Peter John Sallis
1 February 1921
|Died||2 June 2017 96) (aged|
|Resting place||St John the Evangelist Churchyard, Upperthong, West Yorkshire, England|
(m. 1957;div. 1965)
Peter John Sallis(1 February 1921 – 2 June 2017) was an English actor, mainly known for his work in television.
He was the voice of Wallace in the Academy Award-winning Wallace and Gromit films and portrayed Norman "Cleggy" Clegg in Last of the Summer Wine from its 1973 inception until the final episode in 2010, making him the only actor to appear in all 295 episodes. Additionally, he portrayed Norman Clegg's father in the prequel series First of the Summer Wine . Although Sallis was born and brought up in London, the characters of Wallace and Clegg were both Northerners.
Among his television credits, Sallis appeared in Danger Man , The Avengers , Doctor Who ("The Ice Warriors"), The Persuaders! and The Ghosts of Motley Hall . His film appearances include the Hammer horror films The Curse of the Werewolf (1961) and Taste the Blood of Dracula (1970).
Peter John Salliswas born on 1 February 1921 in Twickenham, Middlesex, the only child of Dorothy Amea Frances ( née Barnard; 1891–1975) and Harry Sallis (1889–1964), a bank manager. After attending Minchenden Grammar School in Southgate, North London, Sallis went to work in a bank, working on shipping transactions.
He became a wireless mechanic instead and went on to teach radio procedures at RAF Cranwell.
Sallis began his career as an amateur actor during his four years with the RAF when one of his students offered him the lead in an amateur production of Noël Coward's Hay Fever .After his success in the role, he resolved to become an actor after the war, winning a Korda scholarship and training at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. He made his first professional appearance on the London stage in September 1946 in a walk-on part in Richard Brinsley Sheridan's The Scheming Lieutenant (1775).
Sallis then spent three years in repertory theatre before appearing in his first speaking role on the London stage in 1949.Other roles followed in the 1950s and 1960s including Orson Welles' 1955 production of Moby Dick—Rehearsed . In his autobiography, Fading into the Limelight, Sallis recounts a later meeting with Welles where he received a mysterious telephone call summoning him to the deserted Gare d'Orsay in Paris where Welles announced he wanted him to dub Hungarian bit-players in his cinema adaptation of Franz Kafka's The Trial (1962). Sallis wrote that "the episode was Kafka-esque, to coin a phrase". Later, he was in the first West End production of Cabaret in 1968 opposite Judi Dench.
Sallis appeared in the Hal Prince–produced musical She Loves Me in 1963.Though not a success, it led to him making his Broadway debut the following year. Prince was producer of a musical based on the work of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes called Baker Street . Sallis was asked by Prince to take the role of Dr. Watson to Fritz Weaver's Sherlock Holmes. The show ran for six months on Broadway.
Just before Baker Street ended he was offered the role of Wally in John Osborne's Inadmissible Evidence , which had been played by Arthur Lowe in London with Nicol Williamson reprising the lead role. The production was troubled with Williamson hitting producer David Merrick with a bottle and walking out before being persuaded to continue. The show was a minor success and ran for six months in New York, opening at the Belasco Theater before transferring to the Shubert Theater.Sallis reprised his role in the 1968 film adaptation.
Sallis' first extended television role was as Samuel Pepys in the BBC serial of the same name in 1958.He appeared in Danger Man in the episode "Find and Destroy", (1960–1963) he played Armand Lachaume in the Maigret TV series (1961) as Gordon. He appeared in the BBC Doctor Who story "The Ice Warriors" (1967), playing renegade scientist Elric Penley; and in 1983 was due to play the role of Striker in another Doctor Who serial, "Enlightenment", but he had to withdraw and was replaced by Keith Barron.
He appeared as schoolteacher Mr Gladstone in an episode of the first series of Catweazle in 1970. He was cast in the BBC comedy series The Culture Vultures (1970), which saw him play stuffy Professor George Hobbs to Leslie Phillips's laid-back rogue Dr Michael Cunningham.During the production, Phillips was rushed to hospital with an internal haemorrhage and as a result, only five episodes were completed.
