Peter Cecil Bull
21 March 1912
|Died||20 May 1984 (aged 72)|
He was a friend of Alec Guinness, whom he first met at HMS Raleigh during training in the Second World War, and later HMS King Alfred; he served as an officer in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve, later commanding Landing Craft (Flak) 16 in the Mediterranean. He achieved the rank of Lieutenant-Commander and was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross. Returning to acting after the war, he both narrated and had a small on-screen role in Scrooge (1951); and portrayed the captain of the ship that Katharine Hepburn's and Humphrey Bogart's characters set out to destroy, whom they persuade to marry them just before they are to be executed, in The African Queen (1951). Bull was the first actor to portray Pozzo in the English-language version of Samuel Beckett's Waiting For Godot when it opened on 3 August 1955.
Bull's performance as the Soviet Ambassador, Alexi de Sadesky, in Dr Strangelove (1964) is probably the best known of his many film and TV appearances. He was cast as Thwackum, one of Blifil's two tutors, in the 1963 film Tom Jones. (The other tutor, Square, of contrasting build and character, was played by John Moffatt.)
Bull published a number of books on the subject of teddy bears, including Bear With Me, as well as a book on his adventures on the Greek islands of Corfu and Paxos, where he owned a house, It isn't all Greek to me, illustrated by Oscar winner Roger Furse. He was also the author of a non-fiction book about his experiences during the Second World War as commander of a Tank Landing Craft (LCT), To Sea in a Sieve and several memoirs and collections of his letters.
Peter Bull died of a heart attack in London on 20 May 1984 at 72 years of age.
- The Secret Voice (1936) as Minor Role (uncredited)
- The Beloved Vagabond (1936) as Artist in bar (uncredited)
- As You Like It (1936) as William
- Sabotage (1936) as Michaelis – Conspirator (uncredited)
- Knight Without Armour (1937) as Commissar (uncredited)
- Non-Stop New York (1937) as Spurgeon
- Sunset in Vienna (1937) as Turk Outside Café
- Second Best Bed (1938) as Tennis match spectator (uncredited)
- Marie Antoinette (1938) as Gamin (uncredited)
- The Ware Case (1938) as Eustace Ede
- Young Man's Fancy (1939) as French Soldier (uncredited)
- Inspector Hornleigh (1939) as Radio Ham Operator (uncredited)
- Dead Man's Shoes (1940) as Defense Counsel
- Sunset in Vienna (1940) as Turk Outside Café (uncredited)
- Contraband (1940) as Third Brother Grimm
- Quiet Wedding (1941) as Tenor (uncredited)
- The Grand Escapade (1947) as Jennings
- The Turners of Prospect Road (1947) as J.G. Clarkson
- They Made Me a Fugitive (1947) as Fidgity Phil
- Oliver Twist (1948) as Landlord of 'Three Cripples' tavern
- Saraband for Dead Lovers (1948) as Prince George Louis
- Woman Hater (1948) as Mr. Fletcher
- Look Before You Love (1948) as Ship Passenger (uncredited)
- Cardboard Cavalier (1949) as Mosspot
- Alice in Wonderland (1949) as Puppet Character (voice)
- The Lost People (1949) as Wolf
- The Reluctant Widow (1950)
- I'll Get You for This (1951) as Hans
- Smart Alec (1951) as Prosecuting Counsel
- The Lavender Hill Mob (1951) as Joe the Gab (uncredited)
- The Six Men (1951) as Walkeley
- Scrooge (1951) as First Businessman / Narrator
- The African Queen (1951) as Captain of Louisa
- Salute the Toff (1952) as Lorne (uncredited)
