Don Warrington

Last updated

Don Warrington

MBE
Born
Donald Williams

(1951-05-23) 23 May 1951 (age 70)
OccupationActor
Years active1974 – present
Children2

Don Warrington MBE (born Donald Williams, 23 May 1951) is a Trinidadian-born British actor. [1] [2] He is best known for playing Philip Smith in the ITV sitcom Rising Damp (1974–78), and Commissioner Selwyn Patterson in the BBC detective series Death in Paradise (2011–present).

Contents

He was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2008 Birthday Honours. [3]

Early life

Warrington was born in Trinidad, but moved to England with his mother and brother at a young age, while his sister stayed in Trinidad. He was brought up in Newcastle upon Tyne. [4] His father, Basil Kydd, was a Trinidadian politician who died in 1958. [5]

Warrington attended Harris College (now the University of Central Lancashire) and trained as an actor at the Drama Centre London. [6] As there was already an actor called Don Williams when he joined Equity, he took the stage surname "Warrington" after Warrington Road, the street he grew up on. He started acting in repertory theatre at the age of 17. [7]

Career

Television and film

Warrington is best known for playing Philip Smith in Rising Damp , from 1974 to 1978, alongside Leonard Rossiter, Richard Beckinsale, and Frances de la Tour. Warrington also appeared as series regular in the crime drama C.A.T.S. Eyes , as government contact Nigel Beaumont (1985–1987); in Impact Earth (2007) playing General Harris; and in New Street Law as Judge Ken Winyard.

In 1993 Warrington played television reporter Graham Gaunt in To Play The King, the second part of the BBC's House of Cards trilogy.

He has had smaller roles in many programmes including Red Dwarf , Lovejoy , Manchild , and Diamond Geezer . Warrington portrayed the founder of Time Lord society, Rassilon, in several Doctor Who audio plays, and also appeared as the President of an alternative-universe Great Britain in the Doctor Who episode "Rise of the Cybermen" (2006). Soon after, he recorded an abridged audio book of the Doctor Who novel The Art of Destruction by Stephen Cole.

He is one of the interviewees on the BBC 2 series Grumpy Old Men , and he appears in a series of Kenco coffee advertisements in the United Kingdom in which he plays an African coffee plantation owner. He regularly provides voice-overs for both BBC TV and radio.

Warrington has also appeared in BBC1 sitcom The Crouches , which aired from 9 September 2003 until 2005. He played Bailey, who was Roly's boss at a London Underground station in South London. Roly was played by Robbie Gee. Warrington played the role of the Hospital Chaplain in Casualty , assuming the role of Trevor. He also starred in the 2010 film It's a Wonderful Afterlife . He also appeared in Grange Hill as Mr Peters, the father of pupil Lauren Peters.

He has provided voiceover links, reading out the various methods of contacting the show on the Chris Evans Breakfast Show on BBC Radio 2, which has been broadcast since 11 January 2010.

Since 2011, Warrington has played Commissioner Selwyn Patterson in the BBC show Death in Paradise . [8] [9]

He also appeared as jazz musician Frederick J. Louden in a BBC radio production of The Devil's Music, written by Alan Plater. In 2011, Warrington played the father of a suspected terrorist in the last series of the BBC drama Waking the Dead .

In 2012 he played master of the college Marcus Harding in “Generation of Vipers”, S6:E2 of Lewis .

His film roles included the movie version of Rising Damp (1980), the Kenny Everett horror comedy Bloodbath at the House of Death (1983), The Lion of Africa (1987), Kenneth Branagh's Hamlet (1996), Peter Greenaway's 8½ Women (1999) and the horror film Lighthouse (1999).

Theatre

Warrington is also a theatre actor and has performed with the National Theatre, [10] the Royal Shakespeare Company, Bristol Old Vic and the Royal Exchange, Manchester.

In 2012–13 he toured with Gwen Taylor in the new stage version of Driving Miss Daisy . [11]

In 2013 Warrington played the lead role of Joe Keller, in Talawa Theatre Company's all-black revival of Arthur Miller's tragedy All My Sons at the Manchester Royal Exchange, [12] directed by Michael Buffong – a production that The Guardian reviewer called "flawless", giving it a five-star rating. [13]

Warrington performed as King Lear in the 2016 Talawa Theatre Company and Manchester Royal Exchange. [14] [15] "King Lear review at the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester – ‘outstanding’"] [16]

Warrington appeared as George in David Mamet's Glengarry Glenn Ross between October 2017 and February 2018 at the Playhouse Theatre alongside Christian Slater, Robert Glenister, Kris Marshall and Daniel Ryan. [17]

He appeared as the central protagonist Willy Loman in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman at the Royal Exchange Theatre from October to November 2018. [18]

Strictly Come Dancing

In 2008 Warrington competed in the sixth series of Strictly Come Dancing , partnered with the 2005 and 2006 British National Champion in Latin American dance, Lilia Kopylova. [19] After Week 4, Warrington was joint seventh out of the remaining 12 contestants with an average of 24.5 points. In Week 5 he was eliminated, having lost the dance-off against Heather Small, with the first three judges all voting for Small over Warrington.