Sallis acted alongside Roger Moore and Tony Curtis in an episode of The Persuaders! ("The Long Goodbye", 1971).He appeared in many British films of the 1960s and 1970s,including Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (1960), Doctor in Love (1960), The Curse of the Werewolf (1961), The V.I.P.s (1963), Charlie Bubbles (1967), Scream and Scream Again (1969), Taste the Blood of Dracula , Wuthering Heights (1970), The Incredible Sarah (1976) and Who Is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe? (1978). Additionally, in 1968, he was cast as the well-intentioned Coker in a BBC Radio production of John Wyndham's The Day of the Triffids .
He played a priest in the TV film Frankenstein: The True Story (1973), and the following year he played Mr Bonteen in the BBC period drama The Pallisers .
Sallis was cast in a pilot for Comedy Playhouse which became the first episode of Last of the Summer Wine (retrospectively titled "Of Funerals and Fish", 1973), as the unobtrusive lover of a quiet life, Norman Clegg.The pilot was successful and the BBC commissioned a series. Sallis had already worked on stage with Michael Bates, who played the unofficial ringleader Blamire in the first two series. Sallis played the role of Clegg from 1973 to 2010, and was the only cast member to appear in every episode. He also appeared, in 1988, as Clegg's father in First of the Summer Wine , a prequel to Last of the Summer Wine set in 1939.
He appeared in the children's series The Ghosts of Motley Hall (1976–78), in which he played Arnold Gudgin, an estate agent who did not want to see the hall fall into the wrong hands,and he played Rodney Gloss in the BBC series Murder Most English (1977). In the same period, he starred alongside Northern comic actor David Roper in the ITV sitcom Leave it to Charlie as Charlie's pessimistic boss. The programme ran for four series, ending in 1980. Sallis also played the part of the ghost-hunter Milton Guest in the children's paranormal drama series The Clifton House Mystery (1978).
Sallis was the narrator on Rocky Hollow (1983), a show produced by Bumper Films, who later produced Fireman Sam , and understudied Ian Carmichael as the voice of Rat in the British television series The Wind in the Willows (1984–89), based on the book by Kenneth Grahame and produced by Cosgrove Hall Films. Alongside him were Michael Hordern as Badger, David Jason as Toad and Richard Pearson as Mole. The series was animated in stop motion, prefiguring his work with Aardman Animations. Also in 1983 he played the lead character Jim Bloggs, alongside Brenda Bruce as Hilda, in a BBC Radio 4 adaptation of Raymond Briggs' When the Wind Blows .Sallis appeared in the last episode of Rumpole of the Bailey (1992) and he later starred alongside Brenda Blethyn, Kevin Whately and Anna Massey in the one-off ITV1 drama Belonging (2004).
Sallis also narrated a few stories of the children's television series Postman Pat for audio cassettes when the original voice actor Ken Barrie wasn't available at the time and also voiced Hugo in the animated series Victor and Hugo: Bunglers in Crime (filling in for The Wind in the Willows co-star David Jason who was the usual voice of Hugo, although Jason's voice of Hugo can still be heard in the opening and closing theme songs) for audio cassettes as well.[ citation needed ]
While a student in 1983, animator Nick Park wrote to Sallis asking him if he would voice his character Wallace, an eccentric inventor. Sallis agreed to do so for a donation of £50 to his favourite charity.The work was eventually released in 1989 and Aardman Animations' Wallace and Gromit: A Grand Day Out went on to win a BAFTA award. Sallis reprised his role in the Oscar- and BAFTA Award-winning films The Wrong Trousers in 1993 and A Close Shave in 1995.
Though the characters were temporarily retired in 1996, Sallis returned to voice Wallace in several short films and in the Oscar-winning 2005 motion picture Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit , for which he won an Annie Award for Best Voice Acting in an Animated Feature Production.In 2008, Sallis voiced a new Wallace and Gromit adventure, A Matter of Loaf and Death . After the Curse of the Were-Rabbit, Sallis's eyesight began to fail as a result of macular degeneration and he used a talking portable typewriter with a specially illuminated scanner to continue working. His last role as Wallace was in 2010's Wallace and Gromit's World of Invention . Sallis then retired due to ill health, with Ben Whitehead taking over the role.
In 2006, Sallis published an autobiography entitled Fading into the Limelight;this was reissued in 2014 as Summer Wine and Other Stories: My Autobiography As well as his 36 years in Last of the Summer Wine , Sallis also recounted the early era of his relationship with Wallace and Gromit creator Nick Park when it took six years for A Grand Day Out to be completed. He said that his work as Wallace "raised his standing a few notches in the public eye".
