Ed Bishop

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Ed Bishop
George Victor Bishop

11 June 1932
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
Died8 June 2005(2005-06-08) (aged 72)
Kingston upon Thames, Surrey, England, United Kingdom
Resting placeNapton, Warwickshire, England, United Kingdom
Coordinates: 52°14′52.92″N 1°19′23.12″W / 52.2480333°N 1.3230889°W / 52.2480333; -1.3230889
Alma materBoston University
London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art
Years active1959–2005
Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons
Jane Thwaites
(m. 1955; div. 1955)

Hilary Preen
(m. 1962; div. 1996)

Jane Skinner
(m. 2001)

George Victor Bishop (11 June 1932 – 8 June 2005), known professionally as Ed Bishop or sometimes Edward Bishop, was an American actor. He was known for playing Commander Ed Straker in UFO, Captain Blue in Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons and for voicing Philip Marlowe in a series of BBC Radio adaptations of the Marlowe novels by Raymond Chandler.

Early life[edit]

George Victor Bishop was born on 11 June 1932, the son of a Manhattan banker, in Brooklyn, New York. He attended Peekskill High School before a brief spell at teacher training college. Bishop served in the United States Army as a disc jockey with the Armed Forces Radio at St. John's in Newfoundland where he was introduced to acting with the St John's Players.[1]

After leaving the army, Bishop enrolled at Boston University where he initially studied business administration but halfway through the course, transferred to drama, much against his parents' wishes. After graduating in Theatre Arts, he won a Fulbright Scholarship to study for two years at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, from which he graduated in 1959; he almost immediately found work in the British theatre and film industries. He adopted the stage name "Ed Bishop" at this time to distinguish himself from George Bishop, an established actor of the time.[1][2] His first Broadway appearance was as Villebosse in David Merrick's production of Jean Anouilh's The Rehearsal in 1963, though he returned to Britain in 1964.


Bishop made his film acting debut as an ambulance driver in Stanley Kubrick's 1962 movie Lolita. He played an American astronaut going to the Moon in the film The Mouse on the Moon (1963) and also appeared in The Bedford Incident (1965) and Battle Beneath the Earth (1967). He had small speaking roles in the James Bond films You Only Live Twice (1967) and Diamonds Are Forever (1971), but was not included in the film credits for either. He appeared in a second Kubrick film, 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), in which he played the Captain of the Aries 1B Moon shuttle. The role initially featured dialogue but this was later cut from his scenes.

Bishop appeared in various film and television projects created by producer Gerry Anderson. He provided narration, in addition to the voice of Captain Blue, for Anderson's Supermarionation puppet series, Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons (1967), and appeared in Anderson's science-fiction film Doppelgänger (1969). Perhaps his most prominent screen role was that of Commander Ed Straker in Anderson's science-fiction series UFO (1970–71). Bishop's dark hair was initially dyed blond for the role, though he eventually wore a blond wig instead.

In later years, he appeared in films such as Twilight's Last Gleaming, Saturn 3, Silver Dream Racer, and The Lords of Discipline. He provided vocal work for the 1974 animated TV series of Star Trek, and appeared as Lieutenant Colonel Harrity in the final episode of the British World War II prisoner-of-war drama Colditz. In the 1980s, he made several appearances on The Kenny Everett Television Show, Whoops Apocalypse (he also appeared in the subsequent film), and had a role in the children's television series Chocky's Children.

Ed Bishop is one of the most talented people I've ever worked with, and my only sadness was that he didn't go on to become an international star. I would have loved him to have perhaps been James Bond.

Gerry Anderson, Mr Thunderbird – The Gerry Anderson Story (2000 TV movie)

On radio in 1977 and 1978, Bishop played the private eye Philip Marlowe in The BBC Presents: Philip Marlowe, adaptations of Raymond Chandler's stories for the BBC. The last of these, Farewell, My Lovely, was produced almost a decade after the others, as the rights had previously been unavailable.

