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13 October 1901
|Died||9 August 1977 75) (aged|
|Spouse(s)||Constance Sparks (1931 – ?) (divorced) |
Prudence Nesbitt (1968–1977) (his death)
Edward Chapman (13 October 1901 – 9 August 1977)was an English actor who starred in many films and television programmes, but is chiefly remembered as "Mr.Thomas Grimsdale", the officious superior and comic foil to Norman Wisdom's character of Pitkin in many of his films from the late 1950s and 1960s.
Chapman was born in Harrogate, West Riding of Yorkshire, and was the uncle of actor/screenwriter John Chapman and actor Paul Chapman. On leaving school he became a bank clerk,but later began his stage career with Ben Greet's Company in June 1924 at the Repertory Theatre, Nottingham, playing Gecko in George du Maurier's Trilby. He made his first London stage appearance at the Court Theatre in August 1925 playing the Rev Septimus Tudor in The Farmer's Wife. Among dozens of stage roles that followed, he played Bonaparte to Margaret Rawlings's Josephine in Napoleon at the Embassy Theatre in September 1934. In 1928 he attracted the attention of Alfred Hitchcock, who gave him the role of "The Paycock" in the 1930 film, Juno and the Paycock . In the same year he also made an appearance in Caste . He had a role in The Citadel in 1938 and appeared alongside George Formby in the Ealing Studios comedy Turned Out Nice Again in 1941.
During the Second World War he took a break from acting and joined the Royal Air Force.After training he was posted to 129 (Mysore) Squadron as an intelligence officer. This Spitfire squadron was based at Westhampnett and Debden. The squadron was heavily engaged in combat during this period and many of Chapman's fellow squadron mates were killed in action.
Chapman first starred alongside Wisdom in 1957's Just My Luck in the role of Mr. Stoneway, but the next year in The Square Peg he appeared as Mr. Grimsdale for the first time opposite Wisdom's character of Norman Pitkin.In 1960 he and Wisdom acted together again in The Bulldog Breed , playing the roles of Mr. Philpots and Norman Puckle – Mr. Grimsdale and Pitkin in all but name. Wisdom appeared alone as Norman Pitkin in On the Beat in 1962, while Chapman branched out, starring in the Danish folktale Venus fra Vestø, but Grimsdale and Pitkin were reunited for 1963's A Stitch in Time . Their final performance together was in The Early Bird in 1965, Wisdom's first film in colour. In all, he appeared alongside Norman Wisdom in five films.
After Sir John Gielgud was arrested for "persistently importuning male persons for immoral purposes", Chapman started a petition to force him to resign from Equity.Sir Laurence Olivier reportedly threw Chapman out of his dressing room when he solicited his signature for the petition.
From 1965 Chapman played mostly character roles on television. His final role was as Mr. Callon for nine episodes of the BBC's seafaring melodrama The Onedin Line between 1971 and 1972.Chapman died of a heart attack in Brighton, East Sussex, England at the age of 75.
Sir Norman Joseph Wisdom, was an English actor, comedian and singer-songwriter best known for a series of comedy films produced between 1953 and 1966 featuring his hapless onscreen character that was often called Norman Pitkin. He was awarded the 1953 BAFTA Award for Most Promising Newcomer to Leading Film Roles following the release of Trouble in Store, his first film in a lead role.
John Paton Laurie was a Scottish actor. In the course of his career, Laurie performed on the stage and in films as well as television. He is perhaps best remembered for his role as Private Frazer in the sitcom Dad's Army (1968–1977). Laurie appeared in scores of feature films with directors such as Alfred Hitchcock, Michael Powell, and Laurence Olivier, generally playing bit-parts or supporting roles rather than leading roles. As a stage actor, he was cast in Shakespearean roles and was a speaker of verse, especially of Robert Burns.
William Finlay Jefferson Currie was a Scottish actor of stage, screen, and television. He received great acclaim for his roles as Abel Magwitch in the British film Great Expectations (1946) and as Balthazar in the American film Ben-Hur (1959).
Charles Edward Underdown was an English theatre, cinema and television actor. He was born in London and educated at Eton College in Berkshire.
John Paddy Carstairs was a British film director (1933–62) and television director (1962–64), usually of light-hearted subject matter. He was also a comic novelist and painter.
Sara Ellen Allgood was an Irish actress who held both Irish and American citizenship. She first studied drama with the Irish nationalist Daughters of Ireland and was in the opening of the Irish National Theatre Society.
Juno and the Paycock is a 1930 British comedy film written and directed by Alfred Hitchcock, and starring Barry Fitzgerald, Maire O'Neill, Edward Chapman and Sara Allgood.
The Early Bird is a 1965 British comedy film directed by Robert Asher and starring Norman Wisdom. It also features Edward Chapman, Bryan Pringle, Richard Vernon, John Le Mesurier and Jerry Desmonde. It was the first Norman Wisdom film to be shot in colour. The title is taken from the expression "the early bird catches the worm".
William Gordon Harker was an English stage and film actor.
George McLoughlin, known professionally as Gibb McLaughlin, was an English film and stage actor.
Donald Esme Clayton Calthrop was an English stage and film actor.
Ralph du Vergier Truman was an English actor, usually cast as either a villain or an authority figure. He possessed a distinguished speaking voice. He was born in London, England.
Arthur Hambling was a British actor, on stage from 1912, and best known for appearances in the films Henry V (1944) and The Lavender Hill Mob (1951). In 1939 he appeared in the West End in N.C. Hunter's comedy Grouse in June.
Walter Forde was a British actor, screenwriter and director. Born in Lambeth, south London in 1898, he directed over fifty films between 1919 from the silent era through to 1949 in the sound era. He died in Los Angeles, California in 1984.
Inspector Hornleigh is a 1938 British detective film directed by Eugene Forde, starring Gordon Harker and Alastair Sim, with Miki Hood, Wally Patch, Steven Geray and Edward Underdown. The film was shot at Pinewood Studios in England. The screenplay was co-written by Bryan Edgar Wallace.
Just My Luck is a 1957 British sports comedy film directed by John Paddy Carstairs and starring Norman Wisdom as a worker in a jewellery shop.
Harold Elliott Makeham was an English film and television actor.
A Stitch in Time is a 1963 Norman Wisdom comedy film set in a children's hospital. It was directed by Robert Asher and edited by Gerry Hambling. The cast includes Edward Chapman, Jeanette Sterke, Jerry Desmonde, Jill Melford, Glyn Houston, Vera Day, Patsy Rowlands, Peter Jones, Ernest Clark, Hazel Hughes, Lucy Appleby and Frank Williams. The film also features an early role for Johnny Briggs.
The Square Peg is a 1959 British war comedy film directed by John Paddy Carstairs and starring Norman Wisdom. Norman Wisdom plays two different characters: a man who digs and repairs roads, and a Nazi general.
Charles Carson was a British actor. A civil engineer before taking to the stage in 1919, his theatre work included directed plays for ENSA during WWII.
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