Conrad Phillips

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Conrad Phillips
Born Conrad Philip Havord
13 April 1925
Lambeth, London, England, UK
Died 13 January 2016(2016-01-13) (aged 90)
Chippenham, Wiltshire, England, UK
Occupation Actor and writer
Years active 1946–2013
Spouse(s) Jennie Phillips

Conrad Phillips (born Conrad Philip Havord; 13 April 1925 – 13 January 2016) was a British film and television actor.

Life and career[edit]

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.[1] 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 and in three years of service during World War II he saw action in the Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean Sea and the North Sea and survived the mining of a landing craft.[1] He called himself ‘Bill’ in the navy because his shipmates kept taking the mickey out of 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.[2]

He studied at RADA and then appeared in repertory theatre and in the West End.[3] 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.[4] Phillips also played Stefan, Tell's mentor in the updated version Crossbow in 1987. During the 1960s/70s, he worked in theatre, television and films – it was to be his busiest period as an actor.[2]

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. The pain was so bad that he spent the last episode of The Adventures of William Tell in a wheel chair because he had broken his ankle whilst on location. Even the fighting shots were done in this way.[2]

He met his wife, Jennie, in April 1968. In January 1972 they set about restoring a Scottish hill farm called Skeoch.[5]

They finally lived in Chippenham, Wiltshire. In 2013, Phillips released his autobiography, Aiming True.[2]

Other TV appearances[edit]

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.

Selected filmography[edit]


  1. ^ a b Conrad Philips obituary,; retrieved 13 January 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d
  3. ^ "Who's Who on Television". Independent Television Publications. 1970. 
  4. ^ William Tell details Archived March 29, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.,; retrieved 11 October 2007.
  5. ^ [1]Skeoch - Our life on a Scottish hill farm; accessed 15 January 2013.

External links[edit]