He continued to act on film, TV and radio, usually in British and European productions, and was a frequent guest at science fiction conventions. He and fellow Anderson actor Shane Rimmer (a Canadian actor who often worked in the UK) joked about how frequently their professional paths crossed and termed themselves "Rent-a-yank". They appeared together as NASA operatives in the opening of You Only Live Twice and as United States Navy sailors in The Bedford Incident, as well as the 1983 film of the Harold Robbins novel The Lonely Lady. In 1989, Bishop was reunited with Rimmer and another Anderson actor, Matt Zimmerman, in the BBC Radio 4 adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's A Study in Scarlet. He and Rimmer also toured together in theatre shows, including Death of a Salesman in the 1990s, and they both appeared in the BBC drama-documentary Hiroshima (2005), one of Bishop's last TV projects.

In 2000, Bishop briefly reprised the role of Captain Blue in a trailer for the new Captain Scarlet series. He did not, however, reprise the role for the actual series, which would not debut until five years later. In 2002, he recorded a commentary for the DVD release of UFO. In 2003, he performed in the Doctor Who audio drama, Full Fathom Five, produced by Big Finish Productions.

Personal life[edit]

Bishop was politically active, participating in the March 2003 UK protest against the Iraq War. Bishop had already shown his disapproval of the military-industrial complex when, in 1993, he gatecrashed an arms-trade fair held in Aldershot, Hampshire whilst dressed to resemble Augusto Pinochet.[2] During the Aldershot protest he met photographer Jane Skinner, who later became his third wife.

Bishop was married three times; first to Jane Thwaites in 1955 before divorcing a few months later in the year. He then married Hilary Preen in 1962; they had four children, they remained married for thirty-four years before divorcing in 1996. He later married photographer Jane Skinner in 2001, the marriage lasted until his death in 2005.[3]


Bishop's grave in St Lawrence churchyard, Napton, Warwickshire

Bishop died on 8 June 2005 at the age of 72, three days before his 73rd birthday, and five days after the death of his UFO co-star Michael Billington. He succumbed to a chest infection contracted while undergoing treatment for leukemia.[4] He is buried in the churchyard of the Parish Church of Saint Lawrence in Napton, Warwickshire, having previously lived there for many years. His grey sandstone tombstone has a peace symbol prominently engraved on it. Its design is very similar to the one situated two metres (6 feet) on the right, which marks the grave of his son Daniel (16 May 1967 – 18 January 1988), who was killed in a car accident in Cumbria. Bishop's epitaph (from Red River Valley) reads: From This Valley They Say You Are Going. We Shall Miss Your Bright Eyes And Your Smile. He spent the last few years of his life living in West Molesey.

His life and work were honoured at the British Academy Television Awards in May 2006. He was survived by his widow, by three daughters from his second marriage (Georgina, Jessica and Serina) and by his first son, Warren, from his first marriage.



Year Title Role Notes
1962 Lolita Ambulance Attendant Uncredited
1962 The War Lover Vogt Credited as Edward Bishop
1963 The Mouse on the Moon American Astronaut Credited as Edward Bishop
1963 The Cool Mikado Man Uncredited
1963 Automania 2000 Narrator Voice, Short
1964 The Winston Affair Lieutenant at Sikri Credited as Edward Bishop
1965 You Must Be Joking! U.S. Air Force Soldier at Checkpoint Uncredited
1965 The Bedford Incident Lieutenant Hacker U.S.N. - Communications Credited as Edward Bishop
1967 You Only Live Twice Hawaii CapCom Uncredited
1967 Battle Beneath the Earth Lt. Cmdr. Vance Cassidy Credited as Edward Bishop
1968 2001: A Space Odyssey Aries-1B Lunar Shuttle Captain Credited as Edward Bishop
1969 The Desperados Army Captain Voice
1969 Doppelgänger David Poulson Credited as Edward Bishop
1970 Children and Cars Narrator Voice, Short
1971 Diamonds Are Forever Klaus Hergersheimer Uncredited
1973 Pets Vincent Stackman
1974 The Bunny Caper Stuart Beard
1977 Twilight's Last Gleaming Major Fox
1977 Madame Claude Smith
1978 Brass Target Col. Stewart
1979 Butch Minds the Baby Damon Runyon Voice, Short Film
1980 Saturn 3 Harding Uncredited
1980 Silver Dream Racer Al Peterson
1981 Amin: The Rise and Fall Narrator Voice, Uncredited
1982 Nutcracker Sam Dozier
1983 The Lords of Discipline Commerce St. Croix
1983 The Lonely Lady Dr. Baker
1985 Restless Natives TV Reporter (American)
1986 Whoops Apocalypse Wink Persiman
1987 Turnaround Gerald
1987 Testimony American Commentator
1988 Judgement in Berlin Dyson Wilde
1989 Out of Time Grant
1989 The Candy Show Short
1991 Born to Ride Dr. Tate
1994 Funny Man Card Player
2001 500! Father Jones


