Bill Dean

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Bill Dean
Patrick Anthony Connolly

(1921-09-03)3 September 1921
Everton, Liverpool, Lancashire[1]
Died20 April 2000(2000-04-20) (aged 78)

Bill Dean (born Patrick Anthony Connolly, 3 September 1921 – 20 April 2000) was a British actor who was born in Everton, Liverpool, Lancashire.[1] He took his stage name in honour of Everton football legend William 'Dixie' Dean.


Dean served in the Royal Air Force during the Second World War, seeing action in North Africa and Italy.[2] He worked variously as a tram driver, pipe fitter, insurance agent, ship's steward, docker and local government officer, while also appearing as a stand-up comedian in Lancashire clubs and pubs, before making his breakthrough in Ken Loach's The Golden Vision.[1]

He was most notable in his later years for playing miserly Harry Cross in the soap opera Brookside. He joined the soap in 1983, a year after its inception, and remained there for seven years before departing in 1990.[3] He briefly returned to the series in 1999 for three episodes, when his character re-appeared in Brookside Close suffering from Alzheimer's disease and wrongly believing that he still lived there.[1]

The same character was the inspiration behind the 1980s group 'Jegsy Dodd and the sons of Harry Cross' who hailed from the Wirral.

He also made appearances in numerous other UK soaps and dramas including, When the Boat Comes In, The Sweeney, Minder, Juliet Bravo and Heartbeat.

Dean also appeared in the video for the single "Groovy Train" by Liverpool band The Farm. He also appeared in the films Kes, Scum, Nightwatch and Let Him Have It.




Personal life[edit]

Dean was married, and had three children: two sons, one daughter.

Having been ill for some time he suffered a heart attack and, on 20 April 2000, died at the Arrowe Park Hospital on the Wirral.[2]


  1. ^ a b c d Webster, Richard (21 April 2000). "Bill Dean". The Guardian.
  2. ^ a b c "Brookside favourite dies". BBC News. 21 April 2000.
  3. ^ "Bill Dean as Harry Cross".

External links[edit]