George Cole (actor)

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George Cole
Born(1925-04-22) 22 April 1925 (age 88)
Tooting, South London, England
OccupationActor
Years active1940–2008
Spouse(s)Eileen Moore (m. 1954–1962)(divorced)
Penny Morrell (m. 1964)
 
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George Cole
Born(1925-04-22) 22 April 1925 (age 88)
Tooting, South London, England
OccupationActor
Years active1940–2008
Spouse(s)Eileen Moore (m. 1954–1962)(divorced)
Penny Morrell (m. 1964)

George Edward Cole, OBE (born 22 April 1925) is an English film and television actor whose career has spanned over 70 years in show business.

He is probably best known as portraying Arthur Daley in the long-running ITV hit drama show Minder and Flash Harry in the early St Trinian's films.

Biography[edit source | edit]

Cole was given up for adoption at the age of ten days and adopted by the Cole family. He left school to be a butcher's boy but landed a part in a touring musical, and chose acting as a career. He appeared in a film with British stage and film actor Alastair Sim, and Sim and his family took in Cole and his mother when he was 15. They helped him lose his Cockney accent and he stayed with the Sims until he was 27.[1]

Cole began appearing in films in the early 1940s, debuting in the 1941 film Cottage to Let. He attributes the success of his career to Alastair Sim, who became his mentor. Cole appeared in a total of 11 films with Sim, starting with Cottage to Let, and ending with the somewhat obscure 1961 independent film The Anatomist.

He also acted opposite Laurence Olivier in The Demi-Paradise (1943) and Olivier's film version of Henry V (1944). He and Renée Asherson are the last surviving members of the large cast of Henry V. His career was interrupted by his service in the Royal Air Force from 1944 to 1947.

He was well known for his lead role in the 1950s radio comedy A Life of Bliss where he played an amiable but bumbling bachelor with his dog Psyche, voiced by Percy Edwards.[2] This became a TV series in 1960.

He became familiar to audiences in British comedy films in the 1950s. Cole appeared with Sim in Scrooge (as the young Scrooge) in 1951, but his best known film role was as "Flash Harry" in the St Trinian's films (two of which also star Sim), and in the comedy Too Many Crooks (1959). He also starred in the 1973 film Take Me High alongside Cliff Richard and Deborah Watling.

Television roles[edit source | edit]

Partial filmography[edit source | edit]

References[edit source | edit]

  1. ^ "STAR PROFILE: By George! What a career.". Coventry Evening Telegraph. 2004-02-14. Retrieved 2010-08-10. 
  2. ^ Barry Took (1998). Laughter in the Air: An Informal History of British Radio Comedy. Robson Books Ltd. p. 114. ISBN 978-0-903895-78-1. 

External links[edit source | edit]