Gerald Harper

Gerald Harper (born 15 February 1931) is an English actor, best known for his work on television, having played the title roles in Adam Adamant Lives! (1966–67) and Hadleigh (1969–76). He then returned to his main love, the theatre. His classical work includes playing on Broadway with the Old Vic company, playing Iago at the Bristol Old Vic and Benedick at the Chichester Festival Theatre. Other plays in London included Crucifer of Blood at the Haymarket Theatre, House Guest, A Personal Affair, Suddenly at Home and Baggage. He has directed many plays, amongst them a production of Blithe Spirit in Hebrew at the Israeli National Theatre.

Gerald Harper
Born (1931-02-15) 15 February 1931 (age 91)
London, UK
EducationHaileybury
Alma materRADA
OccupationActor
Spouse(s)
(m. 1957; div. 1975)
Children2

Early lifeEdit

Harper was born in London, and originally wanted to be a doctor, but became interested in acting while still at school. He was educated at Haileybury. After two years of national service in the British Army, he decided to abandon his medicine course at Cambridge University and successfully auditioned for RADA.[1][2] He started in the London Arts Theatre followed by Liverpool Playhouse, before returning to London to perform in Charley's Aunt with Frankie Howerd.[3]

Acting careerEdit

Harper's film credits include The Admirable Crichton (1957), A Night to Remember (1958), The League of Gentlemen (1960), Tunes of Glory (1960), The Young Ones (1961), The Punch and Judy Man (1963), The Shoes of the Fisherman (1968) and The Lady Vanishes (1979).[4] Television work included The Sleeper, The Corsican Brothers and Gazette.[5]

Harper presented The Sunday Affair for Capital Radio[6] in the 1970s, and a series of Saturday afternoon shows for BBC Radio 2 in the early 1990s, in which he played classic songs from the past and gave away bottles of champagne and chocolates.[3] His opening phrase, usually spoken over the introduction of the first song, was "Hello....I'm Gerald Harper. Welcome to my Saturday selection". The radio show was resurrected for Talksport between 2002 and 2003, and re-titled Champagne and Roses.

He also had roles in Free as Air and Ross and toured in America with the Old Vic and Boeing-Boeing.[7][8] He toured the country in 2008 as the lead in Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None directed by Joe Harmston for producer Bill Kenwright.[9] He also played one of the barristers in The Baccarat Scandal at Chichester Festival Theatre which starred Keith Michell.[10]

Personal lifeEdit

Harper was married to the actress Jane Downs. He later entered a relationship with actress Sarah Alexander.[11]

Selected filmographyEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Gerald in gripping thriller". getsurrey.co.uk. 24 January 2008. Retrieved 14 January 2022.
  2. ^ Fabrique. "Gerald Harper — RADA". www.rada.ac.uk.
  3. ^ a b "BFI Screenonline: Harper, Gerald (1931–) Biography". www.screenonline.org.uk.
  4. ^ "Gerald Harper". BFI.
  5. ^ "Gerald Harper". www.aveleyman.com.
  6. ^ Luckin, Simon. "Gerald Harper's Sunday Affair on Capital: 15/6/80". Mixcloud.
  7. ^ "Gerald Harper – Theatricalia". theatricalia.com.
  8. ^ "Gerald Harper – Broadway Cast & Staff – IBDB". www.ibdb.com.
  9. ^ BBC. "Review: And Then There Were None". www.bbc.co.uk.
  10. ^ "Cast List, The Royal Baccarat Scandal (1988) – Pass It On".
  11. ^ Gilbert, Gerard (5 November 2012). "A modern Mrs Robinson with a passion for laughs". The Independent. Retrieved 15 January 2022.

External linksEdit