Howard Lang

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Howard Lang
Howard Lang as Captain William Baines.jpg
Howard Lang as Captain William Baines (15 August 1975)
Born Donald Yarranton
(1911-03-20)20 March 1911
London, England,  United Kingdom
Died 12 December 1989(1989-12-12) (aged 78)
London, England,  United Kingdom
Occupation Actor
Years active 1946-1986

Howard Lang (20 March 1911 – 12 December 1989) was a British actor best known for playing Captain William Baines in the BBC nautical drama The Onedin Line.

Early life[edit]

He was born in London as Donald Yarranton, the son of Edward John Yarranton (1884-1954) and Clara Ann (née Malkin) (1888-1921).[1] His father had left the family's bookbinding business to become a senior commercial traveller for Winsor & Newton, the supplier of artists' materials. Lang served for seven years in the Royal Navy during World War II. In January 1941 he was appointed Temporary Sub-Lieutenant,[2] and in January 1942 Temporary Lieutenant,[3] a position he held until the end of the war.[4]

His younger brother from his father's second marriage was Sir Peter Yarranton (1924-2003), chairman of the United Kingdom Sports Council from 1989 to 1994, and a notable figure in the world of rugby union, both as a player and as an administrator, for more than 40 years.

Acting career[edit]

For his role as seafaring Captain Baines in The Onedin Line (1971–1980) he gained international attention. In a 1977 interview in Radio Times Lang recalled a personal appearance in Norway:

When the series was first shown in Norway I was asked to make a personal appearance in a small shipbuilding town. As I was brought into Grimstad by sea I caught sight of huge crowds - all of 3,000 townsfolk out on the quay to greet me. I learned afterwards that I had been received as family because almost every home had an ancient photograph of an uncle, cousin or grandfather dressed and sideburned precisely as I appear on The Onedin Line.[5]

Lang's other parts included roles in The Six Wives of Henry VIII (1970), Z-Cars, Softly, Softly, The Vise, and an appearance as caveman Horg in three of the four episodes of the first Doctor Who story, An Unearthly Child.

He also played the role of Bert Hudd in the first production of Harold Pinter's first play,The Room.

In an early seafaring role, he had a cameo in Ben-Hur as the hortator aboard a Roman galley leading up to the epic battle with an enemy fleet.

Howard Lang died in London in 1989 aged 78.

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1946 Great Expectations Man at Magwitch's Trial uncredited
1950 The Mudlark Footman uncredited
1951 Captain Horatio Hornblower R.N. Officer aboard Cassandra uncredited
1952 The Floating Dutchman Gaoler uncredited
1953 The Missing Man

Counterspy

Inspector Haslett

Policeman

uncredited
1954 The Blazing Caravan

The House Across the Lake

The Men of Sherwood Forest

Devil's Point

Publican

Inspector Edgar

Town crier

Marne

uncredited

uncredited

1955 The Mysterious Bullet

Stolen Time

Davy Charlesworth

Scotland Yard detective

1956 Keep it Clean

Eyewitness

Destination Death

The Battle of the River Plate

The Hideout

Police sergeant

Cinema Commissionaire

Police sergeant

HMS Exeter Gunman

Greeko

uncredited

uncredited

uncredited

uncredited

1957 The Crooked Sky

The Big Chance

The Birthday Present

Monitoring Policeman
1958 A Night to Remember

Corridors of Blood

Chief Officer Henry Wilde

Chief Inspector

uncredited
1959 Behemoth the Sea Monster

Innocent Meeting

Man Accused

Ben-Hur

Date at Midnight

Naval Commander

Macey

Unknown

Hortator

Inspector

uncredited

uncredited

uncredited

1960 Night Train for Inverness

Jackpot

The Trials of Oscar Wilde

Feet of Clay

Sergeant

George

Court Usher

Warder

1961 Gorgo

The Curse of the Werewolf

First Colonel

Irate farmer

uncredited
1963 The Haunting

The Runaway

Hugh Crain

Norring

uncredited
1964 Nothing but the Best Jutson
1965 He Who Rides a Tiger Prison Governor
1966 A Woman's Temptation Unknown uncredited
1967 Frankenstein Created Woman Guard uncredited
1970 Perfect Friday Bank Commissionaire
1971 Macbeth Old Soldier uncredited

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Episodes
1952

1955

BBC Sunday-Night Theatre Courier Pilot

Party Guest

Season 3, Episode 29: ''Arrow to the Heart''

Season 6, Episode 44: ''The Makepeace Story #3: Family Business''

1954 Fabian of the Yard Harry Season 1, Episode 4: ''Bombs in Piccadilly''
1955 The Hole in the Wall 2nd Policeman TV Movie
1955

1958

1959

1960

The Vise Police Sergeant

Policeman

Marshall

Warehouseman

Mansfield

Mr. Peters

First Detective

P.C. Price

Jim

Season 2, Episode 8: ''The Broken Link''

Season 5: (2 episodes)

Season 6: (4 episodes)

Season 7: (2 episodes)

1956 ITV Play of the Week

The Adventures of the Big Man

The Crime of the Century

George Hutton

Balford

Mr. Barton

Season 1, Episode 37: ''Come Read Me a Riddle''

Season 1: (3 episodes)

Season 1: (2 episodes)

1956

1957

The Adventures of Robin Hood Landlord

Inn Patron with Password

Season 2: (2 episodes)
1957 Sword of Freedom

ITV Television Playhouse

Overseas Press Club - Exclusive!

