Anthony Valentine

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Anthony Valentine
Actor Anthony Valentine.jpg
as A. J. Raffles (1977)
Born(1939-08-17)17 August 1939
Died2 December 2015(2015-12-02) (aged 76)
Guildford, Surrey, England
Years active1949-2015
(m. 1982)

Anthony Valentine (17 August 1939 – 2 December 2015) was an English actor best known for his television roles: the ruthless Toby Meres in Callan (1967–72), the sadistic Major Horst Mohn in Colditz (1972–74), Bob in Tales of the Unexpected, the suave gentleman thief title character in Raffles (1977), and the murderous Baron Gruner in the Sherlock Holmes episode "The Illustrious Client" (1991).

Early life and education[edit]

Valentine was born in Blackburn, Lancashire; he moved with his family to Chiswick, West London when he was 6 years old, going on to attend Acton County Grammar School.[1]


Aged 9, Valentine was spotted tap-dancing in a stage version of Robin Hood at Ealing Town Hall.[2] He made his acting debut at age 10 in the Nettlefold Studios film No Way Back (1949), and at age 12 he was a boy sleuth in The Girl on the Pier (1953).[3] He worked regularly as a child actor for the BBC, most notably as Harry Wharton in the 1950s adaptation of Billy Bunter of Greyfriars School, having initially played Lord Mauleverer in earlier episodes.[1]

In 1958, he appeared in a television production of Ibsen's John Gabriel Borkman, with Laurence Olivier as Borkman and Irene Worth as his wife, as part of ITV's The Play of the Week series.[4]

Valentine was best known for his striking performances in particular television roles: ruthless Toby Meres in the series Callan (1967–72), sinister Luftwaffe officer Major Horst Mohn in the BBC drama Colditz (1974), the dashing eponymous role in Yorkshire TV's Raffles (1975-1977), and suave crook George Webster in The Knock (1994–96).[5]

Valentine's early stage credits include: the premiere of Arnold Wesker's Chicken Soup with Barley (Royal Court Theatre, 1958); John Osborne's Epitaph for George Dillon (Royal Court Theatre, 1958); Australian drama The Shifting Heart (Duke of York's Theatre, 1959, with Leo McKern); John Mortimer's Two Stars for Comfort (Garrick Theatre, 1962, with Trevor Howard); the original cast of Half a Sixpence (Cambridge Theatre, 1963, with Tommy Steele); and The Platinum Cat (Wyndham's Theatre, London, 1965, with Kenneth Williams).[6]

Later stage credits include: No Sex Please We're British (Strand Theatre, 1971); Anthony Shaffer's Sleuth (St Martin's Theatre, 1972, with Marius Goring); a revival of Hans Christian Andersen (London Palladium, 1977, again with Tommy Steele); 'Art' (Wyndham's Theatre, 1999–2000); and he played Cardinal Monticelso in Webster's The White Devil (Lyric Theatre, 2000).[6]

Valentine made his debut as a writer and director in 1998 at The Mill at Sonning with The Waiting Game. He went on to direct regularly at the Mill, productions including: Separate Tables (2005), The Odd Couple (2009) and California Suite (2012).[6] On 12 November 2005 Valentine became a patron of the Thwaites Empire Theatre in his birthplace, Blackburn.[1]

He narrated three Wildlife Explorer documentary films: Powerful Predators, Animal Defences, and Weird and Wonderful. He was also the voice of Dr. X on American heavy metal band Queensrÿche's 1988 album Operation: Mindcrime.[1] He narrated a 1980 NOVA documentary entitled It's About Time, presented by Dudley Moore and featuring science fiction writer Isaac Asimov. He also voiced a television commercial for Gordon's gin.


Valentine died on 2 December 2015 in Guildford, Surrey.[2] He had suffered from Parkinson's disease since 2012. He was survived by his wife, actress Susan Skipper. The couple married in 1982, having met during the filming of the successful Raffles television series, and later appeared together again in a television film of Ivor Novello's show The Dancing Years (1979).[7]

Interviewed in 1995, Valentine recalled two earlier brushes with death. First, when he was dangerously ill with meningitis at the age of 26; second in 1974, when caught up in the Turkish invasion of Cyprus, he holed up for two days in a holiday hotel as gunfire raged outside. "I've always felt that everything since has been an incredible bonus," he said.[3]



