Norman Bird

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Norman Bird
Norman Bird.jpg
Bird in Cash on Demand (1961)
Born
John George Norman Bird

(1924-10-30)30 October 1924[1]
Died22 April 2005(2005-04-22) (aged 80)
Wolverhampton, England
Years active1951–1996
Spouse(s)Nona Blamire (28 Nov 1953–his death), two children

John George Norman Bird (30 October 1924 – 22 April 2005) was an English character actor.[2]

Early life[edit]

Bird was born in Coalville, Leicestershire, England.[3] A RADA graduate, he made his West End debut in Peter Brook's production of The Winter's Tale at the Phoenix Theatre in 1951.[4] He was also a member of the BBC's Radio Drama Company.[5] His first film appearance was as the foreman in An Inspector Calls (1954).[6]

Film career[edit]

He was a familiar face to British cinema audiences of the 1950s and 1960s, appearing in nearly 50 films such as The Angry Silence (1960), The League of Gentlemen (1960), Whistle Down the Wind (1961), Victim (1961) and Term of Trial (1962) with Laurence Olivier and The Hill with Sean Connery (1965).[7]

Television appearances[edit]

He had over 200 television appearances, notably as Mr Braithwaite in Worzel Gummidge (1979–81) and Mr Arrad in the Fawlty Towers episode "Waldorf Salad" (1979).[8][9] His long list of credits include Steptoe and Son, Till Death Us Do Part, Rising Damp, Ever Decreasing Circles, Yes Minister, To Serve Them All My Days, All Creatures Great and Small, Z-Cars, Public Eye, The Saint, Department S, Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) and Boon.[10] In 1990 he appeared in Stay Lucky, with Dennis Waterman, which marked his 200th television appearance.[3] One of his last film appearances was as a taxi driver in Richard Attenborough's Shadowlands (1993).[11]

Personal life[edit]

At 16 he left school and spent six months working in an office before studying at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.[7] During the Second World War, he served with Royal Air Force, being demobbed in 1947.[7]

He had met his wife Nona Blamire (Joan Hood in radio's The Archers) in rep in Northampton. They married in 1953 and lived in Teddington for many years. In 1992 they moved to Bridgnorth, Shropshire, to be nearer to their two daughters and five grandchildren.[2]

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1954 An Inspector Calls Foreman Jones-Collins Uncredited
1957 A Woman of Property Clerk of the court TV film
1960 The Angry Silence Roberts
The League of Gentlemen Captain Frank Weaver
Man in the Moon Herbert
1961 The Secret Partner Ralph Beldon
Very Important Person Travers, Senior British Officer
Whistle Down the Wind Eddie
Victim Harold Doe
Cash on Demand Arthur Sanderson
1962 Night of the Eagle Doctor
Term of Trial Mr. Taylor
In Search of the Castaways Senior Yacht Guard
1963 The Mind Benders Aubrey
The Punch and Judy Man Reginald Fletcher
August for the People Mr. Bolt TV film
Maniac Salon
The Cracksman Policeman
80,000 Suspects Harold Davis
Bitter Harvest Mr. Pitt
1964 Hot Enough for June Employment Exchange Clerk Uncredited
The Bargee Albert Williams
The Beauty Jungle Mr. Freeman
First Men in the Moon Stuart
The Black Torment Harris
1965 The Hill Commandant
1966 Sky West and Crooked Cheeseman
The Wrong Box Clergyman
1968 A Dandy in Aspic Copperfield
The Limbo Line John Chivers
1969 Oh! What a Lovely War Training Sergeant Uncredited
All at Sea Mr. Danvers
Run a Crooked Mile Sergeant Hooper TV film
1970 The Virgin and the Gypsy Uncle Fred
The Rise and Rise of Michael Rimmer Alderman Poot
Put Out More Flags Geoffrey Bentley TV film
1971 The Raging Moon Dr. Matthews
Please Sir! Reynolds
Hands of the Ripper Police Inspector
1972 Doomwatch Brewer
Young Winston Party Chairman
Ooh... You Are Awful Warder Burke
1975 King Arthur, the Young Warlord Ambrose Direct-to-video
1976 The Slipper and the Rose Dress Shop Proprieter
1978 The Medusa Touch Major. Henry Morlar
Margie and Me Cheeseman Short
The Lord of the Rings Bilbo Voice role
1981 Omen III: The Final Conflict Dr. Philmore
If You Go Down in the Woods Today Doctor TV film
1982 A Voyage Round My Father Ham TV film
The Ghost Downstairs Mr. Morris TV film
1984 This Office Life Seeds TV film
1985 On Your Way, Riley Frank TV film
1993 Shadowlands Taxi Driver Witness

