Barry Evans (actor)

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For the soap opera character, see Barry Evans (EastEnders). For the baseball player, see Barry Evans (baseball).
Barry Evans
Barry Evans, (actor).jpg
Barry Evans as 'Jamie McGregor' in Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush (1967)
Born Barry Joseph Evans
(1943-06-18)18 June 1943
Guildford, Surrey,
England
Died 9 February 1997(1997-02-09) (aged 53)
Claybrooke Magna, Leicestershire, England
Occupation Actor
Years active 1964 - 1993

Barry Joseph Evans (18 June 1943 – 9 February 1997)[1] was an English actor and television performer best known for his appearances in British sitcoms such as Doctor in the House and Mind Your Language.

Biography[edit]

Early life[edit]

Born in Guildford, Surrey, and abandoned as a baby, Evans was educated at the orphanage boarding schools run by the Shaftesbury Homes, first at Fortescue House School in Twickenham and then at Bisley Boys' School in Bisley, Surrey. His acting ability was recognised at an early age and he often played the leading roles in school plays. Evans attended the Italia Conti Academy and later won a John Gielgud Scholarship to study at the Central School of Speech and Drama.

Career[edit]

One of Evans' first television credits was in the soap opera Crossroads in 1964. He subsequently played the lead role in the film Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush (1967), where he was cast as a sex-starved boy who finds it difficult to lose his virginity.

His first major television role was in the sitcom Doctor in the House (1969–70), based on Richard Gordon's series of novels already turned in to a feature film series. Evans starred as the earnest but gullible Michael Upton. Following the show's success, he starred in the sequel to the series, Doctor at Large (1971). Evans enjoyed working with his fellow actors and later described these as the best years of his life.

In 1975, he had the lead role in Stanley Long's sex comedy Adventures of a Taxi Driver. Despite the film's commercial success, Evans declined to appear in the sequel.

Evans starred as Jeremy Brown in the ITV sitcom Mind Your Language (1977–79), which was a humorous look at an evening class tutor attempting to teach immigrants English. Most of the characters were foreign stereotypes; it was immensely popular, both in the UK and internationally, and especially in the countries the actors portrayed. The series was written by TV scriptwriter Vince Powell, and was adapted for American TV as What a Country! in 1986.

Later career and death[edit]

By the late 1980s, his youthful image was working against him, and he found it difficult to obtain mature acting roles in line with his age. His last role was as Bazzard in the film adaptation of The Mystery of Edwin Drood in 1993. By the late 1990s, he was a minicab driver in Leicestershire, where in 1997 he was found dead aged 53 in his bungalow. The police discovered the actor's body after going to his house to tell him they had recovered his stolen car.[2] The cause of his death has never been confirmed. The Coroner found a blow to Evans' head and an 18-year-old man was arrested but later released without charge. The Coroner also found high levels of alcohol in his system which suggested suicide or accidental death. An open verdict was eventually given.[3]

TV credits[edit]

Year Title Role
1964 Camera Three
1965 Undermind Ted
1965 Redcap Tug Wilson
1967 Much Ado About Nothing Coffee boy
1967 The Baron Hotel porter (uncredited)
1968 Love Story
1969 Journey to the Unknown Jimmy Rintoul
1969–1971 Doctor in the House
Doctor at Large
Dr Michael Upton
1971 Journey to Murder Jimmy Rintoul
1972 Late Night Theatre Joe
1975 Crossroads Trevor Woods
1977-1979
1986
Mind Your Language Mr Jeremy Brown
1978 Crown Court Barry Sellars
1982 Legacy of Murder Robin Bright

Filmography[edit]

Year Title Role
1967 The White Bus Boy
1967 Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush Jamie McGregor
1969 Alfred the Great Ingild
1971 Die Screaming, Marianne Eli Frome
1976 Adventures of a Taxi Driver Joe North
1976 Under the Doctor Doctor Boyd, Psychiatrist/
Mr Johnson/Lt Cranshaw/Colin Foster
1993 The Mystery of Edwin Drood Bazzard

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hayward, Anthony (13 February 1997). "Obituary: Barry Evans". The Independent (London, UK). Retrieved 6 January 2011. 
  2. ^ Bennetto, Jason (12 February 1997). "Police investigate `suspicious' death of sitcom actor". The Independent (London, UK: Independent Print Limited). Retrieved 25 December 2010. 
  3. ^ Upton, Julian (2004). Fallen Stars: Tragic Lives and Lost Careers. London, UK: Headpress. p. 89. ISBN 1-900486-38-5. 

External links[edit]

  • Barry Evans at the Internet Movie Database
  • "Coroner's Report". Retrieved 2013. 
  • Sheridan, Simon (2011). Keeping the British End Up: Four Decades of Saucy Cinema (fourth ed.). Titan Books. 
  • Sheridan, Simon (2008). X-Rated – Adventures of an Exploitation Filmmaker. Reynolds & Hearn Books.