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Cyril Alexander Garland Luckham (25 July 1907 – 8 February 1989) was an English film, television and theatre actor. He was the husband of stage and screen actress Violet Lamb (1911–2009)[1]

Cyril Luckham
Cyril Luckham.gif
Cyril Alexander Garland Luckham

(1907-07-25)25 July 1907
Died8 February 1989(1989-02-08) (aged 81)
London, England
Years active1935–1987
Spouse(s)Violet Sylvia Lamb


The son of a paymaster captain in the Royal Navy Cyril Luckham was educated at RNC Osborne and Dartmouth and briefly followed his father into the service. He was promoted Lieutenant in 1930[2] and retired the following year, transferring to the Emergency List.[3] Afterwards he trained for the stage with the Arthur Brough school at Folkestone, making his debut with Brough's company there in The Admirable Crichton in 1935. For several years he appeared in provincial repertory, notably with the Rapier Players at Bristol's Little Theatre. He had been promoted to Lieutenant-Commander on the retired list in 1938[4] and was recalled to the Navy when the War broke out. He was invalided out soon afterwards following serious illness and returned to the theatre. Luckham made his West End debut as Torvald Helmer in A Doll's House at the Arts Theatre in July 1945.[5] For several years afterwards his stage work was largely back in the provinces including the touring company of the Old Vic.[6]

Luckham played the White Guardian in the long running science fiction television series Doctor Who. He appeared in The Ribos Operation, the first serial in The Key to Time season, and Enlightenment.[7] In 1965 he played Sir Hugh Archibald-Lake in The Wednesday Play (BBC) Vote, Vote, Vote for Nigel Barton.[8] In the 1967 BBC serialisation of The Forsyte Saga, Luckham played Sir Lawrence Mont, father-in-law of Fleur Forsyte.[9] He appeared in an episode of Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) (1969), as the villain, and as an unscrupulous art dealer in the episode I Always Wanted a Swimming Pool in the 1971 series of Public Eye.[10][11] Luckham was a familiar face as a character actor in the 1970s: playing The 7th Duke of Marlborough in the 1974 Thames miniseries Jennie: Lady Randolph Churchill; the 1978 TV series based on the Famous Five books by Enid Blyton; as the evil psychic Edward Drexel in the 1979 supernatural thriller series The Omega Factor and as the equitable Chair of the school board of Bamfylde in the 1980 Andrew Davies adaptation To Serve Them All My Days.[12] He also portrayed Archbishop Thomas Cranmer in the film adaptation of A Man for All Seasons (1966) and the long-suffering Father O'Hara in Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em.[9] He also played the benevolent grandfather in The Cedar Tree, a series that ran on ATV from 1975 to 1979.[13]

He played the paternalist puppet prime minister in 1971's dialectical dystopian TV drama The Guardians, in which Britain is plunged into a tacit fascist state policed by the ubiquitous Guardians.[14]

Partial filmographyEdit


  1. ^ George Pensotti. "Violet Lamb".
  2. ^ The London Gazette, 16 December 1930, issue 33670, p.8077
  3. ^ The London Gazette, 17 July 1931, issue 33736, p.4700
  4. ^ The London Gazette, 6 December 1938, issue 34577, p.7689
  5. ^ The Stage, 19 July 1945, p.1, column F
  6. ^ The Stage, 2 March 1989, p.25, column F
  7. ^ "BBC - Doctor Who Classic Series Episode Guide - Cast and crew".
  8. ^ "BFI Screenonline: Vote, Vote, Vote, for Nigel Barton (1965)".
  9. ^ a b "Cyril Luckham". BFI.
  10. ^ "BFI Screenonline: Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) (1969-70) Credits".
  11. ^ "I Always Wanted a Swimming Pool (1971)". BFI.
  12. ^ "Cyril Luckham".
  13. ^ "Forgotten Regional Soaps". 20 April 2009.
  14. ^ "BFI Screenonline: Guardians, The (1971)".

External linksEdit