Television[edit]

Year Series Role Notes
1956 Whack-O! S.A. Smallpiece Series regular
1957 Kenilworth Butterworth 1 episode
1958 The Black Arrow Landlord Episode: "The Arrow Strikes"
The Diary of Samuel Pepys Constable Mini-series
1959 The Eustace Diamonds Hotel Manager 1 episode
Emergency Ward 10 Policeman 1 episode
1960 Probation Officer Mr. Sprigett 1 episode
ITV Playhouse Auctioneer Episode: "Independent Means"
Boyd Q.C. Mr. West Episode: "The Time of Day"
1961 Police Sergeant Episode: "The Season of the Year"
Hamlet Gravedigger Episode: "The Dread Command: The Readiness Is All"
Coronation Street Frank Jackson 2 episodes
Ghost Squad The Gunsmith Episode: "Assassin"
The Pursuers Clive Episode: "The Accident"
1962 ITV Playhouse Second Old Man Episode: "The Jokers"
Tom Rogers Episode: "Nuncle"
Z-Cars Smith Episode: "Jail Break"
ITV Play of the Week George Bland Episode: "A Lily in Little India"
1963 BBC Sunday-Night Play Arnold Ramussen Episode: "Trial Run"
Maupassant Cacheri Episode: "The Inheritance"
The Saint George Hackett Episode: "The Well Meaning Mayor"
1964 The Protectors Barnaby Episode: "No Forwarding Address"
Drama 61-67 Father Episode: "The Close Prisoner"
Mr. Pile Episode: "The Brick Umbrella"
Thursday Theatre Harry Lancaster Episode: "The Cure for Love"
Armchair Theatre Charles Lincoln Episode: "The Trial of Dr. Fancy"
Gideon's Way Superintendent Fred Lee Episode: "To Catch a Tiger"
Frankie Howerd 1 episode
Z-Cars Lowther Episode: "A Place of Safety"
1965 Frank Burroughs Episode: "Checkmate"
The Saint Weems Episode: "The Frightened Inn-Keeper"
The Bed-Sit Girl Episode: "The Air Hostess"
The Sullavan Brothers Arthur Green Episode: "Put Them Away for Keeps"
It's Not Me, It's Them! Mr. Partridge Mini-series
Here's Harry Episode: "The Tonic"
Blackmail Henry Cobb Episode: "Cobb"
The Avengers Croft Episode: "Silent Dust"
No Hiding Place Inspector Cartwright Episode: "Pom-Pom"
1966 Arthur Johnson Episode: "The Killing"
Armchair Theatre Spooner Episode: "The Walls Came Tumbling Down"
Theatre 625 William Oaks Episode: "A Man Like That"
Harry Worth Fishwick Episode: "Move Man Move"
Mrs Thursday Alfred Budge Episode: "Honesty Is the Best Policy"
Hugh and I Episode: "Arabian Nights"
ITV Play of the Week Ronald Bradshaw Episode: "The First Thing You Think Of"
Dr. McTaggart Episode: "The Tormentors"
1967 Henry Williams Episode: "Nice to Have You Back"
Uncle George Episode: "A Brand New Scrubbing Brush"
The Saint Inspector Mitchell Episode: "The Best Laid Schemes"
The Baron Inspector Macauley Episode: "Roundabout"
Z-Cars Prebble Episode: "Standard Procedure"
Sanctuary Bob Lord Episode: "A Cup of Tea with the Fullers"
Harry Worth Mr. Varley Episode: "What Ails You?"
1968 Mr. Keenan Episode: "Money to Burn"
Dr. Swinson Episode: "Match of the Day"
The Saint Mr. Spode Episode: "The Organisation Man"
The Very Merry Widow Mr. Jackson 1 and 2 Episode: "Wonderful, Wonderful Copenhagen"
Half Hour Story Harry Episode: "The Pub Fighter"
1969 ITV Sunday Night Theatre Father Episode: "Takeover"
Adventure Weekly Mr. Potts Episode: "Take-Over"
Department S Drayton Episode: "The Ghost of Mary Burnham"
