Conrad Philip Havord
13 April 1925
|Died||13 January 2016 (aged 90)|
|Spouse(s)||Jean Moir (1949–19??; divorced) |
Jennie Slatter (1968–2016; his death)
Conrad Philip Havord (13 April 1925 – 13 January 2016), known professionally as Conrad Phillips, was an English television and film actor. He is best known for playing William Tell in the adventure series The Adventures of William Tell (1958–1959).
Life and career
Phillips was born Conrad Philip Havord in London, the son of Horace Havord who was a journalist and detective story writer. He attended St John's Bowyer School, Clapham, south London. He worked for an insurance company, and forged his birth date on his ration book so that he could join the Royal Navy at the age of 17.
In three years of service during the Second World War he saw action in the Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean Sea and the North Sea and survived the mining of a landing craft. He called himself 'Bill' in the navy because his shipmates kept ridiculing the name Conrad. His name wasn't changed to 'Phillips' until he started acting.
His father had been using the name 'Conrad Phillips' as a pen name for his thriller writing, and suggested that his son use this as his stage name. In his autobiography, Conrad said that he regretted making that decision.
He studied at RADA, and then appeared in repertory theatre and in the West End. He is best known for portraying William Tell in the popular ITV television series The Adventures of William Tell, which ran for 39 episodes from 1958 to 1959. Phillips also played Stefan, Tell's mentor, in the updated version Crossbow in 1987. During the 1960s and 1970s, he worked in theatre, television and films – it was to be his busiest period as an actor.
Severe back pain, two replacement knees and a replacement hip brought a premature end to Conrad Phillips' acting career, and he retired from the screen in 1991. He spent the last episode of The Adventures of William Tell in a wheelchair, because he had broken his ankle whilst on location. Even the fighting shots were done in this way.
He met his wife, Jennie, in April 1968. In January 1972 they set about restoring a Scottish hill farm called Skeoch.
Other TV appearances
- The Adventures of the Scarlet Pimpernel (1956) episode 17 – Gentlemen of the Road. Character – Latour.
- The Invisible Man – Series 2, Episode 12 – Shadow Bomb (1961). Character – Captain Finch.
- Richard the Lionheart (1961–62 TV series) – episode 21 – A Marriage of Convenience (1962). Character – Guy.
- The Avengers (1966) episode – Silent Dust. Character – Mellors.
- Callan (1967) episode – Jack on Top. Character – Wilson.
- The Prisoner (1967) episode – "The General"
- UFO (1971) episode – Reflections in the Water. Character – Skipper.
- Fawlty Towers (1975) episode – The Wedding Party. Character – Mr Lloyd
- Cribb (1980) episode – Mad Hatter's Holiday. Character – Dr. Prothero
- The Return of Sherlock Holmes (1985) episode – The Abbey Grange. Character – Sir Eustace Brackenstall.
Other TV shows: The Count of Monte Cristo, The New Adventures of Charlie Chan, The Newcomers (recurring character – Robert Malcolm), Sutherland's Law, Howards' Way, Never the Twain, The Gaffer, Sorry! and Emmerdale Farm (recurring character – Dr Christopher Meadows from 1981 to 1986). Mini-series: Into the Labyrinth and The Master of Ballantrae.
- A Song for Tomorrow (1948) – Lieutenant Fenton
- The Temptress (1949) – Captain Green
- Lilli Marlene (1950) – Security Officer
- The Last Page (1952) – Detective Todd (uncredited)
- It Started in Paradise (1952) – 1st Photographer (uncredited)
- Three Steps to the Gallows (1953) – Clerk – Travel Agent (uncredited)
- Mantrap (1953) – Barker
- The Diamond (1954) – Policeman (uncredited)
- Johnny on the Spot (1954) – Police Sergeant (uncredited)
- The Secret Tent (1956) – Detective Sergeant
- The Last Man to Hang? (1956) – Dr. Mason
- Circus Friends (1956) – Larry
- The Battle of the River Plate (1956) – Lt. Washbourne – Gunnery Officer, HMS Achilles (uncredited)
- Zarak (1956) – Johnson – Young Officer
- A Question of Adultery (1958) – Mario
- The White Trap (1959) – Sgt. Morrison
- Witness in the Dark (1959) – Inspector Coates
- The Desperate Man (1959) – Curtis
- Circus of Horrors (1960) – Insp. Arthur Ames
- Sons and Lovers (1960) – Baxter Dawes
- The Fourth Square (1961) – Bill Lawrence
- No Love for Johnnie (1961) – Drake
- The Secret Partner (1961) – Dr. Alan Richford
- Shadow of the Cat (1961) – Michael Latimer
- Murder, She Said (1961) – Harold
- A Guy Called Caesar (1962) – Tony
- The Durant Affair (1962) – Julian Armour
- Dead Man's Evidence (1962) – David Baxter
- Don't Talk to Strange Men (1962) – Ron
- Impact (1963) – Jack Moir
- The Switch (1963) – John Curry
- Heavens Above! (1963) – P.R.O.
- Stopover Forever (1964) – Eric Cunningham
- Dateline Diamonds (1965) – Tom Jenkins
- The Murder Game (1965) – Peter Shanley
- Who Killed the Cat? (1966) – Inspector Bruton
- The Ghost of Monk's Island (1967) – Eli Oakes
- Hannay Series "Double Jeopardy (14 February 1989) – Dirk Huysman.
- Conrad Philips obituary, The Guardian. Retrieved 13 January 2016.
- "Aiming True – The Autobiography of Conrad Phillips".
- "Who's Who on Television". Independent Television Publications. 1970.
- William Tell details Archived 29 March 2009 at the Wayback Machine, televisionheaven.co.uk. Retrieved 11 October 2007.
- Skeoch – Our life on a Scottish hill farm. Retrieved 15 January 2013.