Conrad Phillips

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Conrad Phillips
Conrad Phillips.jpg
Conrad Philip Havord

(1925-04-13)13 April 1925
Lambeth, London, England
Died13 January 2016(2016-01-13) (aged 90)
Years active1946–1991
Spouse(s)Jean Moir (1949–1966; 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.[1][2] He is best known for playing William Tell in the adventure series The Adventures of William Tell (1958–1959).[3]

Life and career[edit]

Phillips was born Conrad Philip Havord in London, the son of Horace Havord, who was a journalist and a writer of detective stories. Conrad attended St John's Bowyer School, Clapham, in South London,[1] then worked for an insurance company.

Phillips altered his date of birth on his ration book so that he could join the Royal Navy at the age of 17. In his three years of service during the Second World War he saw action in the Atlantic Ocean, the Mediterranean Sea and the North Sea, and survived the mining of a landing craft.[1]

Phillips called himself Bill in the Navy because his shipmates kept ridiculing the name Conrad. He did not adopt the name Conrad Phillips until he started acting. His father had used the name for some of the thrillers he wrote and suggested that his son use it as his stage name. In his autobiography, Aiming True, Conrad wrote that he regretted doing so.[4]

Phillips studied at RADA, and then appeared in repertory theatre and in the West End.[5] He is probably 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.[6] He was in a wheelchair during the filming of the last episode of the series because he had broken his ankle on location..[7] 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.[7] He also played Tell's mentor Stefan in Crossbow in 1987.[3] Severe back pain, two replacement knees and a replacement hip brought an end to his career, and he retired in 1991.

Phillips met his second wife, Jennie, in April 1968. In January 1972 they set about restoring a Scottish hill farm called Skeoch.[8] They eventually went to live in Chippenham, Wiltshire.[3] Phillips published his autobiography, Aiming True, in 2013.[7]

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 c Conrad Philips obituary, The Guardian. Retrieved 13 January 2016.
  2. ^ "Conrad Phillips". BFI.
  3. ^ a b c "William Tell star Conrad Phillips dies". BBC News. 13 January 2016.
  4. ^ name="">"Aiming True – The Autobiography of Conrad Phillips".
  5. ^ "Who's Who on Television". Independent Television Publications. 1970. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  6. ^ William Tell details Archived 29 March 2009 at the Wayback Machine, Retrieved 11 October 2007.
  7. ^ a b c "Aiming True – The Autobiography of Conrad Phillips".
  8. ^ [1]Skeoch – Our life on a Scottish hill farm. Retrieved 15 January 2013.

External links[edit]