Clive Dunn

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Clive Dunn OBE
Clive Dunn-1973.png
Clive Dunn in Dad's Army
BornClive Robert Benjamin Dunn
(1920-01-09)9 January 1920
Covent Garden, London, England
Died6 November 2012(2012-11-06) (aged 92)
Algarve, Portugal
NationalityBritish
EducationSevenoaks School
Alma materItalia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts
Occupation
Years active1935–84
Known forLance-Corporal Jack Jones
Notable work(s)See below
TelevisionDad's Army
Spouse(s)Patricia Kenyon
(m. 1951–1958, divorced)
Priscilla Morgan
(m. 1959–2012, his death)
ChildrenPolly Dunn
Jessica Dunn
RelativesGretchen Franklin
(cousin)
 
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Clive Dunn OBE
Clive Dunn-1973.png
Clive Dunn in Dad's Army
BornClive Robert Benjamin Dunn
(1920-01-09)9 January 1920
Covent Garden, London, England
Died6 November 2012(2012-11-06) (aged 92)
Algarve, Portugal
NationalityBritish
EducationSevenoaks School
Alma materItalia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts
Occupation
Years active1935–84
Known forLance-Corporal Jack Jones
Notable work(s)See below
TelevisionDad's Army
Spouse(s)Patricia Kenyon
(m. 1951–1958, divorced)
Priscilla Morgan
(m. 1959–2012, his death)
ChildrenPolly Dunn
Jessica Dunn
RelativesGretchen Franklin
(cousin)

Clive Robert Benjamin Dunn,[1][2] OBE (9 January 1920 – 6 November 2012) was an English actor, comedian, artist and author, best known for his role as Lance-Corporal Jack Jones in the popular BBC sitcom Dad's Army.[3]

Early life and education[edit]

Born in Covent Garden, London, Dunn was the son of actors, and the cousin of actress Gretchen Franklin. As a child, he almost died from post-operative complications after a supernumerary nipple was removed.[4] Dunn was educated at Sevenoaks School, an independent boarding school for boys (now coeducational), in Sevenoaks, Kent. After leaving school, Dunn studied at the independent Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts, in London.

Career[edit]

Dunn played small film roles from the 1930s onwards, appearing alongside Will Hay in the films Boys Will Be Boys (1935) while still a schoolboy, and Good Morning, Boys (1937). After a break for service in the army with the 4th Queen's Own Hussars, during the Second World War, during the course of which he was captured in Greece[5] and spent four years in prisoner-of-war and labour camps in Austria,[6] he worked for many years in music halls and theatres. In 1956 and 1957, Dunn appeared in both series of The Tony Hancock Show and the army reunion party episode of Hancock's Half Hour in 1960. In the 1960s he made many appearances with Tony Hancock, Michael Bentine, Dora Bryan and Dick Emery, among others, before winning the role of Jones in Dad's Army in 1968.

From early on in his career, his trademark character was that of a doddering old man. This first made an impression in the show Bootsie and Snudge, a spinoff from The Army Game. Dunn played the old dogsbody Mr Johnson at a slightly seedy gentlemen's club where the characters Pte. "Bootsie" Bisley (Alfie Bass) and Sgt. Claude Snudge (Bill Fraser) found work after leaving the Army.

In 1967 he made a guest appearance in an episode of The Avengers, playing the proprietor of a toy shop in "Something Nasty in the Nursery". He was also one of the alien voices in the Cadbury's Smash advertisements in the 1970s, alongside Dad's Army co-star Bill Pertwee.

Dunn was one of the younger members of the Dad's Army cast when, at 48, he took on the role of the elderly butcher whose military service in earlier wars made him the most experienced member of the Walmington-on-Sea Home Guard, as well as one of the most decrepit. Jack Haig and David Jason had previously been considered for the role.[6]

Dunn's staunch socialist beliefs often caused him to fall out with Arthur Lowe, who played Captain Mainwaring and who was an active Conservative. When the series ended and Dunn finally accepted an OBE, after many offers, it was reported that Lowe would only accept a higher-rated honour from the Queen.[7]

After Dad's Army ended, Dunn capitalised on his skill in playing elderly character roles by playing the lead character Charlie Quick in the slapstick children's TV series Grandad, from 1979 to 1984 (he played the caretaker at a village hall, and sang the lyrics in the theme).[8] He had previously had a number one hit single with the song "Grandad" on his 51st birthday in January 1971, accompanied by a children's choir. The song was written by bassist Herbie Flowers. He performed the song four times on Top of the Pops. The B-side of "Grandad", "I Play The Spoons", also received considerable airplay. After the cancellation of Grandad in 1984, he effectively disappeared from the screen, retiring to Portugal.[9] Following the success of the "Grandad" record, Dunn released several other singles.

