James Digby Wolfe
4 June 1929
London, UK 
|Died||2 May 2012 (aged 82)|
Albuquerque, New Mexico, U.S.
|Occupation||Actor, screenwriter, writer|
James Digby Wolfe (4 June 1929 – 2 May 2012) was an English-born actor of television and film, screenwriter and university lecturer in dramatic writing. After a successful career in his native UK and Australia, his later career was based in the United States.
James Digby Wolfe was born to a father who was an international banker and a mother who was a Vogue magazine artist. His mother named him after a character in Beau Geste. When he was four, his father died after being hit by a golf ball and he was brought up by his mother in Felixstowe.
Film and television career
He made his film debut in the 1948 film The Weaker Sex. He began writing and performing in comedy series in England in the 1950s. Together with Jimmy Wilson he wrote a revue, with music by John Pritchett and Norman Dannatt, for the Irving Theatre. He appeared alongside Ronnie Corbett, Hattie Jacques and Charles Hawtrey, in his own television show Wolfe at the Door before moving to Sydney in 1959, where he made frequent television appearances and was host of the variety shows, Revue '61 and Revue '62.
At that time, his resident comedian was Dave Allen, who later became a household name in the UK and Australia. Wolfe returned to England for a while in the early 1960s and was a writer on the seminal TV satirical review That Was the Week That Was. He also taught screenwriting at USC in the MPW (Master of Professional Writing) program.
Career in the US
In 1964, he moved to the United States, where his television credits included The Monkees, Bewitched, I Dream of Jeannie, and The Munsters, while his film roles included voice parts in The Jungle Book and Father Goose, in which he sang the main theme. His writing credits included Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In (for which he won an 'Emmy' in 1968), and The Goldie Hawn Special. He also wrote for John Denver, Shirley MacLaine, Cher and Jackie Mason, among others. In 1976 he hosted two episodes of the Australian version of This Is Your Life.
Later life and death
Until 2002 Wolfe taught dramatic writing at the University of New Mexico, first as a visiting professor, then as the chair of the Robert Hartung Dramatic Writing Program in the Theatre and Dance Department. He was awarded 'Teacher of the Year' at that university in 2001.
Wolfe died in Albuquerque, New Mexico, aged 82, on 3 May 2012, after a short battle with cancer, and was survived by his wife, Patricia Mannion, and his sister, Hilary Hammond-Williams.
- 'Walking on Fire: The Shaping Force of Emotion in Writing Drama' by Digby Wolfe and Jim Linnell Published by Southern Illinois University Press.
- The Weaker Sex (1948) – Benjie Dacre
- The Guinea Pig (1948) – (uncredited)
- Adam and Evalyn (1949) – Undetermined Supporting Role (uncredited)
- Landfall (1949) – Pinsley (uncredited)
- Stage Fright (1950) – Assistant Stage Manager (uncredited)
- The Dark Man (1951) – Young Man at Party
- Worm's Eye View (1951) – Cpl. Mark Trelawney
- Little Big Shot (1952) – Peter Carton
- For Better, for Worse (1954) – Grocer's Assistant
- Tale of Three Women (1954) – Brightwell (segment "Final Twist' story)
- The Big Money (1956) – Harry Mason
- The Jungle Book (1967) – Ziggy, The Vulture (voice, uncredited) (final film role)
- "Digby Wolfe". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 29 December 2015.
- "Digby Wolfe: Writer and actor best known for 'Laugh-In'". Independent.co.uk. Retrieved 26 November 2018.
- "Revue '61". IMDb.com. Retrieved 26 November 2018.
- Wolfe biodata, Internet Movie Database; accessed 26 November 2018.
- "Danse Macabre 8: WRITING THE FUTURE by Digby Wolfe & Jim Linnell". Thedansemacabre8.blogspot.com. Retrieved 26 November 2018.
- Melbourne Observer, 14 November 2007.