27 July 1925|
Larne, County Antrim, Northern Ireland
|Died||24 July 2009
|Cause of death||Cancer|
|Occupation||Stage, film and TV actor|
|Spouse(s)||Diana Hoddinott (1965–2009; his death)|
Harry Towb (27 July 1925 – 24 July 2009) was a Northern Irish actor.
Early life and career
Towb's father was Russian Jewish and his mother was Irish. He attended the Finiston School and Technical College, Belfast. He then appeared on stage with a touring theatre company in Ireland, in repertory theatre in England and in London's West End, where he had a role in the musical adaptation of Bar Mitzvah Boy. He also appeared in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum at the National Theatre in 2004.
He made numerous appearances on UK television including The Avengers, Callan, Casualty, The Bill, Minder, Doctor Who, Heartbeat and others. His film appearances include Above Us the Waves (1955), The Blue Max (1966), Prudence and the Pill (1968), Patton (1970) and Lamb (1985). In December 2008, Towb appeared in two episodes of the BBC soap opera EastEnders as David, Janine Butcher's fiancee.
Harry Towb was also a regular presenter on the BBC Schools' programme You and Me featuring with Cosmo and Dibs. In the late 1970s, Towb appeared in a series of TV commercials advertising Younger's Tartan Special beer, which were shown on very heavy rotation in Scotland.
Harry Towb was married to the actress Diana Hoddinott for 44 years until his death. He died at his home in London from complications due to cancer. As his obituary in The Times said, "Asked, once, why he had become an actor, Harry Towb said it was because he had always wanted to be someone else." His "being fascinated by others... made him one of the finest character actors of his day," The Times continued. Towb, said one critic, "can be relied upon to add distinction to any production"." He is survived by Hoddinott and their children (Emily, Daniel and Joshua) and three granddaughters. Towb was Jewish and in 1983 recorded a documentary, Odd Men In, about Belfast's Jewish community. He would describe his interview with Belfast-born Chaim Herzog for this documentary as his proudest moment.