Bernard Fox (actor)

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Bernard Fox
Fox in Hogan's Heroes (1968)
Bernard Lawson

(1927-05-11)11 May 1927
Died14 December 2016(2016-12-14) (aged 89)
Years active1955–2004
Jacqueline Fox
(m. 1962)
RelativesWilfrid Lawson (uncle)

Bernard Lawson (11 May 1927 – 14 December 2016), better known as Bernard Fox, was a Welsh actor. He is remembered for his roles as Dr. Bombay in the comedy fantasy series Bewitched (1964–1972), Colonel Crittendon in the comedy series Hogan's Heroes (1965–1971), Malcolm Merriweather in The Andy Griffith Show (1963–1965), Colonel Redford in Barnaby Jones (1975), Max in Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo (1977), and Archibald Gracie IV in the film Titanic (1997).

Early life[edit]

Fox was a fifth-generation performer.[1] He was born in Port Talbot, Glamorgan, the son of Queenie (née Barrett) and Gerald Lawson, both stage actors.[2][3] He had an older sister, Mavis, and his uncle was British actor Wilfrid Lawson.[4]



Fox began his film career at the age of 18 months, and by age 14 was an apprentice assistant manager of a theatre. After serving with the Royal Navy in World War II and the Korean War, he resumed his acting career and appeared in over 30 cinema films from 1956 to 2004, including two cinematic dramatizations of the sinking of the doomed passenger liner the RMS Titanic, separated by 39 years, viz, Titanic (1997) (as Colonel Archibald Gracie IV) and the earlier version of the tragedy A Night to Remember (1958) (uncredited as Frederick Fleet). In the latter, he delivered the line "Iceberg dead ahead, sir!" while playing the part of the sailor in the ship's crow's nest. His other screen roles ranged from supporting parts in broad comedies (Yellowbeard, Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo, and The Private Eyes, playing a homicidal butler in the last) to supplying the voice of the Chairmouse in the Disney animated features The Rescuers and The Rescuers Down Under. He played the role of Winston Havelock, a put-out-to-grass former Royal Flying Corps airman in the 1999 adventure film The Mummy. In 2004, Fox made his final appearance in Surge of Power: The Stuff of Heroes.[citation needed]


In 1961 he played Malcolm in all 26 episodes in the comedy series Three Live Wires.[5]

Between 1967 and 1972, Fox portrayed the witch doctor Dr. Bombay on 18 episodes of the sitcom Bewitched. However, his first appearance on that show was not as Dr. Bombay, but as a professional witch debunker. He reprised the role of Dr. Bombay on the 1977 sequel series Tabitha, and again in 1999 on the soap opera Passions, and spoofed it as a genie doctor ("wish doctor") in a 1989 episode of Pee-wee's Playhouse. Fox was the penultimate surviving adult recurring cast member of Bewitched, leaving Nancy Kovack (who portrayed character Darrin Stephens' ex-girlfriend Sheila throughout the series) as the only remaining adult cast member upon his death; child actors Erin Murphy and David Lawrence, who portrayed Darrin and Samantha's children (Tabitha and Adam) are still alive.

Between 1965 and 1970, Fox portrayed the bumbling "Colonel" Rodney Crittendon on eight episodes of Hogan's Heroes (Crittendon is a Royal Air Force group captain, and since the United States military has no "group captain" rank, Crittendon was referred to as "colonel," the equivalent American rank to avoid confusion for the show's US audience). He appeared in two episodes in the detective mystery series Columbo, "Dagger of the Mind" and "Troubled Waters". Fox also appeared as English valet Malcolm Meriweather in three episodes of The Andy Griffith Show, and in Knight Rider as Commander Smiths in season 2, episode 8.

Fox appeared as a British Major in "The Phantom Major", episode 3 of F Troop, and in "Tea and Empathy", episode 18 of season 6 of M*A*S*H. In 1964, Fox appeared in episode 117 of The Dick Van Dyke Show, titled "Girls Will Be Boys". Fox plays the father of a little girl who keeps beating up Richie Petrie. He also appeared in "Teacher's Petrie", where he played a night school creative writing teacher, and in "Never Bathe on Saturday" as the house detective. In 1965 Fox made a guest appearance on Perry Mason as murderer Peter Stange in "The Case of the Laughing Lady".

