Harry Towb

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Harry Towb
Born (1925-07-27)27 July 1925
Larne, County Antrim, Northern Ireland
Died 24 July 2009(2009-07-24) (aged 83)
London, England
Cause of death Cancer
Occupation Stage, film and TV actor
Years active 1950–2009
Spouse(s) Diana Hoddinott (1965–2009; his death)

Harry Towb (27 July 1925 – 24 July 2009[1]) was a Northern Irish actor.

Early life and career[edit]

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). On radio, in 1959 he appeared in the classic episode of Hancock's Half Hour "Fred's Pie Stall".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.

Personal life[edit]

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"."[2] He is survived by Hoddinott and their children (Emily, Daniel and Joshua) and three granddaughters.[3] 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.[4]

Selected filmography[edit]


  1. ^ "Actor Harry Towb dies". breakingnews.iol.ie. 25 July 2009. Retrieved 25 July 2009. 
  2. ^ Obituary. 'Harry Towb: Actor', The Times. 29 July 2009.
  3. ^ BBC obituary for Harry Towb
  4. ^ Actor Harry Towb dies from The Jewish Chronicle

External links[edit]