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Sam Kelly (born 19 December 1943) is an English actor who has appeared in film, television, radio and theatre. He is best known for his roles as Captain Hans Geering in 'Allo 'Allo and as Ted Liversidge in Barbara.
Kelly was born in Manchester, Lancashire, on 19 December 1943. He worked for three years in the civil service in Liverpool before training as an actor at LAMDA. After graduating in 1967 he appeared in repertory theatres around the UK.
He has had roles in British sitcoms such as Porridge as Bunny Warren, 'Allo 'Allo! as Captain Hans Geering, leaving after series three, (something he later said that he regretted doing), On the Up as Dennis Waterman's chauffeur and We'll Think of Something as Les Brooks. From 1995 to 2003, he played Barbara's husband Ted in the British sitcom series Barbara.
He also appeared in the Doctor Who audio dramas "The Holy Terror" and "Return to the Web Planet" by Big Finish Productions. He played Bernard in Holding On (1997) and Carl Langbehn in the five-part television drama Christabel (1988). He appeared in Midsomer Murders: Down Among the Dead Men as Jack Fothergill and as the eccentric impoverished ghost writer, Majors, in the Inspector Morse episode "Second Time Around".
In the 1990s he co-starred in the comedy television series Haggard and in the miniseries Martin Chuzzlewit. He also performed in H.M.S. Pinafore with the new D'Oyly Carte Opera Company in 2002. In 1998, Kelly appeared in an episode of the first series of Cold Feet, playing Algernon Gifford.
In radio he played the part of Carter Brandon in the BBC's Radio4 series of the continuing adventures of Uncle Mort and Carter Brandon in Uncle Mort's South Country and Uncle Mort's Celtic Fringe. These were written by Peter Tinniswood.
Kelly starred in Jean-Paul Sartre's play Kean alongside Antony Sher at the Theatre Royal, Bath, and in the West End in May 2007. In December 2007, a car struck and injured Kelly in the West End. The role he was to have played in the Doctor Who episode "Midnight," filmed that month, was played instead by David Troughton.
In 2008, he guest starred in the Sapphire and Steel audio drama Remember Me. In November 2008, he starred in the title role of Christopher Reason's radio dramatisation of Jaroslav Hašek's The Good Soldier Švejk, broadcast on BBC Radio 4.
Kelly recently starred as the Wizard in the London production of the musical, Wicked. He replaced Desmond Barrit on 11 May 2009, and played his final performance on 27 March 2010. He was succeeded by West End veteran Clive Carter. Mr. Kelly then returned to Wicked on 18 November 2013, again as the Wizard. It was reported in January 2014, that Kelly had departed the production due to ill health, and that his replacement from 17 February 2014, would be West End veteran Martyn Ellis.
He has worked with director Mike Leigh on several occasions, including Grown-Ups (1980), Topsy-Turvy (1999), All or Nothing (2002) and currently (September 2011) on stage at the National Theatre in Grief.
Sam Kelly's latest roles have been as the ARP warden in Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang, and as the old boatman, John Merdell, in the ITV production of Dead Man's Folly in the final (2013) series of Poirot, the last episode of the series to be filmed.
On 23 July 2010, Kelly starred as Martin in the sitcom My Family and he starred in the Heartbeat episode "Deadlier Than the Male". He also starred in "When We Are Married" at London's Garrick Theatre and in Mike Leigh's movie for the 2012 Olympics, "A Running Jump". He opened at the National Theatre on 21 September 2011, in Mike Leigh's play, "Grief", starring with Lesley Manville.