Donald Marland Hewlett (30 August 1920 – 4 June 2011)[2] was an English actor who was best known for his sitcom roles as Colonel Charles Reynolds in It Ain't Half Hot Mum and Lord Meldrum in You Rang, M'Lord?, both written by Jimmy Perry and David Croft. He also had other roles in British film and television productions.[3]

Donald Hewlett
Donald Marland Hewlett[1]

(1920-08-30)30 August 1920
Died4 June 2011(2011-06-04) (aged 90)
Years active1954–1995
Christine Pollon
(m. 1947, dissolved)
Diana Greenwood
(m. 1956, dissolved)
(m. 1979)
Children5, including Siobhan

Early life


Hewlett was born into a wealthy family; his father Thomas Hewlett was Conservative MP for Manchester Exchange from 1940 to 1945 and owned the Anchor Chemical Company based in Clayton, Manchester[4] (now a subsidiary of Air Products and Chemicals). He was the brother of Thomas Hewlett, Baron Hewlett.

Hewlett was educated at Clifton College[5] in Bristol followed by St John's College, Cambridge, where he studied geography and meteorology and was part of the Footlights Revue, but volunteered for the RNVR early in World War II.[4] He served in the Royal Navy as a lieutenant and meteorologist.[2] and was stationed for several years in Kirkwall in the Orkney Islands where he was a founder member of the Kirkwall Arts Club.[6][7] He later served in the North Atlantic aboard the light cruisers Malaya and Galatea. He rose to the rank of lieutenant. He was subsequently posted to Singapore,[8] in charge of Japanese POWs and as entertainment officer.[4]



Following his demob, rather than return to Cambridge University, Hewlett trained at RADA and gained his first professional acting job in repertory theatre at the Oxford Playhouse where he suggested the management should cast Ronnie Barker in his first, small, role.[4] His first film acting role was the part of Lincoln Green in Orders are Orders (1954).[9]

His television appearances included The Ronnie Corbett Show, The Ronnie Barker Playhouse, The Saint, The Avengers, The Dick Emery Show and the Doctor Who story The Claws of Axos (1971).[10] However, he gained his most prominent role in the Croft and Perry sitcom It Ain't Half Hot Mum (1974–81) as Colonel Charles Reynolds.[3] He was cast with Michael Knowles in another David Croft sitcom, the sci-fi parody Come Back Mrs. Noah (1977–78), and later with the successful You Rang, M'Lord? (1988–93), as George, Lord Meldrum (a part written specially for him).[11][12]

Hewlett was cast with Knowles again for the BBC Radio series Anything Legal in 1984.[13] Other roles included 'Winkworth' in Morris Minor's Marvellous Motors in 1989 and The Adventures of Brigadier Wellington-Bull.[14][15] His last TV appearance was in The Upper Hand in 1995.[16] He appeared in several episodes of The Enchanting World of Hinge and Bracket, playing the ship's captain when they embarked on a cruise.

Hewlett also appeared in the episode "Hello Sailor" from the sitcom Happy Ever After in 1977 which starred Terry Scott and June Whitfield.[17]

Hewlett made a number of film appearances including Spike Milligan's Adolf Hitler - My Part in His Downfall, A Touch of Class, Carry On Behind and The First Great Train Robbery.[9]

Hewlett's previous marriages, to Christine Pollon and Diana Greenwood, ended in divorce.[1] He had two sons and a daughter by Greenwood.[1] Having previously lived for several years in Whitstable, Kent, he lived in Argos Hill, Mayfield [18] beside Argos Hill Windmill with his third wife Thérèse McMurray-Hewlett, by whom he had a son and daughter.[1] His younger daughter, Siobhan Hewlett, is an actress, best known for her role in Irina Palm.[19]



Hewlett died on 4 June 2011 at the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in West London aged 90.




Year Title Role Notes
1954 Orders Are Orders Lincoln Green
1960 Bottoms Up Hamley
1964 The Beauty Jungle Advertising Agent Uncredited
1973 Adolf Hitler - My Part in His Downfall Senior Officer
1973 A Touch of Class Spencer Birdsall Uncredited
1974 Moments Mr. Samuelson
1975 Carry On Behind The Dean
1976 Confessions of a Driving Instructor Chief Examiner
1978 The First Great Train Robbery Club Member Uncredited
1986 Saving Grace Monsignor Colin McGee


Year Title Role Notes
1959 The Adventures of Brigadier Wellington-Bull Captain Sooty Pikington 5 episodes
1963 Hancock Hotel Receptionist 1 episode
1965 Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes Horace Harker 1 episode
1965 Coronation Street Robert 'Bob' Maxwell 2 episodes
1967 Further Adventures of Lucky Jim 1 episode
1968 The Ronnie Barker Playhouse Nigel (episode 5 Talk of Angels)
1971 Doctor Who - The Claws of Axos Hardiman 4 episodes
1974 The Protectors Chambers 1 episode
1974–1981 It Ain't Half Hot Mum Lieutenant-Colonel Charles Reynolds 56 episodes
1975–1976 Rogue's Rock Wing Commander Rogue 21 episodes
1977–1978 Come Back Mrs. Noah Carstairs 6 episodes
1988–1993 You Rang, M'Lord? Lord George Meldrum 26 episodes
1989 Goldeneye Admiral Godfrey TV movie


  1. ^ a b c d e "Donald Hewlett". Retrieved 11 October 2016.
  2. ^ a b Hayward, Anthony (7 June 2011). "Donald Hewlett obituary". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 June 2011.
  3. ^ a b It Ain't Half Hot Mum's Donald Hewlett dies at 90, BBC News, 5 June 2011
  4. ^ a b c d "Donald Hewlett". The Daily Telegraph. 12 June 2011. Retrieved 13 December 2020.
  5. ^ "Clifton College Register" Muirhead, J.A.O. p489: Bristol; J.W Arrowsmith for Old Cliftonian Society; April, 1948
  6. ^ W. S. Hewison, This Great Harbour Scapa Flow, The Orcadian Ltd (kirkwall Press) 2000, ISBN 978-1-902957-02-9
  7. ^ The Orcadian Features - Another war Archived 28 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ Rob Cope, Mike Fury, You Rang M'Lord?, DAAS, 35-36
  9. ^ a b "Donald Hewlett". BFI. Archived from the original on 26 April 2017.
  10. ^ "Donald Hewlett".
  11. ^ "Come Back Mrs Noah [Pilot] (1977)". BFI. Archived from the original on 17 May 2019.
  12. ^ "obituary: Donald Hewlett, actor".
  13. ^ "BBC Radio 4 Extra - Anything Legal". BBC.
  14. ^ Guide, British Comedy. "Morris Minor's Marvellous Motors cast and crew credits". British Comedy Guide.
  15. ^ "The Adventures of Brigadier Wellington-Bull: 1: A Fruitful Business". 5 June 1959. p. 17 – via BBC Genome.
  16. ^ Donald Hewlett at IMDb
  17. ^ "Happy Ever After[08/09/77] (1977)". BFI. Archived from the original on 17 May 2019.
  18. ^ "Reference to Kent and Sussex Courier article about Donald Hewlett and Argos Hill windmill". Mills Archive.
  19. ^ "Irina Palm (2008)". BFI. Archived from the original on 17 February 2019.