Fox also appeared in McHale's Navy; in The Man from U.N.C.L.E. ("The Thor Affair" episode as munitions magnate Brutus Thor, intent on assassinating a "Gandhi-like" figure who's attempting to bring world peace (1966) as well as in the two-part episode "The Bridge of Lions Affair" in 1966, wherein he starred as THRUSH agent Jordin, whose constant response to each additional assignment is "I'll look into it"); and in the Murder, She Wrote episode "One White Rose for Death" in 1986. In addition, he co-starred with Michael Evans as Dr. Watson in Sherlock & Me in the early 1980s.

Personal life[edit]

Fox and his wife had two daughters, Amanda and Valerie.[6]


On the morning of 14 December 2016, Fox died of heart failure at Valley Presbyterian Hospital in Van Nuys, California.[7] He was 89 years old.[8]



Year Title Role Notes
1956 Soho Incident McLeod
1956 Home and Away Johnnie Knowles
1956 The Counterfeit Plan Detective Sergeant
1957 Scotland Yard film series Sergeant Conway Inside Information
1957 Blue Murder at St. Trinian's Photographer Uncredited
1958 The Safecracker Shafter
1958 A Night to Remember Lookout Frederick Fleet Uncredited
1958 The Two-Headed Spy Lieutenant
1959 Captured Morrison Uncredited
1962 The Longest Day Pvt. Hutchinson Uncredited
1963 The List of Adrian Messenger Lynch Uncredited
1964 Honeymoon Hotel Room Clerk
1964 Quick, Before It Melts Leslie Folliott
1965 Strange Bedfellows Policeman
1966 Munster, Go Home! Squire Lester Moresby
1966 Hold On! Dudley Hawks
1966 One of Our Spies Is Missing Jordin
1968 Star! Asst. to Lord Chamberlain Uncredited
1968 The Bamboo Saucer Ephram
1971 Big Jake Scottish Shepherd Uncredited
1971 The Million Dollar Duck Car Salesman Uncredited
1973 Arnold Constable Hooke
1977 The Rescuers The Chairman Voice
1977 Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo Max
1978 The House of the Dead Inspector McDowal
1980 The Private Eyes Justin
1980 Gauguin the Savage Captain Chablat
1983 Yellowbeard Tarbuck
1988 18 Again! Horton
1990 The Rescuers Down Under Chairman / Doctor Voice
1997 Titanic Col. Archibald Gracie
1999 The Mummy Capt. Winston Havelock
2004 Surge of Power: The Stuff of Heroes Himself Final film role


