Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist

An Actor's Life

Mr Pettigrew turned up in my dreams the other night. I forget what he was doing there. Mr Pettigrew was the wimpish, dithery stooge in the Jimmy Edwards sit-com, Whack-O- which ran from 1956 to 61. I used to love Whack-O. I have no idea at this distance in time whether it was any good- and there's no way of refreshing my memory because the BBC has wiped the tapes.

I did some research. Mr Pettigrew was played by Arthur Howard. Howard (born Steiner) was the brother of the film star Leslie Howard and the father of the Shakespearean actor Alan Howard. He was a busy actor, routinely cast in supporting roles as vicars, schoolmasters and civil servants. He was in Passport to Pimlico. He was in Moonraker. In 1961 he spent a week in prison for "soliciting for immoral purposes". He died in 1995.

His performance as Pettigrew survives in the spin-off feature film Bottoms Up- which I haven't seen. When the show was briefly revived in the early 70s (those tapes still exist) Howard had been replaced in the role by Julian Orchard.
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