|Born||27 July 1925|
Larne, County Antrim, Northern Ireland
|Died||24 July 2009 (aged 83)|
|Occupation||Stage, film and TV actor|
|Spouse(s)||Diana Hoddinott (1965–2009; his death)|
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 popular UK TV series Callan, the Ronald Howard led Sherlock Holmes, The Avengers, Home James!, Casualty, The Bill, Minder, Doctor Who and Heartbeat. 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 fiancée.
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, with whom he had three children. 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"." 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.
- The Quiet Woman (1951) - Jim Cranshaw
- Gift Horse (1952) - Minor Role (uncredited)
- 13 East Street (1952)
- Escape Route (1952) - Immigration Officer (uncredited)
- Escape by Night (1953) - Reporter (uncredited)
- Knave of Hearts (1954) - Stewart (uncredited)
- John Wesley (1954) - Michael O'Rory
- The Sleeping Tiger (1954) - Harry, second criminal
- A Prize of Gold (1955) - Benny
- Above Us the Waves (1955) - McCleery
- The Time of His Life (1955) - Steele
- Doublecross (1956) - Publican
- The March Hare (1956) - P.C. Dooney (uncredited)
- Eyewitness (1956) - Sugdon
- Circus Friends (1956) - Larry
- Stranger in Town (1957) - Café Attendant
- The End of the Line (1957) - Vince
- The 39 Steps (1959) - Harold (uncredited)
- Murder at Site 3 (1959) - Kenney
- Crossroads to Crime (1960) - Paddy
- All Night Long (1962) - Phales
- The Scarlet Blade (1963) - Cobb (uncredited)
- The Blue Max (1966) - Kettering
- 30 Is a Dangerous Age, Cynthia (1968) - Mr. Woolley
- Prudence and the Pill (1968) - Racetrack Official
- The Bliss of Mrs. Blossom (1968) - Doctor
- All Neat in Black Stockings (1968) - Issur
- Patton (1970) - American GI Cook (uncredited)
- Carry On at Your Convenience (1971) - Doctor in Film
- Some Kind of Hero (1972) - Mannie Greenbaum
- Digby, the Biggest Dog in the World (1973) - Ringmaster
- The Girl from Petrovka (1974) - American Reporter
- Sex Play (1974) - Four Star General
- Barry Lyndon (1975) - Innkeeper
- Rosie Dixon – Night Nurse (1978) - Mr. Phillips
- Lassiter (1984) - Roger Boardman
- Lamb (1985) - Priest
- Moll Flanders (1996) - Magistrate
- The Most Fertile Man in Ireland (2000) - Uncle Eugene
- Conspiracy of Silence (2003) - Father Doherty
- Cheeky (2003) - Mr. Oates
- "Actor Harry Towb dies". breakingnews.iol.ie. 25 July 2009. Retrieved 25 July 2009.
- Coveney, Michael (30 July 2009). "Harry Towb". The Guardian.
- "Harry Towb".
- "BBC NEWS - UK - Northern Ireland - Actor Harry Towb dies of cancer". news.bbc.co.uk.
- Obituary. 'Harry Towb: Actor', The Times. 29 July 2009.
- Actor Harry Towb dies from The Jewish Chronicle