Frederick Treves (actor)

Frederick William Treves BEM (29 March 1925 – 30 January 2012) was an English character actor with an extensive repertoire, specialising in avuncular, military and titled types.

Frederick Treves

Frederick treves cambridge jones.jpg
Treves in 2005
Frederick William Treves

(1925-03-29)29 March 1925
Died30 January 2012(2012-01-30) (aged 86)
Spouse(s)Margaret Jean (née Stott)

Early lifeEdit

Treves attended the Nautical College, Pangbourne and during World War II he served in the Merchant Navy. On his first voyage his ship, the freighter Waimarama, was part of the Operation Pedestal convoy to Malta. On 13 August 1942, the Waimarama was sunk by German bombers, the aviation fuel on deck burst into flame and the ship exploded, with 80 of the 107 crew killed. Cadet Treves helped save several of his shipmates, including the only ship's officer to survive the sinking, 3rd Wireless Operator John Jackson. Treves, then 17 years old, received the British Empire Medal[1] and the Lloyd's War Medal for Bravery at Sea for his actions.

After the war, he trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.[2]


His over a hundred television credits included roles in A For Andromeda, The Cazalets, The Jewel in the Crown, A Dance to the Music of Time, The Politician's Wife, To Play the King, Lipstick on Your Collar, Summer's Lease, Bomber Harris, Trevor Griffiths' version of The Cherry Orchard, David Edgar's Destiny, The Naked Civil Servant and The Railway Children.[3]

Treves also guested in many continuing dramas, such as Rosemary & Thyme, Monarch of the Glen, The Bill, The New Adventures of Black Beauty, Silent Witness, Kavanagh QC, Jeeves and Wooster, Inspector Morse, Agatha Christie's Poirot, Lovejoy, Yes, Prime Minister, Bergerac, Midsomer Murders, Follyfoot, Miss Marple, Minder, Z-Cars, The Avengers, Doomwatch and in the Doctor Who story Meglos.[3]

His films included Freelance (1971), One Hour to Zero (1976), Sweeney 2 (1978), Charlie Muffin (1979), The Elephant Man (1980), Nighthawks (1981), Defence of the Realm (1985), Paper Mask (1990), The Fool (1990), Afraid of the Dark (1991), Mad Dogs and Englishmen (1995) and Sunshine (1999).[3]

As well as screen appearances, he also had a wide stage and radio career, and appeared with the National Theatre[2] from the late-1970s in David Hare's Plenty, Bernard Shaw's The Philanderer, Arnold Wesker's Caritas, Eugene O'Neill's The Iceman Cometh, and two Shakespeares - Leonato in Much Ado About Nothing (1981)[4] and Menenius in Coriolanus (1984).[5]

Personal lifeEdit

Treves was from a medical family; his father was a physician and his great uncle was Frederick Treves, the surgeon who became famous for discovering Joseph Merrick, the "Elephant Man". In the David Lynch film The Elephant Man, the surgeon is played by Anthony Hopkins and Treves himself appeared in the character of Alderman.[2]

He married Jean Stott in 1956. He was survived by two sons and a daughter. His elder son is the actor Simon Treves.


Year Title Role Notes
1953 Wheel of Fate
1956 Jumping for Joy Attendant Uncredited
1956 The Long Arm Detective Tailing Creasey Uncredited
1956 High Terrace Police Constable West
1957 The Mark of the Hawk 2nd Officer
1960 Carry on Constable Radio Announcer Voice, Uncredited
1971 Freelance Car Driver
1976 One Hour to Zero Supeintendent Parry
1976 Devices and Desires Reverend Granville Moulton
1978 Sweeney 2 McKyle
1978 On a Paving Stone Mounted
1979 Charlie Muffin Wilcox
1980 The Elephant Man Alderman
1981 Nighthawks Chief Police Inspector - London
1983 A Flame to the Phoenix
1986 Defence of the Realm Arnold Reece
1986 The Natural World - The Man Eaters of Kumaon Jim Corbett
1990 Paper Mask Dr. Mumford
1990 The Fool Samuel Simpson
1991 Afraid of the Dark Eye Surgeon
1993 Closing Numbers Anna's Father
1995 Mad Dogs and Englishmen Sir Harry Dyer
1999 Sunshine Emperor


  1. ^ "No. 35905". The London Gazette (Supplement). 12 February 1943. p. 824. "Frederick William Treves, Cadet. The ship was hit by bombs while in a convoy and burst into flames fore and aft. The fierceness of the fire forced an Officer who could not swim to jump overboard. Cadet Treves, who was on his first voyage, swam to where the Officer was struggling in the oily water, ordered him to keep still, and, taking him by the head, got him away from the ship. Treves then found a piece of wood, to which the man was able to cling for support until rescued. But for the coolness and skill of the Cadet the Officer would have drowned."
  2. ^ a b c Treves on the Internet Movie Database
  3. ^ a b c Filmography on the Internet Movie Database
  4. ^ Treves on the AHDS Performing Arts website
  5. ^ Treves in Coriolanus on the Ian McKellen website

External linksEdit