Ben Wright (actor)

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Ben Wright
Born(1915-05-05)5 May 1915
London, England
Died2 July 1989(1989-07-02) (aged 74)
Burbank, California
Years active1936-1989
Spouse(s)Muriel
Children2
 
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Ben Wright
Born(1915-05-05)5 May 1915
London, England
Died2 July 1989(1989-07-02) (aged 74)
Burbank, California
Years active1936-1989
Spouse(s)Muriel
Children2

Ben Wright (5 May 1915 – 2 July 1989) was an English actor in radio, film and television. He trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.

Radio

Wright worked extensively in American radio, supplying crisp, erudite diction as the radio incarnation of Sherlock Holmes (1949–1950) and Inspector Peter Black on Pursuit (1951–1952). However, he considered himself a dialectician, playing Indian servant Tulku on The Green Lama, Chinese bellhop Hey Boy on the radio version of Have Gun Will Travel, various dialect roles on Nightbeat and the anthology series Escape. His roles in the latter ranged from the Cockney protagonist of The Man Who Worked Miracles to the famed Arabian hero of The Voyages of Sinbad. Other radio credits included Gunsmoke, Crime Classics and Suspense.

Film and television

He achieved worldwide fame when he was seen as the Nazi Herr Zeller in The Sound of Music, and he had small roles in Billy Wilder's The Fortune Cookie, Judgment at Nuremberg and My Fair Lady. On TV, he guested on such series as My Three Sons, Hogan's Heroes (as various Nazi officers), Combat!, Get Smart, Bonanza, Gunsmoke, The Twilight Zone, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, It Takes a Thief and The Rockford Files.

Wright also worked as a voice actor. He was often heard on The Outer Limits as various alien voices, and he also appeared on-camera. Other voice work included the narrator in Cleopatra with Elizabeth Taylor, the BBC announcer in the film version of The Diary of Anne Frank and featured animation roles in several Disney films: One Hundred and One Dalmatians (as Roger Radcliff), The Jungle Book (as Mowgli's wolf father, Rama) and The Little Mermaid (as Grimsby). The latter was his final role. Wright died after undergoing heart surgery soon after finishing on The Little Mermaid. He was survived by his wife Muriel and a son and daughter. He was cremated.

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