Donald Hewlett

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Donald Hewlett
Born Donald Marland Hewlett[1]
(1920-08-30)30 August 1920
Northenden, Manchester, Lancashire, England, UK
Died 4 June 2011(2011-06-04) (aged 90)
Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, London, England, UK
Occupation Actor
Years active 1954–1995
Spouse(s) Christine Pollon (dissolved); Diana Greenwood (dissolved); Thérèse McMurray (to his death)[1]
Children 5 children

Donald Hewlett (30 August 1920 – 4 June 2011)[2] was an English actor, born in Northenden, Manchester, Lancashire, and best known for his sitcom roles as Colonel Charles Reynolds in It Ain't Half Hot Mum and Lord Meldrum in You Rang, M'Lord?, both written by Jimmy Perry and David Croft. He also had a number of parts in British film and television productions.[3]

Early life[edit]

Hewlett was born into a wealthy family; his father Thomas Hewlett owned the Anchor Chemical Company which is based in Clayton, Manchester and is now a subsidiary of Air Products.

Hewlett was educated at Clifton College in Bristol followed by St John's College, Cambridge where he was part of the Footlights Revue.[4] During World War II he served in the Royal Navy as a meteorologist[2] and was stationed for several years in Kirkwall in the Orkney Islands where he was a founder member of the Kirkwall Arts Club.[5][6] He was later posted to Singapore.[4]

Career[edit]

Following his demob, Hewlett trained at RADA and gained his first professional acting job in repertory theatre at the Oxford Playhouse where he worked alongside Ronnie Barker.[4] His first television acting role was the part of Lincoln Green in 1954's Orders are Orders.

His television appearances included The Ronnie Corbett Show, The Ronnie Barker Playhouse, The Saint, The Avengers, The Dick Emery Show and the 1971 Doctor Who story The Claws of Axos. However, he gained his most prominent role in the Croft and Perry sitcom It Ain't Half Hot Mum (1974–81) as Colonel Charles Reynolds. He was reunited with fellow actor Michael Knowles in another David Croft sitcom, the sci-fi spoof Come Back Mrs. Noah (1977–78), and later with the successful You Rang, M'Lord? (1988–93) as George, Lord Meldrum. Other roles included 'Winkworth' in Morris Minor's Marvellous Motors in 1989 and The Adventures of Brigadier Wellington-Bull. His last TV appearance was in The Upper Hand in 1995.[7]

Hewlett made a number of film appearances including Spike Milligan's Adolf Hitler - My Part in His Downfall, A Touch of Class, Carry On Behind and The First Great Train Robbery.[7]

Hewlett's previous marriages, to Christine Pollon and Diana Greenwood, ended in divorce.[1] He had two sons and a daughter by Greenwood.[1] Having previously lived for several years in Whitstable, Kent, he lived in Fulham, SW London,[citation needed] with his third wife Therese McMurray-Hewlett, by whom he had a son and daughter.[1]

His daughter, Siobhan Hewlett, is an actress, best known for her role in Irina Palm.

Death[edit]

Hewlett died from pneumonia at the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in West London aged 90.[8] He is survived by his wife and his five children.[1]

Selected television roles[edit]

Year Title Role
1959 The Adventures of Brigadier Wellington-Bull Captain Sooty Pikington
1965 Coronation Street Robert 'Bob' Maxwell
1976 Rogue's Rock Wing Commander Rogue
1974–1981 It Ain't Half Hot Mum Lieutenant-Colonel Charles Reynolds
1977–1978 Come Back Mrs. Noah Carstairs
1988–1993 You Rang, M'Lord? Lord George Meldrum

Filmography[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Telegraph obituary
  2. ^ a b Hayward, Anthony (7 June 2011). "Donald Hewlett obituary". guardian.co.uk. Retrieved 12 June 2011. 
  3. ^ It Ain't Half Hot Mum's Donald Hewlett dies at 90, BBC News, 5 June 2011
  4. ^ a b c Rob Cope, Mike Fury, You Rang M'Lord?, DAAS, 35-36
  5. ^ W. S. Hewison, This Great Harbour Scapa Flow, The Orcadian Ltd (kirkwall Press) 2000, ISBN 978-1-902957-02-9
  6. ^ The Orcadian Features - Another war
  7. ^ a b Donald Hewlett at the Internet Movie Database
  8. ^ It Ain't Half Hot Mum actor Donald Hewlett dies at 90 after being 'ill for some time

External links[edit]