He joined the show to step out of his comfort zone, and he appreciated the opportunity to learn to dance. [20]

Week #Dance/SongJudges' scoreResult
HorwoodPhillipsGoodmanTonioliTotal
1 Cha-Cha-Cha / "Let's Groove Tonight"356519Dance Off
3 Tango / "Whatever Lola Wants"778830Safe
5 American Smooth / "Can't Smile Without You"667625Eliminated

Selected television roles

YearTitleRole
1974–1978 Rising Damp Philip Smith
1985–1987 C.A.T.S. Eyes Nigel Beaumont
1992 Red Dwarf Binks ("Holoship")
1993 To Play the King Graham Gaunt
2002–2003 Manchild Patrick
2003–2005 The Crouches Bailey
2006–2007 New Street Law Judge Ken Winyard
2006 Doctor Who The President ("Rise of the Cybermen")
2009–2010 Casualty Hospital Chaplain Trevor
2011– Death in Paradise Commissioner Selwyn Patterson
2014 Chasing Shadows Chief Superintendent Harley Drayton
2016 The Five Ray Kenwood
2020 –The World According to Grandpa (Children’s TV series)Grandpa

Footnotes

  1. "Don Warrington MBE" Archived 4 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine , The British Blacklist.
  2. Dominic Cavendish, "Don Warrington: Rigsby's a racist – but that's not the real issue", The Telegraph, 15 May 2013.
  3. "No. 58729". The London Gazette (Supplement). 14 June 2008. p. 24.
  4. Dominic Cavendish, "Don Warrington: Rigsby's a racist – but that's not the real issue", The Telegraph, 15 May 2013.
  5. Don Warrington biography, from Caribbean Britain: The Cultural and Biographical Directory by Marjorie H. Morgan. Historical Biographies, 1 October 2012.
  6. Don Warrington biography, ATG Tickets.
  7. "Don Warrington", Ultimate Strictly.
  8. Characters, Death in Paradise, BBC One.
  9. "Don Warrington", Internet Movie Database.
  10. Don Warrington page Archived 4 January 2015 at the Wayback Machine , Royal National Theatre.
  11. Marion McMullen, "Driving force behind Don Warrington's stage return" Archived 4 January 2015 at the Wayback Machine , Coventry Telegraph, 8 February 2013.
  12. "All My Sons" Archived 4 January 2015 at the Wayback Machine , Talawa Theatre Company. Clare Brennan, "All My Sons – review", The Observer, 6 October 2013.
  13. Alfred Hicking, "All My Sons – review", The Guardian, 2 October 2013.
  14. Claire Allfree, "Don Warrington's King Lear is a heartbreaking tour de force"
  15. Mark Shenton, [https://www.thestage.co.uk/reviews/2016/king-lear-review-at-the-royal-exchange-theatre-manchester/
  16. "King Lear Reviewed", Talawa.
  17. "Glengarry Glen Ross". www.glengarrywestend.com.
  18. "Death of a Salesman – Royal Exchange Theatre". www.royalexchange.co.uk.
  19. "Don Warrington & Lilia Kopylova", Strictly Come Dancing, BBC One.
  20. Alex Fletcher, "Don Warrington ('Strictly Come Dancing')", Digital Spy, 22 October 2008.

Related Research Articles

Leonard Rossiter English actor

Leonard Rossiter was an English actor. He had a long career in the theatre but achieved his greatest fame for his television comedy roles, most notably starring as Rupert Rigsby in the ITV series Rising Damp from 1974 to 1978, and Reginald Perrin in the BBC's The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin from 1976 to 1979.

Tom Courtenay British actor

Sir Thomas Daniel Courtenay is an English actor of stage and screen. After studying at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, Courtenay achieved prominence in the 1960s with a series of acclaimed film roles, including The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (1962)⁠, for which he received the BAFTA Award for Most Promising Newcomer to Leading Film Roles⁠, and Doctor Zhivago (1965), for which he received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. Other notable film roles during this period include Billy Liar (1963), King and Country (1964), for which he was awarded the Volpi Cup for Best Actor at the Venice Film Festival, King Rat (1965), and The Night of the Generals. More recently, he received critical acclaim for his performance in Andrew Haigh's film 45 Years (2015).

<i>Rising Damp</i> British sitcom

Rising Damp is a British sitcom, written by Eric Chappell and produced by Yorkshire Television for ITV, which was originally broadcast from 2 September 1974 until 9 May 1978. Chappell adapted the story from his 1973 stage play The Banana Box. The programme ran for four series and was made into a feature film of the same name in 1980. The series won the 1978 BAFTA for Best Situation Comedy. Rising Damp was the highest-ranking ITV sitcom in the BBC's 100 Best Sitcoms poll of 2004, coming in 27th overall.

Frances de la Tour English actress

Frances de la Tour, also Frances J. de Lautour, is an English actress, known for her role as Miss Ruth Jones in the television sitcom Rising Damp from 1974 until 1978. She is a Tony Award winner and three-time Olivier Award winner.

Derek Griffiths is a British actor and voice artist who appeared in numerous British children's television series in the 1960s to present and has more recently played parts in TV drama.

