John Fraser (actor)

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John Fraser
Picturegoer postcard, 1950s
John Alexander Fraser

(1931-03-18)18 March 1931
Died6 November 2020(2020-11-06) (aged 89)
  • Actor
  • writer
Years active1952–1996

John Alexander Fraser (18 March 1931 – 6 November 2020) was a Scottish actor and author.[1][2] He is best known for his performances in the films The Dam Busters (1955), The Good Companions (1957), The Trials of Oscar Wilde (1960), El Cid (1961), Repulsion (1965) and Isadora (1968).


One of his earliest roles was as Inigo Jollifant in the second film version of J.B. Priestley's The Good Companions (1957).[3] Later, Fraser had leading roles in films such as El Cid, Tunes of Glory, The Trials of Oscar Wilde (playing Lord Alfred Douglas), Roman Polanski's Repulsion, Isadora and Schizo.[1] He made appearances on television series including Danger Man (1964), Casting the Runes (1968), Randall and Hopkirk (1969), Columbo (1972), Doctor Who (1981), and The Bill (1995).[4][5]

He released several singles in the late 1950s.[6]

In 2004, he published his autobiography, Close Up, in which he wrote frankly about his gay life and friendships.[7] In the book, Fraser wrote that actor Laurence Harvey was gay and that his long-term lover was his manager James Woolf.[8] Of Dirk Bogarde, Fraser wrote, "Dirk's life with [Anthony] Forwood had been so respectable, their love for each other so profound and so enduring, it would have been a glorious day for the pursuit of understanding and the promotion of tolerance if he had screwed up the courage ... to make one dignified allusion to his true nature. Self-love is no substitute for self-respect."[8]

Personal life and death[edit]

Fraser died from oesophageal cancer on 6 November 2020 at the age of 89.[2][9][10][11][12]

Selected filmography[edit]

Year Title Role Awards
1953 The Good Beginning Johnny Lipson
1953 Valley of Song Cliff Lloyd
1953 The Desert Rats Artillery Man
1953 Titanic Steward
1954 The Face That Launched a Thousand Ships Drago
1955 Touch and Go Richard Kenyon
1955 The Dam Busters Flight Lieutenant John Hopgood DFC
1957 The Good Companions Inigo Jollifant
1958 The Wind Cannot Read Peter Munroe
1960 The Trials of Oscar Wilde Lord Alfred Douglas BAFTA nomination[13]
1960 Tunes of Glory Corporal Piper Ian Fraser
1961 El Cid Prince Alfonso
1961 Fury at Smugglers' Bay Christopher Trevenyan
1962 Waltz of the Toreadors Lt. Finch
1963 Tamahine Richard Poole
1965 A Study in Terror Lord Carfax
1965 Repulsion Colin
1965 Operation Crossbow Flight Lieutenant Kenny
1966 Doctor in Clover Miles Grimsdyke
1968 Isadora Roger
1975 The Doll Peter Matty
1976 Schizo Leonard Hawthorne
1978 Wilde Alliance ('The Private Army of Colonel Stone', episode) Colonel Stone
1981 Doctor Who: Logopolis The Monitor
1982 Young Sherlock: The Mystery of the Manor House Uncle Gideon
1996 Truth or Dare Gordon Hillan

Selected recordings[edit]

  • 1957 - Bye Bye Love / Why Don't They Understand
  • 1958 - Presenting John Fraser (EP) with Tony Osborne, the Beryl Stott Group, the Kim Drake Orchestra
  • 1958 - Trolley Stop / Bye Bye Love with the Beryl Stott Group
  • 1959 - Bye Bye Baby Goodbye
  • 1960 - Jaula Dorada / Adios Adios Muchacha / Adios Amor / Por Que No Comprenden


  1. ^ a b "John Fraser". British Film Institute.
  2. ^ a b Percival, Ash (10 November 2020). "John Fraser, The Dam Busters Star, Dies Aged 89". The Huffington Post.
  3. ^ "The Good Companions (1957)". BFI.
  4. ^ "John Fraser".
  5. ^ "John Fraser".
  6. ^ "John Fraser - Trolley Stop" – via
  7. ^ Fraser, John (2004). Close Up : An Actor Telling Tales The Autobiography of John Fraser (1st, Sarah Zaluckyj ed.). London UK: Oberon Books. ISBN 978-1-84002-457-9.
  8. ^ a b The Guardian "Sexy self-image that revved up Dirk Bogarde", 2 October 2004
  9. ^ "John Fraser".
  10. ^ "It's not just Michael Powell: British films of the 30s, 40s and 50s".
  11. ^ "John Fraser, prolific film actor of 1950s and 1960s once dubbed most handsome man in Britain – obituary". The Telegraph. 9 November 2020. (subscription required)
  12. ^ "In pictures: Scottish screen legend John Fraser dead at 89 after battle with cancer". HeraldScotland. 10 November 2020. Retrieved 3 August 2021.
  13. ^ "BAFTA Awards".

Bibliography of works[edit]

External links[edit]