White Hunter

Major Domo

Watchman

Polish bosun

Burrows

Season 1, Episode 4: ''Caterina''

Season 2, Episode 44: ''And So to Bed''

Season 1, Episode 11: ''The Unknown Man''

Season 1, Episode 4: ''The No-Account''

1957

1958

O.S.S. Bruehl

Jean

First Farmer

Season 1: (3 episodes)
1958 African Patrol

The Adventures of William Tell

Brad

Collins

Schmidt

Blacksmith

Armour

Season 1: (2 episodes)

Season 1: (3 episodes)

1959

1960

Interpol Calling Commander Siddons

Dutch Policeman

Season 1: (2 episodes)
1959

1962

Dixon of Dock Green 1st Carter

Paul Bennet

Season 5, Episode 22: ''A Case for the Inland Revenue''

Season 9, Episode 13: ''Cash and Carry''

1960 Man From Interpol

The Strange World of Gurney Slade

Knight Errant Limited

Sergeant

Unknown

Dr. O'Kelly

Season 1, Episode 7: ''Love by Extortion''

Season 1, Episode 3

Season 3, Episode 10: ''The Conspirators''

1961 Rendezvous Goddard Season 1, Episode 29: ''The Executioner''
1961

1962

Sir Francis Drake Grenville Season 1: (15 episodes)
1962 The Cheaters Willie Season 2, Episode 18: ''The Dashing Major''
1963 Richard the Lionheart

Sergeant Cork

Doctor Who

First Shepard

Drayman

Horg

Season 1, Episode 28: ''Capture''

Season 1, Episode 1: ''Case of the Reluctant Window''

Season 1: (3 episodes)

1964 Espionage

HMS Paradise

Gideon's Way

Ted Newcombe

Commander Bell

Sgt. Fowler

Season 1, Episode 19: ''Snow on Mount Kama''

Season 1, Episode 3: ''An Officer and a Gentleman''

Season 1, Episode 6: ''The Lady Killer''

1964

1967

1969

Z Cars Brown

Inspector Jackson

Tice

Season 4, Episode 6: ''Somebody Said...''

Season 6: (3 episodes)

1965 The Scales of Justice

Theatre 625

Abbott

Grimmett

Season 1, Episode 6: ''Personal and Confidential''

Season 3, Episode 10: '' The World of George Orwell: Coming Up for Air''

1966 The Wednesday Play

King of the River

Dart player

Captain Friar

Season 1, Episode 54: ''A Walk in the Sea''

Season 1, Episode 12: ''Flash Point''

1966

1967

1969

Softly, Softly Dobson

Mr. Forbes

Captain Donaldson

Season 1, Episode 19: ''The Short Cut''

Season 3, Episode 9: ''The Hunt''

Season 5, Episode 5: ''Dead Aboard''

1968 Freewheelers

Georgia Brown Sings Kurt Weill

Admiral Nash

Narator

Season 1: (3 episodes)

TV Movie

1969 W. Somerset Maugham

Detective

Clark

Packer

Season 1, Episode 4: ''The Letter''

Season 3, Episode 7: ''Elimination Round''

1970 The Six Wives of Henry VIII

Macbeth

Sir John Seymour

Siward

Season 1, Episode 3: ''Jane Seymour''

Season 1, Episode 5

1971 The Persuaders! Coalition Club Member Season 1, Episode 6: ''The Time and Place''
1971-

1974

1976-

1980

The Onedin Line Captain Baines Season 1: (15 episodes)

Season 2: (14 episodes)

Season 3: (13 episodes)

Season 4: (10 episodes)

Season 5: (10 episodes)

Season 6: (10 episodes)

Season 7: (10 episodes)

Season 8: (9 episodes)

1972 It's Murder But Is It Art Chief Constable Season 1; (3 episodes)
1974 King Thrushbeard and the Proud Princess King Geoffrey TV Movie
1976 The Basil Brush Show Unknown
1983 The Winds of War Winston Churchill Season 1: (4 episodes)
1984 The Last Days of Pompeii

Jane

Medon

Churchill

Season 1; (3 episodes)

Season 2, Episode 5

1985 The Pickwick Papers Tony Weller Season 1 (3 episodes)
1986 The Pyrates Captain Yardley TV Movie

References[edit]

External links[edit]