Personal life[edit]

He married fashion model Patricia Kenyon in London in 1951.[10] The couple divorced in 1958.[3] He married actress Priscilla Pughe-Morgan (born 14 January 1934)[11] in June 1959[12] and they had two daughters, Polly and Jessica.

A 2006 article described Dunn as having eye trouble and sometimes being unable to see, but otherwise appearing to be in good health.[1] In August 2008, he recorded a message for the programme Jonathan Ross Salutes Dad's Army, which was shown to celebrate the fortieth anniversary of Dad's Army.

Dunn's cousin Gretchen Franklin was a television actress, best remembered as Ethel Skinner in the BBC soap opera EastEnders. Dunn inherited a share in her estate on her death in 2005.[13]

He spent his last three decades in the Algarve, Portugal.[13] He occupied himself as an artist painting portraits, landscapes and seascapes until his sight failed.[14]

Death[edit]

Dunn died in Portugal on 6 November 2012 from complications following an operation which took place earlier that week. His agent, Peter Charlesworth, said the star would be "sorely missed" and that his death was "a real loss to the acting profession".[14][15]

Frank Williams, who played the Vicar in Dad's Army, said he was always "great fun" to be around. "Of course he was so much younger than the part he played," he told BBC Radio Four. "It's very difficult to think of him as an old man really, but he was a wonderful person to work with – great sense of humour, always fun, a great joy really".[16]

Ian Lavender, who played Private Pike in the show, said: "Out of all of us he had the most time for the fans. Everyone at one time or another would be tempted to duck into a doorway or bury their head in a paper but not Clive, he always made time for fans".[16]

Filmography[edit]

Films[edit]

Television roles[edit]

YearTitleRole
1960–63Bootsie and SnudgeHenry Johnson
1968–77Dad's ArmyLance-Corporal Jack Jones
1970–71Here Come the Double Deckers!Hodge
1974–75My Old ManSam Cobbett
1979–84GrandadCharlie Quick

Singles[edit]

Non-fiction[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Don't panic, Arthur!". iccoventry. Retrieved 26 January 2006. 
  2. ^ GRO Register of Births: MAR 1920 1d 1060 LAMBETH – Robert B. Dunn, mmn = Franklin
  3. ^ a b Clive Dunn. Telegraph (7 November 2012). Retrieved on 4 February 2013.
  4. ^ "Rebecca Tyrrel: 'Chandler Bing thought his third nipple opened a gateway to Narnia'". The Independent. 28 January 2012. 
  5. ^ "Clive Dunn Obituary". BBC News. 8 November 2012. 
  6. ^ a b [1][dead link]
  7. ^ Graham McCann "Dad's Army, The Story of a Classic Television Show" ISBN 1-84115-309-5
  8. ^ "Clive Dunn; Grandad episode part 1". Youtube.com. Retrieved 4 February 2013. 
  9. ^ Permission to Speak, Sir? Saga magazine (February 1992) accessed 15 February 2007
  10. ^ GRO Register of Marriages: SEP 1951 5c 2884 KENSINGTON – Robert B. Dunn = Patricia Kenyon
  11. ^ "Researcha". Web.researcha.com. Retrieved 3 August 2011. 
  12. ^ GRO Register of Marriages: JUN 1959 9c 1654 STRATFORD – Robert B. Dunn = Priscilla M. Pughe-Morgan
  13. ^ a b EastEnder Ethel leaves £200,000 to elderly, Daily Mail, accessed 3 March 2007
  14. ^ a b Haynes, Jonathan. "Dad's Army actor Clive Dunn dies". The Guardian. Retrieved 7 November 2012. 
  15. ^ "The Passing Away of Clive Dunn by Lifestyle Uncut". Lifestyleuncut.com. Retrieved 8 November 2012. 
  16. ^ a b "BBC News – Clive Dunn, Dad's Army actor, dies aged 92". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 7 November 2012. 
  17. ^ "Permission to speak : an autobiography / Clive Dunn.". British Library. Retrieved 4 February 2013. 
  18. ^ "Permission to laugh : my favourite funny stories / Clive Dunn ; illustrations by Jessica Dunn". British Library. Retrieved 4 February 2013. 

External links[edit]