Talfryn Thomas

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Talfryn Thomas
Born (1922-10-31)31 October 1922
Swansea, Wales, United Kingdom
Died 4 November 1982(1982-11-04) (aged 60)
Occupation actor

Talfryn Thomas (31 October 1922 – 4 November 1982) was a British character actor, best known for supporting roles on television in the 1970s, including those of Private Cheeseman in Dad's Army (1973-1974) and Tom Price in Survivors (1975).


John Talfryn Thomas was born in Swansea on 31 October 1922. He trained as an instrument mechanic but joined the local amateur dramatic society. During World War II he was a rear gunner on a Lancaster bomber, flying on multiple raids into Germany. After surviving a crash in which all other crew were killed, he took up acting partly as therapy for the trauma, before training as an actor in the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA).[1]

For some time Thomas acted in provincial theatres. In the late 1950s he began making television appearances,[1] and in the 1960s appeared in two episodes of The Avengers - A Surfeit of H2O (1965) and Look Stop Me (1968) - and with Roger Moore in The Saint (1968). He followed this by playing with Jon Pertwee in the Doctor Who serials, Spearhead from Space (1970) and The Green Death (1973). Thomas excelled at playing quirky and sometimes seedy Welshmen. His distinctive appearance was enhanced by his protruding front teeth, which earned him the nickname 'Talf The Teef'. He is probably best remembered for his role as Private Cheeseman, a member of the Home Guard in later episodes of the television series, Dad's Army (1973-1974).

In 1975 Thomas featured in several episodes of the first series of the BBC TV series, Survivors, as Tom Price. In 1979 he appeared on The Ken Dodd Laughter Show with Rita Webb and Pat Ashton (and he was a regular on Ken Dodd's BBC radio comedy show).

Talfryn's few films included Sky West and Crooked (1965) starring Hayley Mills, and Andrew Sinclair's adaptation of Dylan Thomas's Under Milk Wood (1972), with Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor and Peter O'Toole. Like Burton, Talfryn Thomas had been in the original radio play. He was also seen in Come Play with Me (1977) and the cult film, Sir Henry at Rawlinson End (1980) from Vivian Stanshall.

Thomas died of a heart attack on 4 November 1982, four days after his 60th birthday.

Selected television roles[edit]

Year Title Role
1968 The Saint Owen Thomas
1971 Edna, the Inebriate Woman Tramp
1973 Seven of One Mr Pugh
1973 to 1974 Dad's Army Private Cheeseman
1975 Survivors Tom Price
1977 King of the Castle
1979 The Ken Dodd Laughter Show Various
1981 The Incredible Mr Tanner Cledwyn
1982 Hi-de-Hi! Gareth Davies


  1. ^ a b "Other Characters". The Dad's Army Appreciation Society. Retrieved 10 October 2012. 

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