Frank Williams (actor)

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For other people of the same name, see Frank Williams (disambiguation).
Frank Williams
Frank Williams cropped.jpg
Frank Williams in May 2011.
Born (1931-07-02) 2 July 1931 (age 84)
Hampstead, London, England
Occupation Comedy actor
Years active 1953–present

Frank Williams (born 2 July 1931)[1] is an English actor best known for playing the Reverend Timothy Farthing in the popular BBC comedy Dad's Army. Following the death of Pamela Cundell in 2015, he and Ian Lavender are the last surviving major cast members. He will return to reprise the role of The Reverend Timothy Farthing in the 2016 film adaptation of the series.[2]


Born in London, Williams was educated at Ardingly College, West Sussex and Hendon School (then Hendon County School). He appeared regularly in the TV series The Army Game (1957–60) as Captain Pocket. His film roles include Norman Wisdom films: The Square Peg (1958), The Bulldog Breed (1960), and A Stitch In Time (1963). He had a leading role in the BBC TV series Diary of a Young Man (1964), which was partly directed by Ken Loach, in addition to small parts in numerous popular TV series of the 1950s and 1960s.

It is however for his role in Dad's Army [3] as the Reverend Timothy Farthing, that Williams is best known. Coincidentally, while at Hendon County, he had played the lead in the school play of his final year, The Ghost Train, written nearly 30 years earlier by Arnold Ridley, who became one of his fellow-actors in Dad's Army.

In 1970, he starred with Tessie O'Shea in the short-lived sitcom As Good Cooks Go. In 1967 and again in 1971, Williams appeared in an episode of All Gas and Gaiters as one of the vicars choral. In 1972, at the height of his Dad's Army fame, he had a cameo role in Monty Python's Flying Circus. He also had an occasional role as a Bishop in You Rang, M'Lord?.[citation needed]

He lived for many years in Edgware, Middlesex. Until 2000, he was a lay member of the General Synod of the Church of England. Williams was a guest on This Morning on Thursday 31 July 2008, talking about Dad's Army with fellow cast members, Ian Lavender and Bill Pertwee. He also appeared on BBC1's Jonathan Ross Salutes Dad's Army show on Sunday 3 August 2008.[citation needed]

He is the author of several plays, including The Playing Fields and Murder Weekend, some of which have been performed in the pro-amateur theatre.

His autobiography, Vicar to Dad's Army: the Frank Williams story, was published in 2002.

With other surviving members of the Dad's Army cast he walked in the 100th Birthday parade for Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, whose favourite programme it had been.

Williams is the patron of Veneratio, a charity established to counter the social isolation of the elderly.[4]

Television roles[edit]

Year Title Role
1958–1961 The Army Game Captain T R Pocket
1969–1977 Dad's Army Reverend Timothy Farthing
1970 As Good Cooks Go Mr Bullock
1979 You're Only Young Twice Mr Horrace Maddox in 1 episode, 'Cissie's Last Chance'
1984 Minder Mr. CHicory - tobacconist
1990 House of Cards Party Treasurer (episode 1).
1990–1993 You Rang, M'Lord? Bishop Charles

Selected filmography[edit]


  1. ^ GRO Registers of Birth: SEP 1931 1a 774 HAMPSTEAD - Frank J. Williams, mmn = Myles
  2. ^
  3. ^ Original cast of Dad's Army reunited
  4. ^ Veneratio; Retrieved 6 July 2012
  5. ^

External links[edit]