Ben Aris

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Ben Aris
Actor Ben Aris.jpg
Benjamin Patrick Aris

(1937-03-16)16 March 1937
Died4 September 2003(2003-09-04) (aged 66)
Years active1951–2002
Yemaiel Oved
(m. 1966; his death 2003)
Children2, including Jonathan Aris

Benjamin Patrick Aris (16 March 1937 – 4 September 2003) was an English actor who was best known for his parts in Hi-de-Hi! and To the Manor Born, and was also very active on stage. He was often cast as an eccentric, upper-class, or upper-middle class, man.

Early career[edit]

Aris was born in London, and following the Second World War, he trained at the Arts Educational School.[1] At the age of 16, he joined a national tour of the show Zip Goes a Million. He then did his national service in the Army[1] and after that appeared in many musicals and films including The Plague of the Zombies, The Charge of the Light Brigade and if.....[1] On stage, Aris was in the 1960 production of the revue "One Over The Eight" at the Duke of York's Theatre in London.[2] He also appeared in Tony Richardson's 1969 production of "Hamlet" at London's Roundhouse, its New York transfer to the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, and also its film version the same year.[3][4][5]

Film and television career[edit]

His first television role was in the children's series Jamie in 1971.[6] He also appeared in Invasion of the Dinosaurs, a 1974 Doctor Who serial.[7] His other early television roles included Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em, Sam and the River (1975), Crown Court, Wodehouse Playhouse and Target.[8] During that time he also appeared in the films Get Carter, The Three Musketeers, Digby, the Biggest Dog in the World and Juggernaut.[5] He also worked several times for director Ken Russell, in films The Music Lovers, Savage Messiah, and Tommy, and in TV's The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and Lady Chatterley.[9][5]

For three episodes, from 1980 to 1981, he played Mr Spalding in To the Manor Born, and then in 1983, he portrayed Edmund Waller, one of Tom Lacey's friends at the court of Charles I, in By the Sword Divided.[5][10] In 1984, he made his first appearance in Hi-de-Hi! as Julian Dalrymple-Sykes, a dancer. He became a regular in 1986 and played the part until the show's end in 1988.[1] He also starred in Bergerac, Agatha Christie's Poirot, You Rang, M'Lord? and Boon. As well as acting with Penelope Keith in To the Manor Born, he also appeared with her in Executive Stress and No Job for a Lady.

Later years[edit]

One of most memorable stage performances was in the West End playing Geoffrey in Stepping Out by Richard Harris. His final stage appearance was in The Lady in the Van by Alan Bennett, opposite Dame Maggie Smith.[1] His final TV appearance was in the 2002 drama Ready. He died in Surrey in 2003 aged 66.[11] His son Jonathan Aris followed him into acting.

Selected filmography[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Obituary - Ben Aris". The Scotsman. 12 September 2003.
  2. ^ "Obituary: Ben Aris". the Guardian. 22 October 2003.
  3. ^ "Production of Hamlet | Theatricalia".
  4. ^ "Ben Aris – Broadway Cast & Staff | IBDB".
  5. ^ a b c d "Ben Aris". BFI.
  6. ^ "Jamie | Nostalgia Central".
  7. ^ "BBC - Doctor Who Classic Episode Guide - Invasion of the Dinosaurs - Details".
  8. ^ "Ben Aris".
  9. ^ "Ben Aris". The Independent. 15 September 2003.
  10. ^ "By the Sword Divided". 23 October 1983. p. 33 – via BBC Genome.
  11. ^ "BMD Indexes 1984-2004".

External links[edit]