Rudolph Walker

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Rudolph Walker

Rudolph Walker.jpg
Walker at the funeral of Wendy Richard (2009)
Born
Rudolph Malcolm Walker

(1939-09-28) 28 September 1939 (age 81)
OccupationActor
Years active1964–present
Spouse(s)
Lorna Ross
(m. 1968)
(divorced)
Dounne Alexander MBE
(m. 1998)
(divorced)
Evangeline Vincent
(m. 2016)
Children2
Websiterudolphwalkerfoundation.com

Rudolph Malcolm Walker CBE (born 28 September 1939)[1] is a Trinidadian actor, known for his roles as Patrick Trueman in the BBC soap opera EastEnders, and Bill Reynolds in the ITV sitcom Love Thy Neighbour.

Early life and emigration[edit]

Rudolph Walker was born on 28 September 1939 in San Juan, Trinidad and Tobago,[2] and began acting as an eight-year-old in primary school,[3] going on to join Derek Walcott's Trinidad Theatre Workshop as its youngest member.[4] With the aim of furthering his career he left the island at the age of 20 in 1960. He had been planning to go to the United States, where he had connections, but actor Errol John — who had already migrated to Britain but was in Trinidad doing a play — convinced him to go to the UK, where the training was considered to be superior.[3]

Walker was married to Lorna Ross in 1968, but they divorced after having two children. He then married fellow Dounne Alexander in 1998. This union later ended, and since 2016, he has been married to Evangeline Vincent.[5]

Career[edit]

Walker's earliest television role was as a policeman in the British The Wednesday Play, in the episode titled "Fable" (aired 27 January 1965).[6] He is known for his comedic roles in Love Thy Neighbour (Thames Television), The Thin Blue Line, which starred Rowan Atkinson, and in Ali G Indahouse. Walker also appeared in Doctor Who, in the 1969 serial The War Games, and also in several episodes of Empire Road in 1979. He was one of the first black actors to be seen regularly on British television, and so has always been proud of his role on the controversial Love Thy Neighbour, which ran for seven series, from 1972 to 1976.[7]

He appeared in the first episode of On the Buses, "The Early Shift" (1969), and the first episode of Mr. Bean as "The Examiner" (1990). His other notable roles included as barrister Larry Scott in the 1985 BBC series Black Silk, by Mustapha Matura and Rudy Narayan.[8] Since 2001, Walker has played Patrick Trueman in the BBC One television soap opera EastEnders and in 2010 he appeared in the Internet spin-off series EastEnders: E20. He also starred in a BBC One sitcom called The Crouches, about a family from Walworth, in South East London. He played the grandfather for both series (2003–2005).

Although much of his work has been on television, he has appeared in several movies, including 10 Rillington Place, King Ralph (along with his Love Thy Neighbour co star, Jack Smethurst), and Let Him Have It. On the stage, he appeared in the first production of Mustapha Matura's Play Mas at the Royal Court Theatre in 1974, and has played the titular character in stage productions of Shakespeare's Othello, directed by David Thacker and Charles Marowitz, and also Caliban in a production of The Tempest directed by Jonathan Miller. Walker was also Gower in Thacker's 1989 production of Pericles, Prince of Tyre.

He also played opposite Diane Parish in Lovejoy (starring Ian McShane) where they played Father and Daughter.

Walker also lent his voice to the British children's television series Teletubbies, in which he renarrated the opening and closing sequences for the American dubbed version and voiced some of the voice trumpets for both the British and American versions.

He was the subject of This Is Your Life in 1999, when he was surprised by Michael Aspel on his 60th birthday at Lord's cricket ground.[citation needed]

A biography for children about him, written by Verna Wilkins, was published by Tamarind Books[9] on 4 September 2008.

In 2018, he was awarded the Outstanding Achievement Award at the British Soap Awards.[10]

Honours[edit]

Walker was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2006 Birthday Honours for services to drama[11][12] and Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2020 New Year Honours for services to drama and charity.[13]

The Rudolph Walker Foundation[edit]

On Walker's 70th birthday, he launched The Rudolph Walker Foundation,[14] whose aims include helping to provide opportunities and incentives for disadvantaged youths starting out on an entertainment career. The Foundation administers Rudolph Walker's inter-School Drama Award (RWiSDA), competed for by schools across London. In addition, Rudolph Walker's Role Model Award (RWRMA) is presented to outstanding students who have contributed something special like demonstrating positive leadership, a good influence to their peers and others, and a role model within the school.[15]

