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Gerald Campion as Billy Bunter in the eponymous TV series.
|Born||Gerald Theron Campion
23 April 1921
|Died||9 July 2002
|Children||Ann, Anthony, Angelica|
Gerald Theron Campion (born 23 April 1921 in Bloomsbury, London; died 9 July 2002 in Agen, Aquitaine, France) was an English actor best known for his role as Billy Bunter in a 1950s television adaptation of books by Frank Richards (Charles Hamilton).
The son of a screen writer, Cyril Campion, Gerald Campion appeared in numerous films and television programmes — mostly comedies. In 1937 he appeared in Tavs Neiiendam's radio play Inspiration to a Poet on the BBC Home Service.
His only major success was as Bunter, a juvenile role he played successfully despite being much older than his character (he was 40 when the series ended). In 1979 he recorded an appearance in Shada, a Doctor Who story which was recorded in part but never broadcast.
After dropping out of acting, he ran clubs and restaurants in London's Soho, the most famous - and enduring - of which is Gerry's, a private member's club attracting a mainly theatrical membership.
Campion later reprised the role of Bunter (now Lord Bunter of Hove, who had succeeded in betting shops and property) in the BBC Radio 7 series Whatever Happened to...? in the episode that speculated on whether his form master at Greyfriars School, Horace Henry Samuel Quelch, became a secret agent.
He was married twice: to Jean Simmons in 1947 (divorced 1972) and to Susan Marks in 1972 until his death. He had three children with his first wife: Anthea (a singer who married composer Thomas Rajna), Anthony and Angelica. He lived in Wittersham, Kent for many years. His mother Blanche Louise Tunstall Bear was Charlie Chaplin's first cousin.
The Soho drinking bar in Dean Street, London, is named after him.
- The Pickwick Papers (1952)
- Knave of Hearts (1954)
- Up to His Neck (1954)
- Fun at St. Fanny's (1956)
- Carry On Sergeant (1958)
- Inn for Trouble (1960)
- School for Scoundrels (1960)
- The Fast Lady (1962)
- The Comedy Man (1964)
- A Home of Your Own (1964)
- Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines (1965) uncredited
- The Sandwich Man (1966)
- The Sorcerers (1967)
- Half a Sixpence(1967)
- Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968)
- Little Dorrit (1988)
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