Year Title Role Notes
1961 Drama 61-67 First Reporter Episode: "Drama '61: Edge of Truth"
1964 Paul Starr Paul Starr TV Movie; credited as Edward Bishop
1964–1966 The Saint Tony Allard / George Felson / Cy Imberline / Sherm Inkler 4 episodes; credited as Edward Bishop
1965 Mogul Mr. Kramer Episode: "Stoneface"; credited as Edward Bishop
1966 Court Martial Law Officer Episode: "Shadow of a Man"; credited as Edward Bishop
1967 The Baron Naval Officer Episode: "The Island"; uncredited
1967 Theatre 625 Padfield Episode: "Sword of Honour #3: Unconditional Surrender"; uncredited as Edward Bishop
1967–1968 Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons Captain Blue / Narrator (voice) 32 episodes; credited as Edward Bishop
1968 Man in a Suitcase American Agent Episode: "The Boston Square"
1968 The Portrait of a Lady Caspar Goodwood 4 episodes; credited as Edward Bishop
1968 Sherlock Holmes Joseph Stangerson Episode: "A Study in Scarlet"; credited as Edward Bishop
1969 Out of the Unknown Commandant Tom Decker Episode: "Beach Head"; credited as Edward Bishop
1969 Armchair Theatre Karl Episode: "On Vacation"
1969 The Way We Live Now Hamilton K. Fisker 2 episodes
1969 W. Somerset Maugham Edward Barnard Episode: "The Fall of Edward Barnard"
1969 Strange Report Moran Episode: "Report 5055: Cult - Murder Shrieks Out"; credited as Edward Bishop
1970–1971 UFO Cmdr. Ed Straker 26 episodes
1971 ITV Sunday Night Theatre David Beeston Episode: "Man and Boy"
1972 The Adventurer Wayne Episode: "Miss Me Once, Miss Me Twice and Miss Me Once Again"
1973 The Protectors Colonel John Hunter Episode: "The First Circle"
1973 Star Trek: The Animated Series Asmodeus (voice) Episode: "The Magicks of Megas-Tu"; uncredited
1974 Orson Welles' Great Mysteries The Millionaire Episode: "Compliments of the Season"
1974 Colditz Lt. Col. Harrity Episode: "Liberation"
1974 Marked Personal Howard Morris 2 episodes
1974 Late Night Drama The M.D. Episode: "Just Fine"
1974 Warship Sanders Episode: "The Man from the Sea"
1975 Anne of Avonlea Judson Parker 2 episodes
1975 The Girls of Slender Means Felix Dobell 2 episodes
1975 Oil Strike North Patterson Episode: "Deadline"
1975 Quiller Frank Ilroy Episode: "The Price of Violence"
1975 Thriller Gang Boss / Carson 2 episodes
1975 NBC Special Treat TV Announcer (voice) Episode: "Into Infinity"
1976 Rogue's Rock Cyrus T. Triphammer 5 episodes
1976 The Day After Tomorrow Narrator (voice) TV Movie
1976 Katy Dr. Carr 6 episodes
1976 The Cedar Tree Earl Mulligan Episode: "Fete Accompli: Part 2"
1977 Two's Company Jack Episode: "The Honeymoon"
1977 1990 Ed Burbank Episode: "Whatever Happened to Cardinal Wolsey?"
1978 Wilde Alliance Wingman Episode: "Danny Boy"
1978 Life at Stake Jim Lovell Episode: "Houston... We've Got a Problem"
1978 It Ain't Half Hot Mum Colonel Sol Zimmerman Episode: "The Stars Look Down"
1978 The Professionals Braddock / Dr. Ernest Harbinger 2 episodes
