Don Henderson

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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)

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 detective sergeant with the Essex Constabulary.


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 is the actress Shirley Stelfox, with whom he appeared professionally many times.

TV and Filmography[edit]


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

External links[edit]