W. Somerset Maugham Arthur Low Episode: "A Casual Affair"
Dixon of Dock Green Harold Milton Episode: "The Brimstone Man"
Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) Elliot Episode: "But What a Sweet Little Room"
1970 Armchair Theatre Walter Episode: "Up Among the Cuckoos"
The Mating Machine Monty Episode: "Flo and Monty and Henry... and Henry"
Comedy Playhouse Dad Episode: "Mind Your Own Business"
Steptoe and Son Bank Manager Episode: "Men of Property"
Mr. Dryson Episode: "Without Prejudice"
1971 Hadleigh Knockholt Episode: "A Quiet Place in the Country"
ITV Sunday Night Theatre Walter Episode: "The Wedding Gift"
Budgie Inspector Upton Episode: "A Pair of Charlies"
Paul Temple Proud Episode: "Paper Chase"
Father, Dear Father Trevor Couch Episode: "The Naked Truth"
The Guardians Tom Henryson Episode: "I Want You to Understand Me"
Softly, Softly: Taskforce Samuel Tomkins Episode: "Aberration"
Suspicion Harry Beardsley Episode: "I Can See Your Lips Move"
1972 Jason King Detective Inspector Fields Episode: "It's Too Bad About Auntie"
The Organization Ken Grist 2 episodes
His and Hers Post Office Man Episode: "Interference"
Love Thy Neighbour Mr. Granger Episode: "Clarky Leaves"
Till Death Us Do Part Landlord Episode: "Holiday in Bournemouth"
Thirty-Minute Theatre Arthur Pendlebury Episode: "Tonight We Meet Arthur Pendlebury"
Turnbull's Finest Half-Hour Harold Hudson 1 episode
Arthur of the Britons Ambrose Episode: "Arthur Is Dead"
My Wife Next Door Mr. Sweeting Episode: "Joint Assignment"
1973 Comedy Playhouse Inspector Street Episode: "Elementary, My Dear Watson: The Strange Case of the Dead Solicitors"
The Adventurer Brooks Episode: "Going, Going..."
The Fenn Street Gang Mr. Craven Episode: "How to Handle a Woman"
The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes Inspector Trent Episode: "The Looting of the Specie Room"
Owen, M.D. Harold Reynolds Episode: "Water Under the Bridge"
An Evening with Francis Howerd 2 episodes
ITV Sunday Night Theatre Stanley Nicholson Episode: "Reckoning Day"
Thirty Minutes Worth 1 episode
Up the Workers Sid Stubbins
The Adventures of Black Beauty Rundle Episode: "The Outcast"
Armchair 30 Agency Man Episode: "Ross Evan's Story"
1974 My Good Woman George Stebbs Episode: "Two of a Kind"
Bless This House Vet Episode: "Money Is the Root Of..."
Marked Personal Lionel Mottram 2 episodes
The Dick Emery Show 2 episode
1975 Crown Court Garfield Lawrence Episode: "Saboteur: Part 1"
Public Eye Arthur Biddle Episode: "Lifer"
Rising Damp Vicar Episode: "Things That Go Bump in the Night"
1976 Happy Ever After Mr. Fletcher Episode: "June's Day in Bed"
Angels Henry Rudolfs Episode: "A Woman of Property"
The Basil Brush Show 1 episode
The Chiffy Kids Farmer Episode: "Pot Luck"
CBS Children's Film Festival Episode: "Chimpmates"
1976-1977 Yanks Go Home Leonard Chambers Series regular
1977 Two's Company Mr. Bunn Episode: "The Rubbish"
The Mike Reid Show 3 episodes
Seven Faces of Woman Ken Episode: "She: Carol"
Raffles Sergeant Holly Episode: "A Bad Night"
Miss Jones and Son Dad 3 episodes
Graham's Gang Old Gentleman Episode: "Cameraderie"