Sallis married actress Elaine Usher at St. John's Wood Church in London on 9 February 1957.However, it was a turbulent relationship, with Usher leaving him sixteen times before they divorced in 1965 on grounds of desertion and adultery. They reconciled in 1983 and continued to live together until 1999. Sallis remained close to Usher until her death in 2014. They had one son, Timothy Crispian, who went on to become an Oscar-nominated film set designer.
Sallis suffered from macular degeneration,and in 2005 recorded an appeal on BBC Radio 4 on behalf of the Macular Society of which he was a patron. He also recorded on behalf of the society a television appeal, which was broadcast on BBC One on 8 March 2009. Following his diagnosis of the disease, Aardman produced a short animated film for the society.
Sallis was awarded an Order of the British Empire in the 2007 Birthday Honours for services to Drama.On 17 May 2009, he appeared on the BBC Radio 4 programme Desert Island Discs , selecting Sibelius' Symphony No. 5 in E-flat major as his favourite.
Sallis died at Denville Hall, a professional actors' retirement home, in Northwood, London, on 2 June 2017.He was 96 years old. He was buried next to fellow Last of the Summer Wine actor Bill Owen in the churchyard of St John's Parish Church, Upperthong, near the town of Holmfirth in Yorkshire, the home of Last of the Summer Wine.
|1954||Child's Play||Bill||Filmed in 1952|
|Stranger from Venus||Soldier||Uncredited|
|1958||The Doctor's Dilemma||Secretary at Picture Gallery (Mr. Denby)|
|1959||The Scapegoat||Customs Official|
|1960||Doctor in Love||Love-Struck Patient||Uncredited|
|Saturday Night and Sunday Morning||Man in Suit|
|1961||No Love for Johnnie||M.P.|
|The Curse of the Werewolf||Don Enrique|
|1962||I Thank a Fool||Sleazy Doctor|
|The Mouse on the Moon||Russian Delegate|
|1964||The Third Secret||Lawrence Jacks|
|Clash by Night||Victor Lush|
|Scream and Scream Again||Schweitz|
|Taste the Blood of Dracula||Samuel Paxton|
|My Lover, My Son||Sir Sidney Brent|
|Wuthering Heights||Mr. Shielders|
|1971||The Night Digger||Reverend Rupert Palafox|
|1976||The Incredible Sarah||Thierry|
|1977||Full Circle||Jeffrey Branscombe|
|1978||Who Is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe?||St. Claire|
|1982||Witness for the Prosecution||Carter|
|1983||’’ Rocky Hollow’’||Narrator|
|1986||A Dangerous Kind of Love||Mr. Walker|
|1989||A Grand Day Out||Wallace||Voice|
|1993||The Wrong Trousers|
|1995||A Close Shave|
|2001||Hotel||Radio Voice of Little Ashford Flying Club||Uncredited|
|The Incredible Adventures of Wallace and Gromit||Wallace||Voice|
|2002||Wallace and Gromit's Cracking Contraptions|
|2005||Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit||Wallace, Hutch||Voice, Won – Annie Award for Voice Acting in a Feature Production|
|Colour Me Kubrick||The Second Patient||Cameo|
|2008||A Matter of Loaf and Death||Wallace||Voice (Final film role)|
|1958||The Diary of Samuel Pepys||Samuel Pepys|
|1959||The Invisible Man||Nesib||Episode: "Crisis in the Desert"|
|1960–1973||Armchair Theatre||Various roles|
|1961||Danger Man||John Gordon||Episode: "Find and Destroy"|
|A Chance of Thunder||Howard||3 episodes|
|1962||Maigret||Armand Lachaume||Episode: "The Reluctant Witnesses"|
|1964||The Avengers||Hal Anderson||Episode: "The Wringer"|
|The Sullavan Brothers||Kenneth K. Hirst||1 episode|
|1967||Doctor Who||Penley||1 serial: The Ice Warriors|
|The Culture Vultures||Professor George Hobbes|
|1971||The Persuaders!||David Piper|
|Public Eye||Eddie Meadows|
|The Moonstone||Mr. Bruff|
|1973–2010||Last of the Summer Wine||Norman Clegg|
|1973||Frankenstein: The True Story||Priest|
|1974||The Pallisers||Mr. Bonteen|
|Who Killed Lamb?||Lloyd|
|The Capone Investment||Wheatfield|
|1976–1978||The Ghosts of Motley Hall||Mr Gudgin|
|1978||The Clifton House Mystery||Milton Guest|
|She Loves Me||Ladislav Sipos||TV Movie|
