|Born||William Mervyn Pickwoad
3 January 1912
Nairobi, British East Africa
|Died||6 August 1976
|Spouse(s)||Anne Margaret Payne Cooke|
William Mervyn (3 January 1912 – 6 August 1976) was an English actor best known for his portrayal of the bishop in the clerical comedy All Gas and Gaiters and the old gentleman in The Railway Children.
Life and career
Mervyn was born in Nairobi, British East Africa, but educated in Britain before embarking on a stage career, spending five years in provincial theatre. He made his West End debut in The Guinea Pig at the Criterion Theatre in 1946, before parts in plays such as Lend Me Robin at the Embassy Theatre, the comedy Ring Round the Moon, The Mortimer Touch, A Woman of No Importance by Oscar Wilde at the Savoy Theatre in 1953 and Charley's Aunt.
Mervyn's later stage roles included those of O'Trigger in The Rivals, Lord Greenham in the comedy Aren't We All? and Sir Patrick Cullen in The Doctor's Dilemma. Although he was admired in the theatre, it was with television that he became really well known. One of his first major small screen roles was Sir Hector in the 1962 series Saki. Four years later, he played the Bishop of St. Ogg's in the comedy series All Gas and Gaiters. It was, at that time, breaking with tradition, allowing a laugh at the expense of the established church.
He also played the police chief inspector Charles Rose in the Granada TV series The Odd Man and its spin-offs It's Dark Outside and Mr Rose. He played the Hon. Mr. Justice Campbell in the Granada TV series Crown Court.
Having taken the part of a Chief Inspector in the 1949 Ealing Studios film The Blue Lamp, in which PC George Dixon first appears (only to be shot dead by a young Dirk Bogarde), he then reappeared in a 1960 Dixon of Dock Green episode "The Hot Seat". He was in the 1966 Doctor Who story The War Machines and several Carry On films in the late 1960s, and also appeared as Mr. Whitty in the Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) episode "A Disturbing Case" in 1969.
Usually cast as a wealthy upper class gentleman, he also appeared in The Railway Children (1970), as the children's train passenger friend, and The Ruling Class (1972). Around the same time, he appeared as Sir Hector Drummond, Bt., in the British TV series The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes, in an episode entitled "The Superfluous Finger" (1973).
Mervyn was married to Anne Margaret Payne Cooke, a theatre designer and architect who survived him with their three sons - Michael Pickwoad, who in 2010 became the production designer on Doctor Who, Richard, television director and aerial cameraman and Nicholas (Pickwoad), expert on bookbinding. Mervyn's granddaughter Amy Pickwood became an art director and standby art director for Doctor Who.
|1947||The Mark of Cain||Mr Bonnington|
|1950||The Blue Lamp||Chief Inspector Hammond||uncredited|
|1950||Four Men in Prison||short|
|1954||Conflict of Wings||Mr Wentworth|
|1956||Tons of Trouble||Roberts (M15)|
|1956||The Long Arm||Manager of Festival Hall||Released as The Third Key in the USA|
|1958||Carve Her Name with Pride||Colonel Buckmaster|
|1959||Upstairs and Downstairs||Kingsley|
|1959||The Battle of the Sexes||Detective's friend|
|1960||Circus of Horrors||Doctor Morley|
|1964||Hot Enough for June||Passenger on plane||uncredited and released as Agent 8 3/4 in the USA|
|1964||Murder Ahoy!||Commander Breeze-Connington|
|1965||Up Jumped a Swagman||Mr Hawkes Fenhoulet|
|1967||Deadlier Than the Male||Chairman of the Phoenician Board|
|1967||Follow That Camel||Sir Cyril Ponsonby|
|1968||Salt and Pepper||Prime Minister|
|1969||Carry On Again Doctor||Lord Paragon|
|1970||The Railway Children||Old Gentleman||credited as Mr William Mervyn|
|1971||Carry On Henry||Physician|
|1972||Up the Front||Lord Twithampton|
|1972||Incense for the Damned||Marc Honeydew|
|1972||The Ruling Class||Sir Charles|
|1960||ITV Television Playhouse||Mr Challen|
|1960||The Long Way Home||French police sergeant|
|1960||The Four Just Men||Under Secretary|
|1960||On Trial||Sergeant Ballatine/President of the Court|
|1960||Dixon of Dock Green||Bruce Treadgold|
|1961||No Hiding Place||Ivor Naunton/Colonel Frew|
|1962||Oliver Twist||Mr Grimwig|
|1962||Bulldog Breed||Company director|
|1962||It Happened Like This||Sir George Wilby|
|1963||The Odd Man||Chief Inspector Rose|
|1963||The Sentimental Agent||Colonel Wilde|
|1964||Silas Marner||Squire Cass|
|1964||Diary of a Young Man||Bott|
|1964||The Massingham Affair||Mr Jessopp|
|1965||The Flying Swan||Alexander Curtis|
|1965||Heiress of Garth||Squire Griffin||(TV mini-series)|
|1965||Count Martial||Chief Inspector Haigh|
|1966||The Liars||Sir Gerald|
|1966||Doctor Who: The War Machines||Sir Charles Summer|
|1966||BBC Play of the Month||Sir Hector Rose|
|1966-71||All Gas and Gaiters||Bishop Cuthbert Hever|
|1967||Gideon C.I.D||Mr Pater|
|1968-70||Thirty-Minute Theatre||Sir Eric Brown/Father|
|1969||My Partner the Ghost||Whitty|
|1970||The Mating Machine||Major Whitestone|
|1973||The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes||Sir Hector Drummond|
|1976||The Ghosts of Motley Hall||Mr Bayling|
|1946||The Guinea Pig||Criterion Theatre|
|1947-48||The Blind Goddess||Apollo Theatre, London|
|1948||Lend Me Robin||Embassy Theatre|
|1952||The Mortimer Touch||Duke of York's Theatre|
|1952-53||Pagan in the Parlour||Theatre Royal, Bath|
|1953||A Woman of No Importance||Savoy Theatre|
|1954||Charley's Aunt||New Theatre and Strand Theatre|
|1954-55||Witness for the Prosecution||Bristol Hippodrome|
|1955||Mrs Willie||Globe Theatre, London|
|1956||The Rivals||Saville Theatre|
|1972||The Doctor's Dilemma|
- Tim Hughes (20 December 2012). "Michael Pickwoad: from Withal to the Doctor (From Herald Series)". heraldseries.co.uk. Herald Series. Retrieved 4 September 2015.
best remembered for his roles...in The Railway Children
- Wearing, 2014, The London Stage 1940-1949, p. 222
- "Lend Me Robin". Cadbury Research Library Special Collections. University of Birmingham. Retrieved 15 April 2015.
- Wearing, 2014, The London Stage 1950-1959, p.214
- "THEATRE 19 Feb 1954". archive.spectator.co.uk. The Spectator Archive. Retrieved 4 September 2015.
- Tim Hughes. "Michael Pickwoad: from Withal to the Doctor". heraldseries.co.uk. Herald Series. Retrieved 4 September 2015.
- Tim Hughes (20 December 2012). "Michael Pickwoad: from Withal to the Doctor". heraldseries.co.uk. Retrieved 4 September 2015.
Amy...who has worked with him on Doctor Who, a show which is becoming a family trade
- TV Unforgettables – Over 250 Legends of the Small Screen
- Wearing, J.P.. (2014). The London Stage 1940 - 1949: A Calendar of Productions, Performers and Personnel. Rowman & Littlefield
- Wearing, J.P.. (2014). The London Stage 1950 - 1959: A Calendar of Productions, Performers and Personnel. Rowman & Littlefield