Donald Hewlett

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Donald Hewlett
Born Donald Marland Hewlett[1]
(1920-08-30)30 August 1920
Northenden, Manchester, Lancashire, England
Died 4 June 2011(2011-06-04) (aged 90) (pneumonia)
Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, London, England
Occupation Actor
Years active 1954–1995
Spouse(s) Christine Pollon 1947 (dissolved);
Diana Greenwood 1956 (dissolved);
Thérèse McMurray 1979-2011 (his death)[1]
Children 5 children

Donald Hewlett (30 August 1920 – 4 June 2011)[2] was an English actor, born in Northenden, Manchester, Lancashire, and best known for his sitcom roles as Colonel Charles Reynolds in It Ain't Half Hot Mum and Lord Meldrum in You Rang, M'Lord?, both written by Jimmy Perry and David Croft. He also had a number of parts in British film and television productions.[3]

Early life[edit]

Hewlett was born into a wealthy family; his father Thomas Hewlett owned the Anchor Chemical Company which is based in Clayton, Manchester and is now a subsidiary of Air Products.

Hewlett was educated at Clifton College in Bristol followed by St John's College, Cambridge where he was part of the Footlights Revue.[4] During World War II he served in the Royal Navy as a meteorologist[2] and was stationed for several years in Kirkwall in the Orkney Islands where he was a founder member of the Kirkwall Arts Club.[5][6] He was later posted to Singapore.[4]


Following his demob, Hewlett trained at RADA and gained his first professional acting job in repertory theatre at the Oxford Playhouse where he worked alongside Ronnie Barker.[4] His first film acting role was the part of Lincoln Green in Orders are Orders (1954).

His television appearances included The Ronnie Corbett Show, The Ronnie Barker Playhouse, The Saint, The Avengers, The Dick Emery Show and the Doctor Who story The Claws of Axos (1971). However, he gained his most prominent role in the Croft and Perry sitcom It Ain't Half Hot Mum (1974–81) as Colonel Charles Reynolds. He was cast with fellow actor Michael Knowles in another David Croft sitcom, the sci-fi parody Come Back Mrs. Noah (1977–78), and later with the successful You Rang, M'Lord? (1988–93) as George, Lord Meldrum. Other roles included 'Winkworth' in Morris Minor's Marvellous Motors in 1989 and The Adventures of Brigadier Wellington-Bull. His last TV appearance was in The Upper Hand in 1995.[7]

Hewlett also appeared in the episode Hello Sailor from the classic sitcom Happy Ever After in 1977 which starred Terry Scott and June Whitfield

Hewlett made a number of film appearances including Spike Milligan's Adolf Hitler - My Part in His Downfall, A Touch of Class, Carry On Behind and The First Great Train Robbery.[7]

Hewlett's previous marriages, to Christine Pollon and Diana Greenwood, ended in divorce.[1] He had two sons and a daughter by Greenwood.[1] Having previously lived for several years in Whitstable, Kent, he lived in Fulham, SW London,[citation needed] with his third wife Therese McMurray-Hewlett, by whom he had a son and daughter.[1]

His daughter, Siobhan Hewlett, is an actress, best known for her role in Irina Palm.


Hewlett died on 4th June 2011 after suffering a brief bout from pneumonia at the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in West London aged 90.[8] He is survived by his wife Thérèse McMurray and his five children.[1]

Selected television roles[edit]

Year Title Role
1959 The Adventures of Brigadier Wellington-Bull Captain Sooty Pikington
1965 Coronation Street Robert 'Bob' Maxwell
1976 Rogue's Rock Wing Commander Rogue
1974–1981 It Ain't Half Hot Mum Lieutenant-Colonel Charles Reynolds
1977–1978 Come Back Mrs. Noah Carstairs
1988–1993 You Rang, M'Lord? Lord George Meldrum



  1. ^ a b c d e f "Donald Hewlett". Retrieved 11 October 2016. 
  2. ^ a b Hayward, Anthony (7 June 2011). "Donald Hewlett obituary". Retrieved 12 June 2011. 
  3. ^ It Ain't Half Hot Mum's Donald Hewlett dies at 90, BBC News, 5 June 2011
  4. ^ a b c Rob Cope, Mike Fury, You Rang M'Lord?, DAAS, 35-36
  5. ^ W. S. Hewison, This Great Harbour Scapa Flow, The Orcadian Ltd (kirkwall Press) 2000, ISBN 978-1-902957-02-9
  6. ^ The Orcadian Features - Another war Archived 28 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
  7. ^ a b Donald Hewlett on IMDb
  8. ^ "It Ain't Half Hot Mum actor Donald Hewlett dies at 90 after being 'ill for some time'". Retrieved 11 October 2016. 

External links[edit]