Peter Gawthorne

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Peter Gawthorne
Born1 September 1884
Queen's County, Ireland, UK
Died17 March 1962 (1962-03-18) (aged 77)
London, England
Years active1906–1956

Peter Gawthorne (1 September 1884 – 17 March 1962) was an Anglo-Irish actor, probably best known for his roles in the films of Will Hay and other popular British comedians of the 1930s and 1940s. Gawthorne was one of Britain's most called-upon supporting actors during this period.


Early life and career

He was born in 1884 in Queen's County in Ireland, but spent most of his career in England. After two years at the Academy of Dramatic Art, Gawthorne began a career on the London stage, eventually running up over twenty years experience there. His debut was in 1906, a walk-on part at His Majesty's Theatre, London. He was featured in the role of Albany Pope, receiving good notices, in the hit musical The Boy in 1917. [1] He also studied singing.

He then toured Australia, South Africa and America, making his film debut in Hollywood before returning to Britain, where he worked for a number of film companies but predominately Gainsborough Studios.

He worked extensively in cinema often playing military officers and stern, authority figures, many of whom frequently clashed with the bumbling idiots played by Will Hay [ citation needed ] and other well-known comedians such as George Formby, The Crazy Gang, the Aldwych farceurs, Jack Hulbert, Cicely Courtneidge, Old Mother Riley, Tommy Trinder, Arthur Askey and Richard Murdoch.

His appearances were prolific and not just confined to comedies, taking in such films as The Iron Duke (1934), Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1939), "Pimpernel" Smith (1941), Love on the Dole (1941), and The Young Mr. Pitt (1942).



TV series

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  1. Findon, B.W. (ed.) "The Boy", The Play Pictorial, No. 186, Vol. XXXI, 1917, pp. 33–35