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. William 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 the Ben Greet Players in June 1924 at the Nottingham Repertory Theatre, 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 Norman 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, Chapman 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 in August 1977 of a heart attack in Brighton, East Sussex, England at the age of 75.
Cecil Parker was an English actor with a distinctively husky voice, who usually played supporting roles, often characters with a supercilious demeanour, in his 91 films made between 1928 and 1969.
Juno and the Paycock is a play by Seán O'Casey. Highly regarded and often performed in Ireland, it was first staged at the Abbey Theatre in Dublin in 1924. It is set in the working-class tenements of Dublin in the early 1920s, during the Irish Civil War period. The word "paycock" is the Irish pronunciation of "peacock", which is what Juno accuses her husband of being.
William Finlay 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.
Juno and the Paycock is a 1930 British tragicomedy film written and directed by Alfred Hitchcock, and starring Barry Fitzgerald, Maire O'Neill, Edward Chapman and Sara Allgood.
Jack E. Cox, BSC, known variously as J. J. Cox, Jack Cox, John J. Cox and John Cox, was an English cinematographer born in London, on 26 July 1896. After a prolific career of 85 films in 33 years, Cox died in Surrey on 29 July 1960.
Hugh St Clair Stewart MBE was a British film editor and producer. He filmed Bergen-Belsen concentration camp following its liberation in April 1945.
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.
John Longden was an English film actor. He appeared in more than 80 films between 1926 and 1964, including five films directed by Alfred Hitchcock.
Donald Esme Clayton Calthrop was an English stage and film actor.
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. The cast also included Margaret Rutherford, Jill Dixon and Leslie Phillips. It was shot at Pinewood Studios near London with sets designed by the art director Ernest Archer.
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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.