Ronald Fraser (actor)

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This article is about the actor, 1930-1997. For other uses, see Ronald Fraser.
Ronald Fraser
Actor Ronald Fraser.jpg
Born Ronald Gordon Fraser
(1930-04-11)11 April 1930
Ashton-under-Lyne, Lancashire, England, UK
Died 13 March 1997(1997-03-13) (aged 66)
Hampstead, London, England, UK
Cause of death Haemorrhage
Nationality Scottish
Occupation Actor
Years active 1957–1996
Spouse(s) Elizabeth Howe (1956–1964)
Children 2 daughters

Ronald Fraser (11 April 1930 – 13 March 1997) was an English-born Scottish character actor, who appeared in numerous British plays, films and television shows from the 1950s to the 1990s.[1] An unusual appearance and unique delivery made him a natural comedic actor. Fraser was a familiar figure in West End clubs during the sixties, and despite a long-standing reputation as one of the hardest drinking of British actors he was still working in his last years. He was perhaps best known as Basil "Badger" Allenby-Johnson in the 1970s television series The Misfit.


Ronald Fraser was born in Ashton-under-Lyne, Lancashire, the son of an interior decorator and builder from Scotland. He attended Ashton Grammar School. He was educated in Scotland and did national service as a lieutenant in the Seaforth Highlanders. While serving in Benghazi in North Africa, he appeared in the comic play French Without Tears by Terence Rattigan. He trained as an actor at RADA until 1953 and soon appeared at Glasgow's Citizens' Theatre. He joined the Old Vic repertory company in 1954, making his first London appearance in The Good Sailor, a stage adaptation of Herman Melville's novel, Billy Budd.[2]

In the West End, he appeared in The Long and the Short and the Tall, The Ginger Man, The Singular Man, Androcles and the Lion, The Showing Up of Blanco Posnet, Purple Dust by Seán O'Casey, Entertaining Mr Sloane, Joseph Papp's production of The Pirates of Penzance and High Society. He also played Falstaff in a production of The Merry Wives of Windsor at the Open Air Theatre, Regent's Park. His only Broadway show was the flop La Grosse Valise by Robert Dhéry, Gérard Calvi and Harold Rome.[2]

He appeared in numerous television roles from 1954, and in nearly 50 films from 1957, mostly in comedies.[2]

Selected filmography[edit]

Film credits[edit]

Television credits[edit]

Personal life[edit]

Fraser was a resident of Hampstead, London. He was a heavy drinker and a well-known figure in the local hostelries.[3] He was married from 1956 to 1964 to Elizabeth Howe, and the couple had two daughters.[2]

He died of a haemorrhage, aged 66, in London.[4] The pallbearers at his funeral were Sean Connery, Peter O'Toole, Simon Ward (who had played his son in The Misfit) and Chris Evans. Nicholas Whittaker, author of Platform Souls and Blue Period, worked in the Belsize Tavern in 1979 and 1980 and recalls Fraser's regular visits to the pub, usually in the company of actor James Villiers.[citation needed]


  1. ^ "Ronald Fraser". BFI. 
  2. ^ a b c d Hayward, Anthony. "Obituary: Ronald Fraser", The Independent, 15 March 1997, accessed 24 February 2012
  3. ^ Gary Russell on The Famous Five - First season - Five Go to Smuggler's Top
  4. ^ GRO Register of Deaths: Mar 1997 D44A 2501D 255 Camden, DoB = 11 Apr 1930 aged 66

External links[edit]