1978 All Creatures Great and Small Farmer Benson Episode: "Attendant Problems"
Jackanory Playhouse King Episode: "The Princess Who Couldn't Laugh"
Coronation Street Joe Hibbert 2 episodes
Do You Remember? Eddie Episode: "The Bonus"
Life Begins at Forty Dr. Gardiner Episode: "Alarms and Excursions"
Return of the Saint Morgan Episode: "Assault Force"
Everyday Maths Mr. Brook Episode: "Time and Table"
1979 Fawlty Towers Mr. Arrad Episode: "Waldorf Salad"
Thomas & Sarah Gilbert 2 episodes
The Glums Office Manager 1 episode
Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson Anthony Denham Episode: "A Motive for Murder"
1979-1981 Worzel Gummidge Mr. Braithwaite Series regular
1980 Take the High Road Roger Primrose
The Jim Davidson Show 1 episode
All Creatures Great and Small Rob Benson Episode: "Alarms & Excursions"
Hammer House of Horror Basil Episode: "The Thirteenth Reunion"
To Serve Them All My Days Alderman Blunt Recurring role
1981 Yes Minister Brian Baker Episode: "The Compassionate Society"
Misfits Harold Forbes Episode: "Happy Ever After"
Juliet Bravo Knowles Episode: "A Private Place"
Winston Churchill: The Wilderness Years Sir Maurice Hanley Episode: "The Long Tide of Surrender"
The Adventure Game Captain Acteon 1 episode
1982 Legacy of Murder Policeman Episode: "Holy Smoke"
Break Point Major Houghton-Jones Mini-series
1983 The Fourth Arm Colonel Cole 1 episode
The Gaffer Town Clerk Episode: "Council of War"
1984 Hammer House of Mystery and Suspense Henry Bircher Episode: "Black Carrion"
1985 Up the Elephant and Round the Castle Man from British Rail Episode: "The Taste of Money"
One by One Marcus Garnet 2 episodes
High & Dry Frank Short Episode: "Pilot"
1986 The Practice Cyril Fielding 1 episode
Help! Mr. Peabody Episode: "A Grave Mistake"
Lytton's Diary Charles Adams 2 episodes
Buddy Mr. Normington 3 episodes
1987 Ever Decreasing Circles Man Episode: "The Footpath"
1989 Woof! Mayor Episode: "Heroes"
1990 After Henry Episode: "Party Politics"
Stay Lucky George Episode: "Bigamy Blues"
1991 Second Thoughts Ted Episode: "Found and Lost"
1992 Bookmark Man on Bus Episode: "Miss Pym's Day Out"
Screen One Radley Episode: "Born Kicking"
Boon Bob Wooley Episode: "Love or Money"
Kinsey Roy 2 episodes
1996 Screen Two Grandfather Episode: "Crossing the Floor"
Look and Read Mr. Jenkins Series regular

References[edit]

  1. ^ On Find My Past & Ancestry, he's down as Norman and John George N Bird with this date of birth and death information
  2. ^ a b "Norman Bird". 4 June 2005.
  3. ^ a b "Norman Bird - Obituaries - The Stage". 13 June 2005.
  4. ^ "Norman Bird - Theatricalia". theatricalia.com.
  5. ^ "Radio and audio book companies", in Lloyd Trott, ed., Actors and Performers Yearbook 2016, pp. 353-354
  6. ^ "Norman Bird".
  7. ^ a b c McGillivray, David (1 June 2005). "Obituary: Norman Bird". The Guardian – via www.theguardian.com.
  8. ^ "Waldorf Salad (1979)".
  9. ^ "Worzel Gummidge Christmas Special: A Cup O' Tea an' a Slice O' Cake (1980) - James Hill - Cast and Crew - AllMovie". AllMovie.
  10. ^ TV.com. "Norman Bird". TV.com.
  11. ^ "Norman Bird - Movies and Filmography - AllMovie". AllMovie.

External links[edit]