July 2022.
  2. "Anton Rodgers". Archived from the original on 15 January 2009.
  3. "Anton Rodgers". 3 December 2007. Archived from the original on 3 December 2007. Retrieved 3 December 2007.
  4. "Actor Anton Rodgers dies aged 74". BBC News Online. 4 December 2007. Archived from the original on 6 December 2007. Retrieved 4 December 2007.
  5. 1 2 Goodman, Sheila. "Actor had a special bond with town". Archived from the original on 27 September 2015.
  6. 1 2 Who's Who in the Theatre: A Biographical Record of the contemporary stage, seventeenth edition, ed. Ian Herbert, Gale Research Co., 1981, p. 582
  7. 1 2 Barker, Dennis (4 December 2007). "Obituary: Anton Rodgers". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 December 2020.
  8. "Cornish Branches".
  9. "WATSON Morna E / RODGERS Anton / Kensington 5c 2281" in General Index to Marriages in England and Wales, 1959
  10. Daniel Lombard (2 February 2007). "Anton Rodgers in Monmouth". Retrieved 3 November 2017.
  11. Strachan, Alan (4 December 2007). "Anton Rodgers: Versatile actor best known for his middle-class heroes in the sitcoms 'Fresh Fields' and 'May to December'". The Independent . Retrieved 4 July 2022.
  12. "LGBTQ+ Timeline". Retrieved 14 February 2021.