|1978–1980||Leave It To Charlie||Arthur Simister|
|1984||Strangers and Brothers||Leonard March||3 episodes|
|1984–1990||The Wind in the Willows||Rat||Voice|
|1987||The New Statesman||Sidney Bliss||2 episodes|
|1987||The Bretts||Dr. Woodward||1 episode|
|1988–1989||First of the Summer Wine||Mr David Clegg|
|1990||Come Home Charlie and Face Them||Evan Rhys-Jones|
|1992||Rumpole of the Bailey||Henry Tong||1 episode|
|1998||Rex the Runt||Wallace|
|2001||Holby City||Lionel Davis|
|2010||Wallace and Gromit's World of Invention||Wallace||Voice (Final television role)|
|2003||Wallace & Gromit in Project Zoo||Wallace|
|2005||Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit|
Wallace & Gromit is a British stop-motion comedy franchise created by Nick Park of Aardman Animations. The series consists of four short films and one feature-length film, and has spawned numerous spin-offs and TV adaptations. The series centres on Wallace, a good-natured, eccentric, cheese-loving inventor, and Gromit, his loyal and intelligent anthropomorphic beagle. The first short film, A Grand Day Out, was finished and made public in 1989. Wallace was voiced by actors Peter Sallis and Ben Whitehead. Gromit is largely silent and has no dialogue, communicating through facial expressions and body language.
Aardman Animations Limited is a British animation studio based in Bristol, England. It is known for films made using stop-motion and clay animation techniques, particularly those featuring its plasticine characters Wallace and Gromit, Shaun the Sheep, and Morph. After some experimental computer-animated short films during the late 1990s, beginning with Owzat (1997), Aardman entered the computer animation market with Flushed Away (2006). As of February 2020, it had earned $1.1 billion worldwide, with an average $134.7 million per film.
Last of the Summer Wine is a British sitcom created and written by Roy Clarke and originally broadcast by the BBC from 1973 to 2010. It premiered as an episode of Comedy Playhouse on 4 January 1973, and the first series of episodes followed on 12 November 1973. From 1983 to 2010, Alan J. W. Bell produced and directed all episodes of the show. The BBC confirmed on 2 June 2010 that Last of the Summer Wine would no longer be produced and the 31st series would be its last. Subsequently, the final episode was broadcast on 29 August 2010. Since its original release, all 295 episodes, comprising thirty-one series—including the pilot and all films and specials—have been released on DVD. Repeats of the show are broadcast in the UK on BBC One, Gold, Yesterday, and Drama. It is also seen in more than 25 countries, including various PBS stations in the United States and on VisionTV in Canada. Last of the Summer Wine is the longest-running comedy programme in Britain and the longest-running sitcom in the world.
Nicholas Wulstan Park is a British animator who created Wallace and Gromit, Creature Comforts, Chicken Run, Shaun the Sheep, and Early Man. Park has been nominated for an Academy Award a total of six times and won four with Creature Comforts (1989), The Wrong Trousers (1993), A Close Shave (1995) and Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005).
Rex the Runt is a British live-action stop-motion animated claymation pixilation adult comedy series, primarily consisting of a television show and two short films produced by Aardman Animations for BBC Bristol in association with EVA Entertainment and Egmont Imagination. Its main characters are four plasticine dogs: Rex, Wendy, Bad Bob and Vince.
William John Owen Rowbotham, was an English actor and songwriter. He was the father of actor Tom Owen. He is best known for portraying Compo Simmonite in the Yorkshire-based BBC comedy series Last of the Summer Wine for over a quarter of a century. He died on 12 July 1999, his last appearance on-screen being shown in April 2000.