1978 Dylan Professor Goonmeyer Documentary
1978 Tycoon Frazer Carter Episode: "Sleeping on Grass"
1979 ITV Playhouse Brother Bethlehem (voice) Episode: "Children of the Gods"
1979 Running Blind Commander Nordlinger Episode: "The Deception Operation"
1979 S.O.S. Titanic Henry Harris TV Movie
1980 Breakaway Scott Douglas 6 episodes
1980 Butterflies Tony Episode: "Gimme Shelter"
1980 Oppenheimer General Tom Farrell Episode: "Episode #1.5"
1981 Stainless Steel and the Star Spies Stainless Steel (voice) TV Movie
1981 Take a Letter Mr. Jones Joe Bradley Episode: "Business Before Pleasure..."
1981 Play for Today American Reporter Episode: "London is Drowning"
1982 Whoops Apocalypse Jay Garrick 6 episodes
1982 Bid for Power
1982–1984 Kelly Monteith 2 episodes
1983 The Baker Street Boys Marvin 2 episodes
1983 Philip Marlowe, Private Eye District Attorney Episode: "Finger Man"
1983 The Mad Death Tom Siegler Episode: "Episode #1.1"
1983–1986 The Kenny Everett Television Show Various 5 episodes
1984 The Master of Ballantrae Pinkerton TV Movie
1984 Master of the Game Dr. Mattson
1984 The First Olympics: Athens 1896 Mr. Bogardus 2 episodes
1984 Threads US President (voice) TV Movie; uncredited
1985 The Man from Moscow Alexander 2 episodes
1985 Chocky's Children Dr. Deacon 5 episodes
1985 Going for the Gold: The Bill Johnson Story Sanders TV Movie
1986 The Fifth Missile Adm. Stewart Cullinane TV Movie
1986 Just Good Friends Vernon Episode: "Paris"
1987 The Two Mrs. Grenvilles Strasser 2 episodes
1987 The Two Ronnies Episode: "1987 Christmas Special"
1988 Les Girls Cheese Rep Episode: "Arrival"
1988 Worlds Beyond Mr. Hitchcock Episode: "Reflections of Evil"
1988–1993 French and Saunders Head of Light Entertainment / Various Characters 2 episodes
1989 After the War Charlie Lehmann 2 episodes
1989 The Les Dennis Laughter Show Episode: "Episode #3.4"
1990 Chancer Elmer Episode: "Hazard"
1991 Motormouth Mr. Miller Episode: "Episode #4.9"
1992 The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles Sentry Episode: "Young Indiana Jones and the Curse of the Jackal"
1993 2point4 Children Chet Episode: "Whoopee, We're All Going to Die"
1994 The Imaginatively Titled Punt & Dennis Show Episode: "Episode #1.2"
1996 Broken Glass Stanton Case TV Movie
1997 Highlander Edward Banner Episode: "Diplomatic Immunity"
1998 The Demon Headmaster TV Supremo 4 episodes
1998 The American Gen. Packard TV Movie
1999 The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax Carstairs TV Movie
2002 Waking the Dead Tyler Episode: "Special Relationship: Part 1"
2005 Hiroshima Stimson Documentary; final role



  1. ^ a b "Ed Bishop". The Telegraph. 11 June 2005. Retrieved 6 March 2015.
  2. ^ a b "Ed Bishop – Obituaries". The Independent. 13 June 2005. Retrieved 5 October 2013.
  3. ^ "Ed Bishop".
  4. ^ Claire Steed. "Remembering Ed". Shadolibrary.org. Retrieved 5 October 2013.

External links[edit]