Year Title Role Notes
1955–1956 Sixpenny Corner Tom Norton 10 episodes
1957 Wire Service Naval Officer Episode: "Atom at Spithead"
1958 Victory Performer TV movie
1959 Dixon of Dock Green Smiler Hodges Episode: "A Case for the Inland Revenue"
1959 The Golden Spur Soldier at Inn Episode: #1.3
1959 ITV Television Playhouse Morton Leslie Episode: "Ticket for Tomorrow"
1960 No Hiding Place Insp. Brighouse Episode: "The Golden Crown"
1960 The Love of Mike Malcolm Danders 2 episodes
1960 ITV Play of the Week Captain Scott Episode: "Beyond the Horizon"
1961 Armchair Theatre Barman Episode: "Honeymoon Postponed"
1961 Three Live Wires Malcolm 26 episodes
1963 Ensign O'Toole Hastings Episode: "Operation – Intrigue"
1963 The Great Adventure Redcoat Lt. Episode: "A Boy at War"
1962–1963 The Danny Thomas Show Alfie Wingate 4 episodes
1963–1965 The Andy Griffith Show Malcolm Merriweather 3 episodes
1964 McHale's Navy Sub-Lieutenant Clivedon Episode: "The British Also Have Ensigns"
1964–1965 The Dick Van Dyke Show Various Roles 3 episodes
1964–1966 Twelve O'Clock High Sgt. Major Higgins / Maj. Dutton / Colonel Charles 3 episodes
1965 Perry Mason Peter Stange Episode: "The Case of the Laughing Lady"
1965 F-Troop Major Bently Royce Episode: "The Phantom Major"
1965 The Flintstones Eppy Brianstone Voice, Episode: "No Biz Like Show Biz"
1965 I Spy Harold Episode: "Carry Me Back to Old Tsing-Tao"
1965–1970 Hogan's Heroes Col. Crittendon 8 episodes
1966 I Dream of Jeannie Arnie Episode: "Is There an Extra Jeannie in the House?"
1966 The Man from U.N.C.L.E. Jordin / Brutus Thor 3 episodes
1966–1972 Bewitched Dr. Bombay 19 episodes
1968 The Monkees Sir Twiggly Episode: "Monkees Mind Their Manor"
1969 Daniel Boone Carruthers Episode: "A Bearskin for Jamie Blue"
1969 Here Come the Brides Father Ned Episode: "The Wealthiest Man in Seattle"
1971 Night Gallery Mr. Canby / Ghost Segment: "House with Ghost"
1971–1973 Love, American Style Jocko / Oliver / Marshall 3 episodes
1972 The Hound of the Baskervilles Dr. Watson TV movie
1972 Columbo Det. Chief William Durk Episode: "Dagger of the Mind"
1973 Intertect Barrett TV movie
1975 Columbo Purser Watkins Episode: "Troubled Waters"
1975 Cannon Allen Farrell Episode: "The Victim"
1975 Emergency! Mr. Kern 2 episodes
1978 Soap Randolph Gatling Episode: #1.5
1977–1978 Tabitha Dr. Bombay 2 episodes
1978 M*A*S*H Major Ross Episode: "Tea and Empathy"
1978 What's Happening!! Britisher Episode: "Diplomatic Immunity"
1979 Fantasy Island Brian Lipscomb Episode: "Amusement Park/Rock Stars"
1980 The Dukes of Hazzard Higgins the Butler Episode: "Southern Comfurts"
1981 Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo Voice
1980 Lou Grant Clive Whitcomb Episode: "Libel"
1981 The Love Boat Henry Whitewood Season 5 – Episode 10
1982 Hart to Hart Nigel Hegland Episode: "Million Dollar Harts"
1982 The Jeffersons Andrew Derek 2 episodes
1983 Gun Shy Sir Charles W.R. Episode: "Western Velvet"
1983 Knight Rider Comm. Smythe Episode: "Custom K.I.T.T."
1984 Hotel Adam Partridge Episode: "Ideals"
1984 Simon & Simon Rupert Ginnias Episode: "Revolution 9 1/2"
1985 The Fall Guy Santa Episode: "Escape Claus"
1986 Riptide Prof. Holcombe Episode: "The Play's the Thing"
1986 Murder, She Wrote Andrew Wyckham Episode: "One White Rose for Death"
1988 Punky Brewster Whitmore Episode: "Aunt Larnese Is Coming to Town"
1989 Pee-wee's Playhouse Dr. Jinga-Janga Episode: "Sick? Did Somebody Say Sick?"
1990 Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers Professor, Radio Voice, Jewelry Store Owner Voice, Episode: "Gorilla My Dreams"
1999–2000 Passions Dr. Bombay 3 episodes
2001 Dharma & Greg Henry Cooper Episode: "Without Reservations"
2003 Time Squad Sir Henry Morton Stanley Voice, Episode: "Out with the In Crowd"

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Title Result
1997 Screen Actors Guild Outstanding Cast in a Motion Picture Titanic Nominated


  1. ^ "Bernard Fox". Yahoo! Movies. Archived from the original on 22 May 2011. Retrieved 3 December 2020.
  2. ^ Bernard Fox at. Retrieved on 2011-07-09.
  3. ^ "Bernard Fox Makes Fans Merry!". Retrieved 2011-07-09.
  4. ^ Erickson, Hal. Biography AllMovie. Retrieved 3 December 2020.
  5. ^ "Three Live Wires (TV Series 1961– ) - IMDb". IMDb.
  6. ^ "Obituary - Bernard Fox, actor and star of Bewitched and Titanic". The Herald. Glasgow. 16 December 2016.
  7. ^ Barnes, Mike (14 December 2016). "Bernard Fox, Who Played Dr. Bombay on 'Bewitched,' Dies at 89". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 3 December 2020.
  8. ^ "Bernard Fox, Film and TV Star of BEWITCHED, TITANIC, THE MUMMY and More, Passes Away". Broadway World. Archived from the original on 31 December 2016.

External links[edit]