Year Title Role Notes
1949 No Way Back Little Fighting Boy
1953 The Girl on the Pier Charlie Chubb
1954 Adventure in the Hopfields Uncredited
1955 The Brain Machine Tony (Charlie's Son)
1956 Fun at St. Fanny's Schoolboy in Audience Uncredited
1960 The Flesh and the Fiends Student Uncredited
1962 The Damned Teddy Boy Uncredited
1963 West 11 Man at Party
1970 Performance Joey Maddocks
1972 Tower of Evil Dr Simpson
1976 To the Devil a Daughter David Kennedy
1979 Escape to Athena SS Major Volkmann
1981 The Monster Club Mooney (segment "Vampire Story")
1982 The Plague Dogs Civil Servant #4 Voice
1988 A Father's Revenge Vickers TV movie
1988 The Dirty Dozen: The Fatal Mission Colonel Clark TV movie
1995 Jefferson in Paris British Ambassador
1997 The House of Angelo Lord Travers
1998 Cuisine américaine Wellington
2002 Two Men Went to War Sergeant Major Dudley


Year Title Role Notes
1958 John Gabriel Borkman Erhart, in ITV's The Play of the Week production.
1961 A for Andromeda Corporal "The Miracle" and "The Last Mystery"
1967-1972 Callan Toby Meres
1967, 1968 The Avengers 1) George Cunliffe
1)"The Bird Who Knew Too Much"
1969 Softly, Softly Yob "A Quantity of Gelignite"
1969 Dr Finlay's Casebook Bruce Cameron 3 episodes
1969 Scobie in September Vickers 5 episodes
1970 Department S Gregory "The Soup of the Day"
1970 Codename Philip West
1971-1974 Justice James Eliot
1971 Budgie Jeff Staines "Grandee Hotel"
1972 Pathfinders Squadron Leader Jim Stanton "One Man’s Lancaster"
1972 Z-Cars Bright "Not Good Enough" (Parts 1 & 2) and "Connor"
1974 Colditz Major Horst Mohn
1975, 1977 Raffles A. J. Raffles
1975 Thriller Garard "The Crazy Kill"
1975 Space: 1999 Male Alien "War Games"
1979-1983 Minder Maurice Michaelson
1980, 1982 Tales of the Unexpected 1) Roland Trent
2) Bob
1) "I'll Be Seeing You"
2) "The Absence of Emily"
1980 Hammer House of Horror Cliff "Carpathian Eagle"
1981 Masada a.k.a. The Antagonists Merovius, Head Tribune
1982 Airline Dickie Marlowe "Look After Number One"
1983 Bergerac Lionel "Prime Target"
1984 Killer Robin "Killer Exposed"
1984-1986 Robin of Sherwood Baron de Belleme
1986-1991 Lovejoy Michael Seymour "The Judas Pair" and "Just Desserts"
1989 Boon Sammy Robinson "Do Not Forsake Me"
1991 The House of Eliott Victor Stride
1991 The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes Baron Gruner "The Illustrious Client"
1993 Riders Colonel Carter
1994, 1997 The Detectives 1) Chauffeur
2) Grey Wolf
1) "Never Without Protection"
2) "The Curse Of The Comanches"
1994-1996 The Knock George Webster
1998 The Bill Paul Chambers "Too Many Cooks"
2001 Waking the Dead Patrick Mantel "A Simple Sacrifice"
2002 New Tricks Spitz Snr "Creative Problem Solving"
2005 Agatha Christie's Poirot Giovanni Gallaccio "After the Funeral"
2005-2008 The Commander Edward Sumpter "Virus", "Blackdog" and "Blacklight"
2006 Heartbeat Mac MacKenzie "This Happy Breed"
2006 Nuremberg: Nazis on Trial Prison Commandant Colonel Burton C. Andrus
2007 The Last Detective Jimmy "The Gent" Vincent "Once Upon a Time on the Westway"
2009 Casualty Edward "The Price we Pay"
2009-2010 Coronation Street George Wilson 16 episodes


  1. ^ a b c d Toby Hadoke (2015). "Anthony Valentine obituary". The Guardian. Retrieved 3 December 2015.
  2. ^ a b Anthony Hayward (2015). "Anthony Valentine: Actor who made his name playing a hitman in Callan and a Luftwaffe officer in Colditz". The Independent. Archived from the original on 7 May 2022. Retrieved 11 July 2016.
  3. ^ a b "Anthony Valentine, actor - obituary". The Daily Telegraph. 2015. Retrieved 11 July 2016.
  4. ^ "John Gabriel Borkman (1958)". BFI.
  5. ^ "Lives remembered: Anthony Valentine - Star who made bad guys a speciality". 5 December 2015.
  6. ^ a b c "Obituary: Anthony Valentine". The Stage. 8 December 2015. Retrieved 11 July 2016.
  7. ^ "Colditz star Anthony Valentine dies at 76". BBC News. 2015. Retrieved 11 July 2016.

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