Ray Lonnen

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Ray Lonnen
Born (1940-05-18)18 May 1940
Bournemouth, Hampshire,[1] England
Died 11 July 2014(2014-07-11) (aged 74)
London, England
Occupation Actor

Raymond Stanley Lonnen (18 May 1940 – 11 July 2014) was an English stage and television actor. His most prominent roles include Willie Caine in the cold-war spy drama series The Sandbaggers (1978–80), and also as Harry Brown in the television miniseries Harry's Game (1982).

Early life[edit]

Lonnen was born in Bournemouth, Hampshire,[1] where he attended the Stourfield School and the Hampshire School of Acting. At 19 he gained his first professional acting job at a theatre in Belfast. He then appeared in repertory theatre in English towns and cities including York and made his first television appearance alongside John Alderton in Emergency – Ward 10.[2]

Television career[edit]

His early acting appearances include TV series such as Mrs Thursday (1966), The Power Game (1966) and Market in Honey Lane (1967), and a small role in the film Zeppelin (1971). He then had a semi-regular role in the British crime drama series Z-Cars between 1972–75 as Detective Sergeant Terry Moffatt, before joining the series as a regular when Moffatt was promoted to become the new D.I. lead for the series between 1976-77. Lonnen also appeared in the cult TV series Doctor Who ("Frontier in Space").[3]

Lonnen was unavailable to film what would become the final series of Z-Cars when in 1978 he was cast in the ITV espionage series The Sandbaggers, where he played Willie Caine (aka "Sandbagger One"), one of the leads. The Sandbaggers ran for three series until 1980. After playing the lead role in an episode of the ITV anthology series Hammer House of Horror in 1980, Lonnen's next lead role was in the 1982 ITV mini-series Harry's Game, based on the novel by Gerald Seymour, playing Harry Brown, a British agent sent to Northern Ireland to smoke out the IRA assassin of a cabinet minister. In 1984, Lonnen went on to star in yet another spy-themed drama series, The Brief, in which he played a British barrister who travels to Germany to represent a British soldier accused of spying and treason. Aside from his lead roles, Lonnen also continued to appear in guest roles throughout the 1980s, including episodes of The Gentle Touch, Tales of the Unexpected, Lovejoy and the French film Mangeuses d'Hommes.[3]

In 1990, Lonnen played Detective Inspector Alex Vale in the ITV detective drama series Yellowthread Street, which was set in Hong Kong. Based on the novels by William Leonard Marshall, the series ran for 13 episodes. Throughout the 1990s, Lonnen continued to make guest appearances in various television series and even voiced several characters in the children's animated series Budgie the Little Helicopter. In 2001, he had a recurring role in the ITV police series The Bill. He appeared in several episodes of the Canadian sci-fi series Starhunter as well as a recurring role in the short-lived revival of the ITV soap-opera Crossroads.[3]

Stage roles[edit]

Since the 1960s, Lonnen performed in a variety of stage roles, including drama, comedy and musicals. His stage credits include Under Milk Wood (as the Narrator), Same Time, Next Year, In Praise of Love, Run for Your Wife, Wonderful Town, Lock Up Your Daughters, Guys and Dolls, Bells Are Ringing, Rebecca and The Perfect Murder.[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

Lonnen was first married to Jean Conyers and then the actress Lynn Dalby with whom he had three children. His third wife was the actress Tara Ward.[2]


Lonnen died at his home in London on 11 July 2014 from cancer, aged 74. He was survived by his wife, two sons and a daughter.[2][4]

Partial filmography[edit]

  • Zeppelin (1971) - Sgt. Grant
  • Murder Elite (1985) - Ron Price


External links[edit]