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19 April 1907|
Tolworth, Surrey, England, United Kingdom
|Died||30 August 1991
Cause of death
|Occupation||Actor and radio announcer|
Life and career
Born in Tolworth, Surrey, the son of a bank clerk, William Henry Wheatley and his wife Rose, née Towers, Alan Wheatley worked as a radio announcer before turning to stage and screen acting in the 1930s, as a player during the black-and-white era of film and television. He had originally been an industrial psychologist. Wheatley made his film debut in Conquest of the Air (1936), which remained un-released for four years. During the Second World War, he worked for BBC Radio, as both an actor and an announcer.
He is perhaps best known for his role in the 1950s TV series The Adventures of Robin Hood, in which he played the malevolent Sheriff of Nottingham opposite Richard Greene's Robin Hood. Wheatley appeared regularly as the Sheriff in the first three series; in the fourth and final series, his role was mostly usurped by that of the Deputy Sheriff (John Arnatt). Wheatley starred as Sherlock Holmes in the 1951 BBC TV series. He also had roles in Danger Man and The Avengers. Wheatley played the first character to be killed on-screen by a Dalek in Doctor Who, when he appeared as Thal leader Temmosus in the 1963–64 serial The Daleks.
His film credits include: Caesar and Cleopatra (1945), The Rake's Progress (1945), Brighton Rock (1947), Calling Paul Temple (1948), Spaceways (1953), Simon and Laura (1955), A Jolly Bad Fellow (1964), and Tomorrow at Ten (1964), among others. He also appeared in Inn for Trouble (1960), a film spin-off of the TV comedy The Larkins.
Wheatley was also a prolific stage actor. His theatre credits included Clifford Bax's The House of Borgia (1935), the lead in This Way to the Tomb, and the tormented soul, Harry, in The Family Reunion. He appeared in two versions of the thriller play Rope, in 1950 and 1953, and starred as Abanazar in the Cole Porter musical pantomime Aladdin' at the London Coliseum in 1960. He also played the Abbé in a BBC radio adaptation of The Count of Monte Cristo, with the young Andrew Sachs (as Dantes), and the High Lama in the 1981 BBC Radio 4 "Classic Serial" version of Lost Horizon, with Derek Jacobi as Hugh Conway.
- Appointment with Crime (1946)
- Jassy (1947)
- Calling Paul Temple (1948)
- It's Not Cricket (1949)
- Small Town Story (1953)
- Spaceways (1953)
- The Limping Man (1953)
- The Diamond (1954)
- Simon and Laura (1955)
- Inn for Trouble (1960)
- Shadow of the Cat (1961)
- Clash by Night (1963)
- Master Spy (1964)
- Tomorrow at Ten (1964)
- GRO Register of Deaths: SEP 1991 15 1514 WESTMINSTER - Alan Wheatley, DoB = 19 Apr 1907 aged 84