Antony Booth

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For other people with the same name, see Tony Booth (disambiguation).
"Anthony Booth" redirects here. For the Victoria Cross recipient, see Anthony Clarke Booth.
Antony Booth
Born Anthony George Booth
(1931-10-09) 9 October 1931 (age 85)
Liverpool, Lancashire, England
Occupation Actor
Years active 1960–2010
Spouse(s) Gale Smith
(m. 1954; div. 19??)
Patricia Phoenix
(m. 1986; d. 1986)

Nancy Jaeger
(m. 1988; div. 1996)

Stephanie Buckley
(m. 1998)
Children 8, including Cherie Blair and Lauren Booth

Anthony George Booth (born 9 October 1931, later known as Tony and Antony) is a retired English actor, best known for his role as Mike Rawlins in the BBC series Till Death Us Do Part.

Early life[edit]

Booth was born into a working-class family in Jubilee Road, Liverpool, Lancashire. His father was a merchant seaman during World War II; his mother was of Irish descent. He attended St Edmund's Infants School and spent a year in hospital as a child with diphtheria. He then passed the Eleven-Plus examination and attended St. Mary's College, Crosby, where he was awarded a bursary to cover the cost of his books.

His hopes of being able to progress to university were dashed when he had to leave school and get a job after his father was badly injured in an industrial accident. He then worked as a clerk in a docklands warehouse and at the United States Consulate in Liverpool, before being called up for national service with the Royal Corps of Signals.[1]


Booth developed a taste for acting when posted in the Army to SHAPE in Paris. He spent five years honing his acting skills in repertory theatre, before venturing into films and television in the 1960s. Since then he has worked in all three media. He has played roles in over twenty films, including The L-Shaped Room (1962), Corruption (1968), Brannigan (1975), Priest (1994) and Owd Bob (1997). He appeared in the popular British television series Coronation Street in 1960 and in an episode of The Avengers, but it was his role as the left-wing son-in-law in Till Death Us Do Part (1965) that brought him recognition.

Booth has made guest appearances in many other television series. He starred alongside Robin Askwith in the Confessions of ... British sex comedy film series as Sidney Noggett between 1974 and 1977. These were Confessions of a Window Cleaner, Confessions of a Pop Performer, Confessions of a Driving Instructor and Confessions from a Holiday Camp.

Much of his acting work after Till Death Us Do Part went unnoticed.[2] From 1985 to 1986, Booth appeared as pub landlord Ted Pilkington in the short-lived ITV soap Albion Market. He starred in the 1998 short film The Duke, playing an elderly man who tells his adoring grandson that he is John Wayne. In 2001, Booth appeared in several episodes of Family Affairs playing Barry Hurst, Sadie Hargreaves' brother-in-law. He played a tramp named Nobby Stuart in a special two-hander episode of EastEnders. In 2007, he also played a tramp called Errol Michaels in Emmerdale. Both of these characters have played the purpose of a spiritual guide to a down-and-out character, in EastEnders, Alfie Moon (Shane Richie) and in Emmerdale, Bob Hope (Tony Audenshaw).

Personal life[edit]

He is a strong supporter of the Labour Party. He served as president of Equity, the actors' union.

He has been married four times and has eight daughters. By his first wife Gale Howard he has two daughters, including Cherie, a Queen's Counsel, who is married to former Prime Minister Tony Blair. By his third wife Nancy Jaeger he has a daughter, Joanna. He has five other daughters by partners to whom he was never married, including Lauren Booth, an English broadcaster, journalist and pro-Palestinian activist.[3]

Booth nearly burned to death in November 1979 when, during a drunken attempt to get into his locked flat, he fell into a drum of paraffin. He spent six months in hospital and needed 26 skin graft operations. Shortly after his discharge from hospital, he went to visit an 'old flame', Coronation Street actress Pat Phoenix. She took him in and nursed him back to full health, and they lived together for six years, but eventually, Pat Phoenix's own health began to fail; she became his second wife in 1986, just days before her death from lung cancer.

In a rebuke to the British government's treatment of pensioners, Booth retired to Blacklion, County Cavan, in Ireland in 2003, but returned and lived in Broadbottom, 10 miles east of Manchester. In 2006 he said he was the victim of anti-English bias while living in Ireland.[4] He currently resides in Todmorden, West Yorkshire.

Booth suffered a stroke in 2010. He was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 2004.[5] He also has chronic heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.[6]



  • Tony Booth, Stroll On (1989)
  • Tony Booth, A Labour of Love (1997)
  • Tony Booth, What's Left? (2002)


External links[edit]