Eric Thompson

Eric Norman Thompson (9 November 1929 – 30 November 1982) was an English actor, television presenter and producer. He is best remembered for creating and performing the English narration for The Magic Roundabout,[1] which he adapted from the original French Le Manège enchanté.

Eric Thompson
Born
Eric Norman Thompson

(1929-11-09)9 November 1929
Sleaford, England
Died30 November 1982(1982-11-30) (aged 53)
London, England
Spouse(s)
(m. 1957)
ChildrenEmma Thompson
Sophie Thompson

Early lifeEdit

Eric Norman Thompson was born on 9 November 1929 in Sleaford, Lincolnshire, England, the son of Annie (née Jackson) and George Henry Thompson, a hotel waiter,[2][3] and grew up in Rudgwick, Sussex, attending Collyer's School, Horsham. He trained to be an actor at the Old Vic acting school in London and joined the Old Vic theatre company in 1952.[1]

CareerEdit

Thompson worked regularly for the BBC, and was a presenter of the children's television programme Play School from 1964 to 1967. He was best known as the narrator of The Magic Roundabout, for which he also wrote the English language scripts, using the visuals from the original French Le Manège enchanté. These were transmitted from October 1965 to January 1977. Thompson rarely worked on television after his voice became well-known, but occasionally appeared in programmes such as Doctor Who in the serial The Massacre of St Bartholomew's Eve in 1966, and in two episodes of Coronation Street, in 1964 and 1969 (playing two different characters).

Personal lifeEdit

Thompson married Scottish actress Phyllida Law,[4] whom he met while at the Old Vic in 1957. Their daughters Emma and Sophie Thompson also followed into acting.

In 1967, he had a heart attack, resulting from overwork and heavy smoking, and therefore changed his focus to directing.[5] He directed Kenneth Williams in My Fat Friend in 1972 and the conflicts between the two are extensively discussed in the Williams' diaries.

On 30 November 1982, Thompson died of a heart attack in London.[5]

FilmographyEdit

Year Title Role Notes
1951 Pool of London Garage Pump Attendant Uncredited
1957 Lucky Jim Student Uncredited
1962 Private Potter Capt. John Knowles
1963 The Barber of Stamford Hill 1st Customer
1967 The Jokers
1970 One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich Tsetzar
1970 Pollux et le Chat bleu Narrator / Dougal / Florence / Brian / Zebedee / Dylan / Mr. Rusty / Mr. Machenry / Ermintrude / The Train Voice

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Stevens, Christopher (2010). Born Brilliant: The Life of Kenneth Williams. John Murray. p. 401. ISBN 978-1-84854-195-5.
  2. ^ "Eric Thompson Biography (1929-1982)". filmreference.com. 2014. Retrieved 4 October 2014.
  3. ^ "Eric Thompson". The Scotsman. 31 March 2006. Retrieved 4 October 2014.
  4. ^ "Phyllida Law Biography (1932-)". filmreference.com. 2014. Retrieved 4 October 2014.
  5. ^ a b Eric Thompson article, The Scotsman, Friday 31 March 2006

External linksEdit