The Wrong Trousers is a 1993 British stop-motion animated short film co-written and directed by Nick Park, featuring his characters Wallace and Gromit, and was produced by Aardman Animations in association with Wallace and Gromit Ltd., BBC Bristol, Lionheart Television and BBC Children's International. It is the second film featuring the eccentric inventor Wallace and his dog Gromit, following A Grand Day Out (1989). In the film, a villainous penguin named Feathers McGraw uses Wallace and Gromit's robot "Techno-Trousers" to steal a diamond from the city museum. This was the last Wallace and Gromit film to have Wallace as the only spoken character.
A Grand Day Out with Wallace and Gromit, later marketed as A Grand Day Out, is a 1989 British stop-motion animated short film starring Wallace and Gromit. It was directed, co-written, and animated by Nick Park at the National Film and Television School in Beaconsfield and Aardman Animations in Bristol.
Royston Clarke OBE, usually known as Roy Clarke, is an English comedy writer best known for creating the sitcoms Last of the Summer Wine, Keeping Up Appearances, Open All Hours and its sequel series, Still Open All Hours.
Morph is a British series of clay stop-motion comedy animations, named after the main character, who is a small plasticine man, who speaks an unintelligible language and lives on a tabletop, his bedroom being a small wooden box. This fictional character was initially seen interacting with Tony Hart, beginning in 1977, on several of his UKTV programmes, notably Take Hart and Hartbeat.
Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit is a 2005 stop-motion animated supernatural comedy film produced by DreamWorks Animation and Aardman Animations. It was directed by Nick Park and Steve Box as the second feature-length film by Aardman, after Chicken Run (2000). It was the last DreamWorks Animation film to be distributed by DreamWorks Pictures, as the studio spun off as an independent studio in 2004 until being acquired by Universal Pictures in 2016. The film premiered in Sydney, Australia on 4 September 2005, before being released in cinemas in the United States on 7 October 2005 and in the United Kingdom a week later on 14 October 2005.
Nicholas John Smith was an English comedian and actor. He appeared in the BBC sitcom Are You Being Served?, playing original character Mr (Cuthbert) Rumbold, the manager of the fictional Grace Brothers department store.
First of the Summer Wine is a British sitcom written by Roy Clarke that aired on BBC1. The pilot originally aired on 3 January 1988, and the first series of episodes followed on 4 September 1988. The show ran for two series of six episodes each, with the final episode airing on 8 October 1989. The pilot episode was produced and directed by Gareth Gwenlan. Both series of episodes were produced and directed by Mike Stephens. The BBC has never shown repeats of the show, although repeats do occasionally appear in the UK on satellite station Gold. The show was broadcast in Australia on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation network in the early 1990s.
Shirley Ann Pithers, better known as Jane Freeman, was an English-born Welsh actress who was best known for her work on British television, mostly notably for her role as Ivy in Last of the Summer Wine.
A Matter of Loaf and Death is a 2008 British stop-motion animated short film produced by Aardman Animations, created by Nick Park, and is the fourth short to star his characters Wallace and Gromit, the first one since A Close Shave in 1995.
Wallace & Gromit's Grand Adventures is an episodic graphic adventure game based around the characters of Wallace and Gromit created by Nick Park and Aardman Animations. The game was developed and published by Telltale Games. It consists of four episodes, which were released to Microsoft Windows from March 23 to July 30, 2009 and to Xbox 360 from May 27 to November 4, 2009.
Wallace and Gromit's World of Invention is a British science-themed miniseries, starring Peter Sallis, Ashley Jensen, Jem Stansfield, and John Sparkes, produced by Aardman Animations, which aired on BBC One during 2010, from 3 November to 8 December. The programme focuses on inventions based around various themes, and consists of live-action films interlaced with animated claymation segments hosted by characters Wallace and Gromit, featuring a side-plot connected to that episode's theme. While Sallis reprises his role as the voice of Wallace, live-action film segments were either narrated by Jensen or presented by Stansfield, with Sparkes providing the voice of Wallace and Gromit's unseen archivist Goronwy, a unique character for the programme.
Last of the Summer Wine's 31st and final series was aired in 2010, beginning on 25 July. All six episodes in series 31 were 30 minutes in length. All of the episodes were written by Roy Clarke and directed by Alan J. W. Bell.
Benjamin Whitehead is an English actor. He is best known as the current voice of Wallace in the Wallace and Gromit franchise following Peter Sallis' retirement and subsequent death.
Aardman Animations is an animation studio in Bristol, England that produces stop motion and computer-animated features, shorts, TV series and adverts.