Felix Bowness

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Felix Bowness
Born Felix Hervè Talbot Bowness
(1922-03-30)30 March 1922
Harwell, Berkshire, England
Died 13 September 2009(2009-09-13) (aged 87)
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

Felix Bowness (30 March 1922 – 13 September 2009[1]) was an English comedy actor best remembered for his portrayal of the jockey Fred Quilley in the BBC sitcom Hi-de-Hi!.


Born in the village of Harwell, Berkshire, to French Canadian parents,[2] he became a bantamweight boxing champion.[2]

Second World War[edit]

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.[2]

Performing career[edit]

Bowness returned to Britain, and started performing on the touring comedy circuit, undertaking two summer seasons at Clacton-on-Sea Pier in 1948/49, being replaced in 1950 by Tony Hancock.[3]

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.[1]

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?.[4]

The comedian was not known for cinematic roles, but in 1979 he appeared in the soft-porn film Queen of the Blues starring Mary Millington and Milton Reid.[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

Bowness and his wife of 59 years, Mavis, lived in Woodley, Reading, Berkshire. They had a son, Robert, three grandchildren and a great-granddaughter.

Television roles[edit]

Year Title Role
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


  1. ^ a b "Hi-de-Hi actor Bowness dies at 87". BBC. 15 September 2009. Retrieved 2009-09-15. 
  2. ^ a b c "Hi-de-Hi star Felix Bowness dies aged 87". Daily Mail. 15 September 2009. Retrieved 15 September 2009. 
  3. ^ http://peterwestwood.xanga.com/
  4. ^ http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0101437/

External links[edit]