Brian Murphy (actor)
25 September 1933 |
Ventnor, Isle of Wight, England, UK
|Spouse(s)||Linda Regan (1993-present)
Carol Murphy (?-?) (divorced)
Murphy was born in Ventnor, Isle of Wight. He was called up to do his national service at RAF Northwood, where he met future The Good Life actor Richard Briers. On leaving the RAF the two aspiring actors both performed in productions by the Dramatic Society at the Borough Polytechnic Institute, now London South Bank University. Murphy was a member of Joan Littlewood's Theatre Workshop (alongside Yootha Joyce), and a jobbing actor in the 1960s and early 1970s, combining his theatre work with appearances in television shows such as The Avengers, Z-Cars, Callan (Reeves in 'None of Your Business', 1972) and Dixon of Dock Green, before being cast in the role which would make him a household name.
In Man About The House, Murphy played the lazy and scheming George Roper, the landlord of a house converted into flats who had a young man and two women renting the flat above. His wife, Mildred, was played by Yootha Joyce. Her domineering, social-climbing characteristic was a sharp contrast to George's desire for an easy and quiet life and the pairing were an instant hit. A contributing factor to their immediate chemistry was the fact they had been friends for many years. Aside from their Theatre Workshop years, Murphy also featured in Sparrows Can't Sing (1963) with Joyce and other Theatre Workshop colleagues. When Man About The House ended in 1976, a spin-off was created for Murphy and Joyce, entitled George and Mildred. This ran for five series until 1979. Murphy reprised his role in feature films of both sitcoms. Joyce died in 1980.
Murphy returned to the theatre but has since only been sporadically on television, with memorable roles in On Your Way, Riley (1985) as Arthur Lucan, Lame Ducks (as a private investigator); The Bill (as a drunken tramp dressed as an elf at Christmas); comedy series One Foot in the Grave starring Richard Wilson (playing a character called Mr Foskett); Last of the Summer Wine (as Alvin Smedley); Brookside; and as a shopkeeper called Stan in Wizadora. He has more recently made appearances in comedy shows The Catherine Tate Show, This is Jinsy and Benidorm.
Murphy's second wife is Hi-de-Hi! actress, Linda Regan. His grandson is the playwright Martin Murphy, whose play Manor was performed at the Tristan Bates Theatre in Covent Garden in 2010, and his second cousin is actor Benjayx Murphy.
- Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (Christopher Bond), Theatre Royal Stratford East, Title role (Sweeney Todd), 1973.
- On Your Way, Riley (Alan Plater), The Queen's Theatre, Arthur Lucan (Old Mother Riley), February–March, 1983
- When We Are Married (J.B. Priestley), Whitehall Theatre, Herbert Soppitt, 1986.
- Roll On Friday (Roger Hall, Watford Palace Theatre, Jim, October, 1989.
Selected television roles
|1973 to 1976
1976 to 1980
|Man About the House
George and Mildred
|1981||The Incredible Mr Tanner||Ernest Tanner|
|1982||L for Lester||Lester Small|
|1984 to 1985||Lame Ducks||Ansell|
|1993 to 1999||Wizadora||Stan|
|1994||One Foot in the Grave||Mr. Foskett|
|1998||Jonathan Creek||Ken Speed|
|2003 to 2010||Last of the Summer Wine||Alvin Smedley|
|2005 to 2006||The Catherine Tate Show||Neville|
|2011||White Van Man||Albert|
|2011||The Cafe||Frank Dobson|