Don Henderson

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For other people named Donald Henderson, see Don Henderson (disambiguation).
Don Henderson
Don Henderson actor.jpg
Born Donald Francis Henderson
(1931-11-10)10 November 1931
Leytonstone, Essex, England, United Kingdom
Died 22 June 1997(1997-06-22) (aged 65)
Warwick, Warwickshire, England, United Kingdom
Cause of death Throat cancer
Occupation Actor
Years active 1964–1997
Spouse(s) Shirley Stelfox (1979–1997; his death)
Children John Henderson
Mimi Henderson

Donald Francis "Don" Henderson (10 November 1931 – 22 June 1997)[1] was an English actor of stage, television and screen. Henderson was known for playing both "tough guy" roles and authority figures, and is remembered for his portrayal of detective George Bulman between 1976 and 1987 in the popular Granada Television police drama series The XYY Man, Strangers, and Bulman, as priest Frank Kane in BBC drama The Paradise Club (1989–90), and as General Tagge in the first Star Wars film (1977). This last role also brought him attention from science fiction fans, and he later appeared in cult science fiction television series Red Dwarf and Doctor Who.[2]


He lived in his adopted home town of Stratford-upon-Avon for many years, where he was a familiar face to locals. He also had several minor roles at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in the town. Prior to becoming an actor, Henderson was a dental technician in the Army, a detective sergeant with the Essex Constabulary, and an insurance salesman.


Henderson is best remembered for his role as the fictional detective George Bulman. This character featured in three TV series The XYY Man in the mid-1970s; the later Strangers that saw Bulman rise from Detective Sergeant to Detective Chief Inspector and, in 1985, the series Bulman saw George retired from the police and pursuing a career as a horologist. He also starred in the popular TV drama series Warship.

Henderson made little money from his role in Star Wars - £300 for one day of filming. He also missed out on $2000 for his copy of the Star Wars script:

"I have only once been recognised as having been in Star Wars, and that was when I was making a film in Los Angeles. Somebody in the hotel I was staying at offered me $2000 for my copy of the Star Wars script. As I growled at him in amazement, he took that as a refusal, or that he had offered too little and eventually went up to an offer of $5000! Sadly, as with all my used scripts, I had given it to my kids to scribble and draw on."[3]


Henderson died of throat cancer. His widow was the actress Shirley Stelfox, with whom he appeared professionally many times.



Year Title Role Notes
1968 A Midsummer Night's Dream Attendant
1974 Callan George
1974 Abby Flip
1975 The Ghoul Ghoul
1975 Brannigan Geef
1976 Voyage of the Damned Engineering Officer
1977 Star Wars General Tagge
1977 Crossed Swords Burly Ruffian
1978 The Big Sleep Lou
1980 The Island Rollo
1985 Brazil First Black Maria Guard
1987 Billy the Kid and the Green Baize Vampire The Wednesday Man
1987 Out of Order Car Driver
1988 The Adventures of Baron Munchausen Commander
1989 The BFG Bloodbottler/Fleshlumpeater/Sergeant (voice)
1990 The Fool Bob
1992 Carry On Columbus The Bosun
1992 As You Like It The Dukes
1993 The Baby of Macon Father Confessor
1993 The Trial Flogger
1994 No Escape Killian
1996 The Wind in the Willows The Sentry
1997 Preaching to the Perverted Commander Cope
1997 FairyTale: A True Story Sydney Chalker


Year Title Role Notes
1975 Poldark Tom Carne 3 episodes
1976-77 The XYY Man DS George Bulman 13 episodes
1978 Crossroads Mr Black 6 episodes
1978 Danton's Death
1978-82 Strangers George Bulman 30 episodes
1985-87 Bulman George Bulman 20 episodes
1986 Dead Head Det. Inspector Malcolm Episode: Why Me?
1987 Knights of God Colley 6 episodes
1987 Doctor Who: Delta and the Bannermen Gavrok 3 episodes
1988 Maigret Barge Captain TV movie
1989-90 The Paradise Club Frank Kane 20 episodes
1992-94 Screen One Daddy Brett-Smith 2 episodes
1995 The Famous Five Block 2 episodes
1996 Casualty Jerry Hunter Episode: Night Moves
1997 Red Dwarf: Rogue Simulant Episode: Beyond a Joke



  1. ^ Ancestry/Find My Past (his birth was registered in the December 1931 quarter)
  2. ^
  3. ^

External links[edit]