Paul Barber (actor)
18 March 1951
|Only Fools and Horses|
Patrick Barber, known by the stage name Paul Barber (born 18 March 1951), is an English actor from Liverpool. In a career spanning more than 30 years, he is best known for playing Denzil in Only Fools and Horses and Horse in The Full Monty.
Barber was taken into care at the age of seven, following the death of his mother from tuberculosis. His mother was from Middlesbrough. His father, originally from Sierra Leone, died when Paul (or Paddy as he was then known) and his security guard brother Brian were very young. Whilst he was in care, he was abused both physically and mentally. He notes that he has suffered like others, but channeled his emotions into acting.
Barber began on the stage in the musical Hair. His first major TV role was as Sam "Lucky" Ubootu in the 1974 ITV Playhouse production Lucky, set in Liverpool and made by Granada TV. He then played the flamboyant but vicious gang boss Malleson in the off-beat BBC Birmingham-based series Gangsters from 1975 to 1978. He played Louis St John in 4 episodes of I Didn't Know You Cared from 1976 to 1978. A later starring role was alongside Philip Whitchurch in the mid-1980s ITV comedy series The Brothers McGregor.
Barber has worked extensively in British TV, such as in To the Manor Born (1979) as a Jamaican steel band musician; Minder (1980) as Willie Reynolds in episode Don't Tell Them Willie Boy Was Here; Only Fools and Horses (1981–2003); Boys from the Blackstuff (1982); Malcolm in The Front Line; the ill-fated social worker Ian McVerry in one episode of Cracker; and played Greg Salter in Brookside (1994). He made a guest appearance in the first episode of The Green Green Grass—a spin-off from Only Fools and Horses. Barber was best known for his time on Only Fools and Horses and still attends conventions for the show.
In 2008, he had a small part in the long-running ITV soap opera Coronation Street playing a club owner called Nelson, an acquaintance of Vernon Tomlin. He appeared in Casualty twice, the first time was on 13 August 2011 playing a police officer and the second time was on 17 November 2018 playing a homeless man. He also starred in White Van Man as Hooky Pete in February 2012.
He had small roles in the big-screen version of Porridge (1979) and The Long Good Friday (1980). In 1991, he played Earl Preston, a football coach, in the BBC Screen One television play, Alive and Kicking.
Barber's best known role was playing one of the stripping steelworkers in the 1997 film The Full Monty. He reunited with Full Monty co-star Robert Carlyle and Samuel L. Jackson in the Liverpool-based crime film The 51st State (2001).
He played the role of Luther in the 2002 drama The Hidden City.
In the 2006 feature film Dead Man's Cards, Barber again returned to Merseyside playing the part of Paul, head doorman, at a Liverpool club. In Terry Pratchett's Going Postal (2010) he played a pin-fanatic shop owner.
In the 2014 film One Night in Istanbul, Barber plays a cabbie who is down on his luck and with his friend, Tommy, strikes a deal with a local gangster that allows them to take their young sons to watch Liverpool Football Club play in Turkey.
- Barber, Paul. Foster Kid: A Liverpudlian childhood. (Autobiography)
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- Palmer, Alun (23 September 2014). "Liverpool actor Paul Barber reveals he was victim of child abuse". The Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 28 April 2018.
- "Toxteth-born Only Fools and Horses star Paul 'Denzil' Barber to get honorary Liverpool John Moores fellowship". Liverpool Echo. 18 February 2011. Retrieved 31 July 2014.