|Born||Felix Hervè Talbot Bowness
30 March 1922
Harwell, Berkshire, England
|Died||13 September 2009
Woodley, Reading, Berkshire, England
|Occupation||Boxer, soldier, comedian, actor|
|Spouse(s)||Mavis (m. 1950–2009, his death, 1 son)|
|Relatives||3 grandchildren and 1 great-granddaughter|
Second World War
At the outbreak of the Second World War, he joined the Royal Berkshire Regiment as a signalman. At the D-Day landings in Normandy, after his landing craft was hit and sunk, he only remembered waking in a French convent. During recovery he attended a Vera Lynn concert, after which she gave him a singing lesson.
He eventually broke into films and television in the early 1960s, and supplemented his income by becoming a well utilised warm-up act for television shows including Morecambe and Wise, the Two Ronnies, and later Sir Terry Wogan's chat show Wogan. The warm-up act for This Is Your Life, Bowness himself was the subject of an edition of This Is Your Life in 1985.
Bowness did not come to mainstream public attention until picked up by the writing partnership of Jimmy Perry and David Croft. Cast as former-jockey Fred Quilly in the sitcom Hi-de-Hi!, he starred in all 58 episodes. he subsequently starred with the same ensemble cast in Oh, Doctor Beeching! and You Rang, M'Lord?. During his career he had credits in such comedy series as The Benny Hill Show, The Liver Birds, The Goodies, Dad's Army, Porridge, Sykes and Are You Being Served?.
|1980 to 1988||Hi-de-Hi!||Fred Quilley|
|1990 to 1993||You Rang, M'Lord?||Mr Pearson|
|1996 to 1997||Oh, Doctor Beeching!||Bernie Bleasdale|