Frank Pettingell

Frank Edmund George Pettingell (1 January 1891 – 17 February 1966) was an English actor.[1]

Frank Pettingell
Frank Pettingell.jpg
Frank Edmund George Pettingell

(1891-01-01)1 January 1891
Died17 February 1966(1966-02-17) (aged 75)
London, England
OccupationTheatre and film actor

Pettingell was born in Liverpool, Lancashire, and educated at Manchester University. During the First World War he served with the King's Liverpool Regiment.[2]

He appeared in such films as the original version of Gaslight (1940), Kipps (1941 - as Old Kipps), and Becket (1964 - as the Bishop of York). His collection of printed and manuscript playscripts - mostly acquired from the son of the comedian Arthur Williams (1844–1915) - is held at the Templeman Library, University of Kent.[3] He also had an extensive collection of serial fiction and penny-dreadfuls,[4] and this can now be found in the Osborne Collection of Early Children's Books in Toronto.[5]


Pettingell was an avid collector of popular playscripts and other literature which range from the 18th century to the early 20th century. In 1966, the Bodleian Library in Oxford purchased Pettingell’s collection of 800 volumes of 19th century ‘penny-dreadful’ publications, many published in parts.[6] Other penny dreadfuls and periodicals from Pettingell's collection were donated to the Osbourne Collection of Early Children's Books in Toronto.[7]

The University of Kent acquired the majority of Pettingell’s collection from his widow, Mrs. Ethel Pettingell, in 1967. The collection comprises some 4,400 printed and manuscript playscripts, with a number of works on the history of the English theatre, which were acquired by Pettingell from Arthur Williams (1844-1915), a popular comedian in the late Victorian and Edwardian theatre. The collection spans a range of popular theatre genres such as melodramas, tragedies, farces, and burlesques. In addition to popular plays, the collection includes over 300 pantomime libretti, ten manuscripts and printed texts of Dion Boucicault’s plays, and a collection of manuscript plays from Hoxton’s Britannia Theatre.[8]

Selected filmographyEdit


  1. ^ "Frank Pettingell". British Film Institute. Retrieved 10 September 2018.
  2. ^ "Pettingell Collection". Retrieved 10 September 2018.
  3. ^ "Pettingell Collection". Retrieved 10 September 2018.
  4. ^ Bodleian Library (1963). Annual Report of the Curators of the Bodleian Library. University Press. p. 37.
  5. ^ "Osborne Collection of Early Children's Books: Home page". Toronto Public Library. 2020. Retrieved 16 February 2020.
  6. ^ "Rare Books Named Collection Descriptions". Bodleian Libraries. Retrieved 8 December 2020.
  7. ^ "Osborne Collection of Early Children's Books". Toronto Public Library. Retrieved 8 December 2020.
  8. ^ "Pettingell Collection - Special Collections & Archives - University of Kent". Retrieved 8 December 2020.
  9. ^ Release date for The Magic Box, in IMDb.

External linksEdit