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1966 The Witches Mark Uncredited
1971 All the Right Noises Gordon
10 Rillington Place Beresford Brown
1972 The Trouble with 2B
Universal Soldier Mbote
1973 Love Thy Neighbour Bill Reynolds
Divorce His, Divorce Hers Kaduna
A Warm December Minor Role (Uncredited)
Girl Stroke Boy Mr Delaney
1974 Man About the House Rudolph Walker
1982 Spaghetti House Commander Martin
1985 Black Silk Larry Scott
1991 King Ralph King Mulambon of Zambezi
Let Him Have It West Indian Driver
1993 Bhaji on the Beach Leonard Baptiste
Never Judge a Book by its Cover Earl Taylor
1997 The House of Angelo Somers
2002 Ali G Indahouse President Mwepu
2007 Hit for Six Colin Thompson

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1969 Doctor Who Harper Episodes: "The War Games"
On The Buses George
1970 Diamond Crack Diamond Henderson Episode: "Diamonds and Spades"
1971 Say Hello to Yesterday Man in A+E Uncredited
1972 New Scotland Yard Henry Buckingham Episode: "A Case of Prejudice"
1972–1976 Love Thy Neighbour Bill Reynolds Main role, 55 episodes
1978–1979 Empire Road Sebastian Moses 5 episodes
1982 The Chinese Detective Terence Villiers Episode: "Wheels Between Wheels"
1987 The Lenny Henry Show Sonny Episode: "Sonny Sidles Up"
1990 Mr. Bean The Invigilator Episode: "Mr. Bean"
1990–1992 The Bill Papa Reeves / Lawrence Joseph / Ivan Wilson 3 episodes
1991 For the Greater Good Dr. Lawrence James Episode: "Mandarin"
Smack and Thistle Churchill Television film
The Play on One Kimumwe Episode: "Escape from Kampala"
Bodger and Badger Mr. Valentino 3 episodes
Pirate Prince Thomas Newton Television film
1993 Lovejoy Earl Taylor Episode: "Never Judge a Book by Its Cover"
1994 Scarlett Ransom Television film
1995–1996 The Thin Blue Line PC Frank Gladstone Main role, 14 episodes
1996 Gargoyles Tribal Leader (voice) Episode: "Mark of the Panther"
1997–2001 Teletubbies Male Voice Trumpet (voice)
Opening and Closing Narrations (voice)
UK/USA Versions
USA Version
352 episodes
2001–present EastEnders Patrick Trueman Series regular 1,200+ episodes (so far)
2003–2005 The Crouches Grandpa Langley Crouch 2 series
2010 EastEnders: E20 Patrick Trueman
2012 Celebrity Antiques Road Trip Himself (Participant)
2014 Invasion 1897[16][17][18]
2020 The Queen Vic Quiz Night Patrick Trueman Cameo appearance
Charity crossover between Coronation Street and EastEnders

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Rudolph Walker". BFI. Archived from the original on 21 July 2012.
  2. ^ Verna Allette Wilkins, Rudolph Walker, Tamarind Books (Black Stars), 2008, p. 9.
  3. ^ a b Rudolph Walker, "It's not black and white", The Guardian, 22 October 2001.
  4. ^ Rudolph Walker interview with Johnson JohnRose, Caribbean Tourism Organization, 2013.
  5. ^ Shado Saeyang (27 November 2019). "Five Fast Facts About British Soap Star Rudolph Walker". SoapHub. Retrieved 30 December 2020.
  6. ^ Fable at IMDb
  7. ^ "Rudolph Walker Interview", The Lewis Nicholls Show, YouTube.
  8. ^ "Black Silk", IMDb.
  9. ^ "Rudolph Walker Biography". Penguin Random House.
  10. ^ ITV [@ITV] (2 June 2018). "An Outstanding Achievement Award for a genuine soap legend" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  11. ^ "Harris leads Queen's honours list", BBC News, 16 June 2006.
  12. ^ "Birthday Honours 2006", The British Theatre Guide, 19 June 2006.
  13. ^ "Order of the British Empire, Rudolph Walker". The Gazette. 27 December 2019. Retrieved 27 December 2019.
  14. ^ Larry Jaffee, "Exclusive Interview With Rudolph Walker (Patrick Trueman)", Walford Gazette.
  15. ^ "Home". rwisda.com.
  16. ^ Linda Ikeji. "Lancelot Imasuen's 'Invasion 1897' leads Nollywood Invasion of cinemas". Lindaikeji Blogspot. Retrieved 13 December 2014.
  17. ^ "Lancelot Imasuen's Invasion 1897 hits cinemas Dec 5". The Sun. 16 November 2014.
  18. ^ Chidumga Izuzu (26 November 2014). "'Invasion 1897' Lancelot Imaseun's movie set for cinema release". Pulse Nigeria.

External links[edit]