Ray Brooks (actor)
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20 April 1939 |
Brighton, East Sussex, England
Ray Brooks began as a television actor. He appeared in the long-running soap Coronation Street and played Terry Mills in the series Taxi! with Sid James (1963). He then rose to prominence in the UK after starring alongside Michael Crawford and Rita Tushingham in The Knack …and How to Get It. The film, directed by Richard Lester won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 1965. Brooks followed up this success starring in the groundbreaking television drama Cathy Come Home.
Through the 1960s he also had small roles in a number of other cult television series including The Avengers, Danger Man, and Doomwatch. He played the major role of David Campbell in the Doctor Who film Daleks - Invasion Earth 2150 AD.
Major film roles in the 1970s were less numerous; among his roles was a supporting part in comedy Carry On Abroad (1972). In this decade he built a career doing voiceovers for television advertisements. He also released an album of his own songs.
Brooks returned to prominence with the BBC comedy drama Big Deal (1984–1986), where he co-starred with Sharon Duce. After Big Deal ended, Duce and Brooks starred together, as different characters, in the popular Growing Pains (1992) about a pair of middle-aged foster parents.
Brooks was also the narrator of the well known children's animations by David McKee: Mr Benn and King Rollo. He was the original 'next stop' announcement voice of the Croydon Tramlink system, before being replaced by Nicholas Owen. In 1987 the BBC chose Brooks as one of the principal character voices for the acclaimed French animated science fiction film Les Maitres du Temps which the BBC had co-produced in 1982.
In 2002 he acted in BBC drama Two Thousand Acres of Sky.
On 30 September 2006 it was announced that Brooks' EastEnders character would depart in January 2007 following the departure of Joe's wife, Pauline Fowler (Wendy Richard), at Christmas. His final appearance was on 26 January when his character confessed to killing Pauline before falling from a window to his death.
His son Will Brooks, a former football journalist, is currently engineering the MyFootballClub initiative.
- Ray Brooks interview by Chris Hunt, 1986, discussing his films of the Sixties
- Ray Brooks at the Internet Movie Database
- Ray Brooks Official Website
- Ray Brooks Interview at Best British TV