• Arthur Mullard 02

A page from an autograph album signed with a biro by Arthur Mullard (1910-1995), the English comedy actor. Following the end of the Second World War in 1945 Mullard found work as a stuntman at Pinewood and Ealing film studios, from which he drifted into uncredited bit-parts in British films such as Oliver Twist, The Ladykillers, Morgan!, The Great St Trinian's Train Robbery, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Ladies Who Do, Adventures of a Plumber's Mate and The Lavender Hill Mob. His distinctive "ugly mug" and cockney accent lent itself to a certain character and he graduated to more visible roles in comedy films and on television. It was on television that Mullard made a name for himself, first as a straight man for Tony Hancock, Frankie Howerd and Benny Hill, then in The Arthur Askey Show. It was the London Weekend Television series Romany Jones, first aired in 1973, which give Mullard his highest profile, playing Wally Briggs, a crafty caravan-dwelling character. So popular was Mullard's character that a spin-off - Yus, My Dear - was created in 1976, in which Wally and his wife Lily (Queenie Watts) had moved out of their caravan into a council house. The series introduced Wally's brother Benny, the first acting role for future EastEnders and Snatch star Mike Reid. Yus, My Dear was a hit and Arthur (or "Arfur" as he was widely known) was regularly a guest in other programmes and television commercials.

Arthur Mullard 02

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