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Benjamin John Whitrow (17 February 1937 – 28 September 2017) was an English actor. He was nominated for the BAFTA TV Award for Best Actor for his role as Mr Bennet in the 1995 BBC version of Pride and Prejudice, and voiced the role of Fowler in the 2000 animated film Chicken Run. His other film appearances include Quadrophenia (1979), Personal Services (1987) and Bomber (2009).
Whitrow in 1991
Benjamin John Whitrow
17 February 1937
|Died||28 September 2017 (aged 80)|
Royal Academy of Dramatic Art
Catherine Cook (m. 1972)
|Children||3, including Angus Imrie|
Life and careerEdit
Whitrow was born in Oxford, the son of Mary Alexandra (Flaunders) and Philip Whitrow. He attended the Dragon School, Tonbridge School, and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. He served in the King's Dragoon Guards during his national service from 1956 to 1958. He joined the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1981. He played Russell in the original radio version of After Henry by Simon Brett.
In 1989, Whitrow appeared in episode four of the BBC Two sketch show A Bit of Fry and Laurie (series one), playing an irate member of the audience who claimed that Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie had stolen several of their sketches from him.
Whitrow's last work was two plays for BBC Radio 4 where he played the late Poet Laureate, Sir John Betjeman. Mr Betjeman's Class was his last completed work. Whitrow died while recording Mr Betjeman Regrets and was completed by Robert Bathurst. Both plays were broadcast on BBC Radio 4 during Christmas 2017.
Whitrow was married to Catherine Cook, with whom he had two children: Hannah Mary Whitrow (b. 1973) and Thomas George Whitrow (b. 1976). He also had a son, Angus Imrie (b. 1994) with actress Celia Imrie.
Whitrow died on 28 September 2017, aged 80.
- 1963: The Small World of Sammy Lee as Joan's Client (uncredited)
- 1963: West 11 as Minor Role (uncredited)
- 1979: Quadrophenia as Mr. Fulford, Jimmy's Boss
- 1982: Brimstone and Treacle as Businessman
- 1986: Clockwise as Headmaster #1
- 1987: Personal Services as Mr. Marsden
- 1988: Hawks as Mr. Granger
- 1988: On the Black Hill as Arkwright
- 1992: Damage as Civil Servant
- 1992: Chaplin as Station Master
- 1995: Restoration as Merivel's Father
- 1997: The Opium War as Lord Palmerston
- 1997: The Saint as Chairman at Oxford
- 1997: FairyTale: A True Story as Mr. Binley
- 1998: Jilting Joe as Arthur
- 2000: Chicken Run as Fowler (voice)
- 2006: Scenes of a Sexual Nature as Eddie Wright
- 2009: Bomber as Alistar
- 2017: Darkest Hour as Sir Samuel Hoare (final film role)
- Agatha Christie's Partners in Crime as Sir Arthur Merivale in episode 'Finessing the King'
- The Queen's Sister as Cronin
- The History of Tom Jones: A Foundling as Squire Allworthy
- Bognor as Eric Gringe in 'Deadline'
- Pride and Prejudice as Mr Bennet
- The New Statesman as Paddy O'Rourke
- Chancer as Robert Douglas
- Play for Today as Josh
- Tales Of The Unexpected What Have You Been Up To Lately, as Fergus Locke
- Fireman Sam as Station Officer Steele
- Toast of London as Ken Suggestion
- Troilus and Cressida as Ulysses
- The Merchant of Venice as the Duke of Venice (opposite Laurence Olivier as Shylock)
- The Sweeney as Det. Chief Supt. Braithwaite
- Hay Fever as Richard Greatham
- The Brontes of Haworth as Arthur Bell Nicholls
- Rumpole of the Bailey as The Right Reverend Bill Britwell
- Bergerac as B J Farrell
- Man Down Series 2 episode 2 of Man Down as Tim
- Midsomer Murders as Sir Malcolm Frazer in episode 'Secrets and Spies'
- Inspector Morse as Brownlee in the episode 'The Daughters of Cain'
- 1980: Unman, Wittering & Zigo as the headmaster; by Giles Cooper; BBC R4 7/8/1980.
- 1984: Dracula In White by Peter Redgrove; BBC R4 7/3/1984.
- 1984: Tragedy at Law as the Judge; by Cyril Hare; BBC Radio 4 Saturday Night Theatre 7/4/1984.
- 1985–89: After Henry as Russell; BBC Radio 4 series by Simon Brett.
- 1992: A Warden for All Saints as James Montague, by H.S. Bhabra; BBC R4 29/4/1992.
- 1995: In The Red as the bank manager murderer; by Mark Tavener; BBC Radio 4 series 5/1/1995-16/2/1995.
- 1997: MR James Ghost story readings – The Late Book.
- 1999: Plum's War by Michael Butt, BBC R4 7/7/99.
- 2003: Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh, dramatised by Jeremy Front, BBC R4 8/3/2003.
- 2003: The Last Bark of the Bulldog by Jonathan Smith; Benjamin Whitrow portrays Winston Churchill; BBC R4 21/6/2003.
- 2011: Portrait of Winston, by Jonathan Smith; sequel to The Last Bark of the Bulldog; BBC R4 13/9/2011
- 2017: Mr Betjeman's Class and Mr Betjeman Regrets both by Jonathan Smith; BBC R4 25/12/2017 and 26/12/2017
- "Benjamin Whitrow Biography (1937-)". www.filmreference.com.
- Coveney, Michael (29 September 2017). "Benjamin Whitrow obituary". The Guardian. Retrieved 29 September 2017.
- "Benjamin Whitrow — RADA". www.rada.ac.uk.
- [permanent dead link]
- "BBC Radio 4 Extra - After Henry, Series 1, Going Away". BBC.
- Guide, British Comedy. "A Bit Of Fry & Laurie Series 1, Episode 4". British Comedy Guide.
- "Benjamin Whitrow". www.bafta.org. 1 May 2018.
- "CBBC - Chicken Run". BBC.
- "BBC Radio 4 - Drama, Mr Betjeman's Class". BBC.
- "BBC Radio 4 - Drama, Mr Betjeman Regrets". BBC.
- Adams, Tim (31 December 2017). "The week in radio: Today; Mr Betjeman's Class/Mr Betjeman Regrets; Just a Minute; The Great American Songbook" – via www.theguardian.com.
- Quinn, Michael (11 October 2017). "Obituary: Benjamin Whitrow | Obituaries".
- "The Merchant of Venice". IMDb.com. 7 October 1973. Retrieved 2 October 2017.
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