- The Second Mrs Tanqueray (1952) as Misquith
- Strange Stories (1953) as Captain Breen
- The Captain's Paradise (1953) as Kalikan firing-squad officer
- Malta Story (1953) as Flying Officer (uncredited)
- Saadia (1953) as Village potentate
- Beau Brummell (1954) as Mr. Fox
- Footsteps in the Fog (1955) as Brasher
- Who Done It? (1956) as Scientist
- The Green Man (1956) as General Niva
- The Horse's Mouth (1958) as Man in Taxi (uncredited)
- Tom Thumb (1958) as Town Crier
- The Scapegoat (1959) as Aristide
- The 3 Worlds of Gulliver (1960) as Lord Bermogg
- The Rebel (1961) as Manager of Art Gallery, Paris
- Goodbye Again (1961) as Client
- Follow That Man (1961) as Gustav
- The Girl on the Boat (1962) as Blacksmith
- Tom Jones (1963) as Thwackum
- The Old Dark House (1963) as Caspar Femm / Jasper Femm
- Dr. Strangelove (1964) as Russian Ambassador Alexi de Sadesky
- The Intelligence Men (1965) as Philippe
- You Must Be Joking! (1965) as Ferocious Man in Library
- Licensed to Kill (1965) as Masterman
- Doctor Dolittle (1967) as General Bellowes
- Lock Up Your Daughters (1969) as Bull
- The Executioner (1970) as Butterfield
- Up the Front (1972) as General Von Kobler
- Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1972) as Duchess
- Lady Caroline Lamb (1972) as Minister
- Girl Stroke Boy (1973) as Peter Hovendon
- Joseph Andrews (1977) as Sir Thomas Booby
- The Brute (1977) as Housemaster
- Rosie Dixon – Night Nurse (1978) as August Visitor
- The Tempest (1979) as Alonso, the King of Naples
- Yellowbeard (1983) as Queen Anne (final film role)
- To Sea in a Sieve (1956)
- Bulls in the Meadow (1957)
- I Know the Face But... (1959)
- Not on Your Telly (1961)
- I Say Look Here (1965)
- It Isn't All Greek to Me (1967)
- Bear with me (1969)
- The Teddy Bear Book (1970)
- Life Is a Cucumber (1973)
- Peter Bull's Book of Teddy Bears (1977)
- A Hug of Teddy Bears (1984)
- Bull's Eyes: The Selected Memoirs of Peter Bull (1986)
- 'Blessings in Disguise', Alec Guinness, Hamish Hamilton Ltd, London 1996.
- "No. 37380". The London Gazette (Supplement). 7 December 1945. p. 5987.
- Pareles, Jon (22 May 1984). "Peter Bull, actor and writer". New York Times (obituaries)..
- Bull, Peter (1956). To Sea in a Sieve. London: Peter Davies Ltd. ISBN 9780552103800.
- Bull, Peter (1957). Bulls in the Meadow. London: Peter Davies Ltd. ISBN 9780000000620.
- Bull, Peter (1959). I Know the Face But... London: Peter Davies Ltd. ISBN 9781914311383.
- Bull, Peter (1959). Not on Your Telly. London: Peter Davies Ltd. ASIN B0000CL4CM.
- Bull, Peter (1965). I Say Look Here: The Rather Random Reminiscences of a Round Actor in the Square. London: Peter Davies Ltd. ASIN B0000CMLOC.
- Bull, Peter (1967). It Isn't All Greek to Me. London: Peter Davies Ltd. ASIN B003B1WYJ0.
- Bull, Peter (1969). Bear with me: the teddy bear: A symposium. London: Hutchinson & Co. ISBN 9780090987306.
- Bull, Peter (1970). Bull's Eyes: The Selected Memoirs of Peter Bull. New York City: Random House. ISBN 9780394416304.
- Bull, Peter (1973). Life Is a Cucumber: Some Not Frightfully Belles Lettres. London: Peter Davies Ltd.
- Bull, Peter (1977). Peter Bull's Book of Teddy Bears. London: Cassell. ISBN 978-0304298501.
- Bull, Peter (1984). A Hug of Teddy Bears. London: Herbert Press Ltd. ISBN 9780906969434.
- Bull, Peter (1986). Bull's Eyes: The Selected Memoirs of Peter Bull. London: Quartet Books Ltd. ISBN 9780860720959.