Fraser Stuart Ayres is an English actor, best known for his role as Clint in the BBC comedy series The Smoking Room.

Ray Fearon British actor

Raymond Fearon is a British actor who has worked in theatre, and is known for playing garage mechanic Nathan Harding on ITV's long-running soap opera Coronation Street.

Alfred Enoch English actor

Alfred Lewis Enoch is an English-Brazilian actor, best known for playing Dean Thomas in the Harry Potter film series and Wes Gibbins on the ABC legal drama television series How to Get Away with Murder.

Paterson Joseph British actor

Paterson D. Joseph is a British actor. He appeared in the Royal Shakespeare Company productions of King Lear and Love's Labour's Lost in 1990. On television he is known for his roles in Casualty (1997–1998), as Alan Johnson in Channel 4 sitcom Peep Show (2003–2015), Green Wing (2004–2006), Survivors (2008–2010), Boy Meets Girl (2009), as DI Wes Layton in Law & Order: UK (2013–2014), as Holy Wayne in The Leftovers (2014–15), as DCI Mark Maxwell in Safe House (2015–2017), and as Connor Mason in Timeless (2016–2018). His film roles include The Beach (2000), Greenfingers (2001), Æon Flux (2005) and The Other Man (2008). He is also known for his various performances of the Marquis de Carabas in adaptations of Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere (1996). He also has a recurring role in The Mosquito Coast, an Apple TV+ original series which began streaming on April 30, 2021.

Diane Parish is an English actress. Born in Chelsea, London and a graduate of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, Parish has appeared on British television for over two decades. She has appeared in a number of TV shows over the years, including the ITV dramas The Bill and M.I.T.: Murder Investigation Team playing Detective Eva Sharpe. She is perhaps best known for her two roles in BBC One soap opera EastEnders. For a few episodes in 1998, she played singer Lola Christie. Since 2006 Parish has portrayed the character Denise Fox. She is also known for appearing in two series of the BBC One comedy-drama Lovejoy (1993–1994).

Mavis Chin OBE, known professionally as Mona Hammond, is a Jamaican-born actress of Chinese descent and co-founder of the Talawa Theatre Company. Born in Jamaica, Hammond emigrated to the United Kingdom in 1959, where she has lived ever since. Hammond has had a long and distinguished stage career. She is best known for her work on British television, most notably playing Blossom Jackson in the BBC soap opera EastEnders. She was made an OBE in the 2005 Queen's Birthday Honours List for her services to drama. In 2018, Hammond was awarded the Women of the World Lifetime Achievement Award for her long and distinguished theatre career and for championing Black British actors with Talawa Theatre Company. Hammond has a son, who is a fashion photographer, and a granddaughter.

David John Threlfall is an English stage, film and television actor and director. He is best known for playing Frank Gallagher in Channel 4's series Shameless. He has also directed several episodes of the show. In April 2014, he portrayed comedian Tommy Cooper in a television film entitled Tommy Cooper: Not Like That, Like This. In 2014, he starred alongside Jude Law in the thriller Black Sea.

Philip Whitchurch is an English stage, film, and television actor. He is best known for playing Chief Inspector Philip Cato in The Bill from 1993 to 1995. He also played another character, Inspector Twist, on the same show, as well as Tyler in My Hero from 2000 to 2006.

Doña Croll is a Jamaican-born British actress. She is best known for her roles in British television soap opera playing Pearl McHugh in Channel 5's Family Affairs Vera Corrigan in the BBC Vera Corrigan Doctors, and as Emerald Fox in EastEnders. She also played the regular role of nurse Adele Beckford in series 8 of Casualty.

Talawa Theatre Company is a Black British theatre company founded in 1986.

Ian McDiarmid Scottish actor and stage director

Ian McDiarmid is a Scottish actor and director of stage and screen, best known for portraying Emperor Palpatine in the Star Wars film series. Making his stage debut in Hamlet in 1972, McDiarmid joined the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1974, and has since starred in a number of Shakespeare's plays. He has received an Olivier Award for Best Actor and a Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play for his stage performances.


Wilbert Charles Johnson is an English actor, who has had notable television roles in Waking the Dead and Babyfather, and on stage in Othello. He played Dom Andrews in Emmerdale from 2012 to 2014.

<i>Rising Damp</i> (film) 1980 British film

Rising Damp is a 1980 comedy film based on the British situation comedy Rising Damp, which aired on ITV from 1974 to 1978. The television series was, in turn, adapted from Eric Chappell's stage play The Banana Box. Chappell adapted the play to television, and wrote the screenplay for this feature film. The film's director was Joseph McGrath.

Miltos Yerolemou British actor

Miltos Yerolemou is a British actor best known for his role as Syrio Forel in the HBO fantasy TV series Game of Thrones.

Michael Buffong is an English theatre director and the Artistic Director of Talawa Theatre Company. His work is characterised by reworking stage classics delivered to high degree of detail. Buffong has been described as " ...one of the most influential directors of classic plays over the last two decades", in addition to being named one of Creative Review's 50 Creative Leaders. In Spring 2019, Buffong was one of the judges of the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize.