|Charles Edward Underdown|
3 September 1908|
London, England, UK
|Died||15 December 1989
Hampshire, England, UK
|Occupation||Actor and Jockey|
|Spouse(s)||Hon. Rosemary Sybella Violet Grimston
His film credits include: They Were Not Divided, Beat the Devil, Wings of the Morning, The Rainbow Jacket, The Woman's Angle, Her Panelled Door, The Camp on Blood Island, Dr. Terror's House of Horrors, Thunderball, Khartoum, The Magic Christian and Digby, the Biggest Dog in the World.
Television appearances include: Dad's Army, Danger Man, The Saint, The Avengers, The Rat Catchers, Weavers Green, Man in a Suitcase, Doomwatch, The Regiment, Colditz, Upstairs, Downstairs, Survivors, The Duchess of Duke Street and Doctor Who (in the serial Meglos).
Both Wings of the Morning and The Rainbow Jacket were set in his beloved racing world, the former being set on Epsom Downs. Wings of the Morning, starring Henry Fonda, was Britain's first Technicolor film.
Edward Underdown was also a gentleman jockey and rode with great aplomb both on the flat and over sticks (see references to his riding career in John Hislop's books).
In 1950 he was voted by British exhibitors as the most promising male newcomer in the country.
Charles Edward Underdown married Hon. Rosemary Sybella Violet Grimston, daughter of Robert Villiers Grimston, 1st Baron Grimston of Westbury and Sybil Rose Neumann, on 10 February 1953. He is the son of Harry Charles Baillie Underdown.
He died on 15 December 1989 in Hampshire aged 81.
- Words and Music, Adelphi Theatre, London (1932-1933). The production was written and directed by Noël Coward.
- Nymph Errant, Adelphi Theatre, London (1933-1934).
- Streamline (revue), Palace Theatre, London (1932-1933).
- Stop Press, Adelphi Theatre, London (1934-1935).
- Tonight at 8.30, Phoenix Theatre, London  and New York.
- You Can't Take It With You, St. James's Theatre, London (opened 1937).
- The Grass is Greener, St Martin's Theatre, London (1958)  and Theatre Royal, Brighton .
- The Long Sunset, Mermaid Theatre, London (1961).
- Past Imperfect, Theatre Royal, Brighton (1965).
- The Warren Case (1934)
- Girls, Please! (1934)
- Annie, Leave the Room! (1935)
- Wings of the Morning (1937)
- The Drum (1938)
- Inspector Hornleigh (1939)
- Lucky to Me (1939)
- Inspector Hornleigh Goes To It (1941)
- The October Man (1947)
- The Woman in the Hall (1947)
- Brass Monkey (1948)
- Man on the Run (1949)
- They Were Not Divided (1950)
- The Woman with No Name (1950)
- The Dark Man (1951)
- The Promise (1952)
- The Woman's Angle (1952)
- The Voice of Merrill (1952)
- Street of Shadows (1953)
- Recoil (1953)
- Beat the Devil (1953)
- The Rainbow Jacket (1954)
- The Camp on Blood Island (1958)
- The Two-Headed Spy (1958)
- Information Received (1961)
- The Third Alibi (1961)
- The Day the Earth Caught Fire (1961)
- Locker 69 (1962)
- Dr. Crippen (1962)
- The Bay of St. Michel (1963)
- Man in the Middle (1963)
- Das Verrätertor (1964)
- Woman of Straw (1964)
- Dr. Terror's House of Horrors (1965)
- Thunderball (1965)
- Khartoum (1966)
- Triple Cross (1966)
- The Great Pony Raid (1968)
- The Hand of Night (1968)
- The Magic Christian (1969)
- The Last Valley (1970)
- Running Scared (1972)
- Digby, the Biggest Dog in the World (1973)
- The Abdication (1974)
- Tarka the Otter (1979)
- Dad's Army
- Danger Man
- Doctor Who (in the serial Meglos)
- Man in a Suitcase
- The Duchess of Duke Street
- The Saint
- The Avengers
- The Rat Catchers
- The Regiment
- Upstairs, Downstairs
- Weavers Green
Love of horses
Before his career as an actor Edward was a gentleman jockey and rode with great aplomb both on the flat and over sticks (see references to his riding career in John Hislop's books).
The Norfolk estate is mentioned in Bill Pertwee's book about the making of Dad's Army. One of the Dad's Army episodes was by co-incidence filmed at the estate. By this time the estate was owned by the War Office and nothing was left except for the verandah and stables. As soon as John Le Mesurier arrived he realised it was familiar to him from weekend parties Edward's father had invited him to in the 1930s. So it was that Edward found himself working in a television series that featured part of his old home.
The films Wings of the Morning and The Rainbow Jacket were set in his beloved racing world, the former being set on Epsom Downs.
Finally, after his acting career he worked as a steward at Newbury Racecourse. This was described by Bill Pertwee as "fitting for a man who not only loved horses but was also an expert rider." (ibit, page 86).
On wanting to sign-up, Edward Underdown’s first approach was to the Wiltshire Yeomanry. He reputedly appeared at the depot with his friend, Sandy Carlos Clarke, a friend who had recently returned from Canada working as a ranch hand. When asked by the recruiting Sergeant to state their professions, Underdown replied, "film star" and Carlos Clarke answered, "cowboy" and thinking this was a joke, the sergeant stated that their services were not required. Underdown did subsequently join the Wiltshire Yeomanry whilst Clarke found a post with another Yeomanry regiment. 
Underdown went on to have a distinguished second world war record as an officer in the Wiltshire Yeomanry serving in the 8th Army in Africa 
After the war Edward resumed his acting career but remained in the Territorial Army. He remained in the Territorial Army Reserve of Officers until is reached the age limit. He retired as Captain on 7th November 1959 and retained the rank of Honorary Major. 
- University of Bristol Theatre Collection Database (2011). at http://www.bristol.ac.uk/theatrecollection, accessed 26 September 2011.
- "Hope tops list for popularity.". The Mail (Adelaide, SA : 1912 - 1954) (Adelaide, SA: National Library of Australia). 30 December 1950. p. 5 Supplement: Sunday Magazine. Retrieved 10 July 2012.
- Mosley, Charles. Ed. (2003) ‘Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knightage, 107th edition’, Volume 2, Page 1685. Wilmington, Delaware, U.S.A.: Burke's Peerage (Genealogical Books) Ltd.
- Phoenix Theatre, London (1936). Theatre program for 'Tonight at 8.30'.
- St. James's Theatre (1937). Theatre program for 'You Can't Take It With You'.
- St. Martin's Theatre (1958). Theatre program for 'The Grass is Greener'.
- Theatre Royal Brighton (1958). Theatre program for 'The Grass is Greener'.
- Mermaid Theatre (1961). Theatre program for 'The Long Sunset'.
- Theatre Royal Brighton (1965). Theatre program for 'Past Imperfect'.
- Pertwee, Bill (2009) ‘Dad's Army: The Making of a Television Legend’, Page 86. U.S.A.: Anova Books.
- Daily Telegraph Online Edition, 10 May 2003, Sandy Carlos Clarke Obituary.
- Easter Daily Press (2009) ‘Film show has links to Breckland star’ (13 May 2009), at www.edp24.co.uk, accessed on 30 March 2014.
- The London Gazette, No. 41861, Supplement of of Tuesday, 3rd November 1959.