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Harold Frank Bennett (17 November 1898[1] – 11 September 1981) was an English actor, active in stage, television and film best remembered for having played 'Young Mr. Grace' in the 1970s British sitcom Are You Being Served?.

Harold Bennett
Harold Bennett AYBS.jpg
Bennett as Young Mr Grace in Are You Being Served?
Born
Harold Frank Bennett

(1898-11-17)17 November 1898
Hastings, Sussex, England
Died11 September 1981(1981-09-11) (aged 82)
London, England
OccupationActor, clown, stage producer, teacher, courier
Years active1910–1980 - stage from 1950, screen 1964-1980
Children3, including John Bennett (writer)

BiographyEdit

 
Bennett during his military service in World War I

Bennett was born in Hastings,[2] Sussex. After leaving school at the age of twelve, in his early life he toured America as a clown with a circus, and later taught English at the Working Men's College in London. During World War I he served as a courier, initially on horseback, then on motorcycle. After the war he took up acting and eventually worked as stage producer in the now defunct Tower Theatre, London. He subsequently pursued a career as a draughtsman for an electric company, only taking up his acting career again following retirement.

Harold Bennett died of a heart attack on 11 September 1981, aged 82. His wife predeceased him in the 1930s;[3] he was survived by their three children. One of his children, John, was also an actor.

Acting careerEdit

He played the recurring character Mr. (Sidney) Bluett in Dad's Army from 1969 to 1977, but it was as Young Mr. Grace, the ancient, amiably callous owner of Grace Brothers department store in British sitcom Are You Being Served? that he achieved his greatest fame. His last appearance in Are You Being Served? aired some three months after his death, having been filmed earlier in the year.

Bennett also played the role of the aged Archdeacon Pulteney in The Stalls of Barchester, the 1971 BBC A Ghost Story for Christmas broadcast 24 December 1971 and adapted from the M.R. James story of the same name. Bennett also appeared in Vote, Vote, Vote for Nigel Barton (1965), and in several films, including as a photographer in Games That Lovers Play (1971) and as Lord Tryke in The Ups and Downs of a Handyman (1975).

On the stage, he appeared in a Royal Shakespeare Company production of London Assurance, and in an Open University production of Chekhov's The Three Sisters.

Television rolesEdit

Year Title Role Notes
1971 Whack-O! Mr. Dinwiddie
1971 The Stalls of Barchester Archdeacon Pulteney
1976–1977 Clayhanger Mr. Shushions
1969–1977 Dad's Army Sidney Blewitt 13 episodes
1972–1981 Are You Being Served? "Young" Mr. Grace Final appearance
1980 Oh Happy Band! Reverend

Selected filmographyEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Index entry". FreeBMD. ONS. Retrieved 13 June 2018.
  2. ^ Webber, Richard (1998). Are You Being Served: 25 Years. London: Orion. p. 73; ISBN 0-75281-7957.
  3. ^ Webber, Richard (1998). Are You Being Served: 25 Years. London: Orion. p. 74; ISBN 0-75281-7957.

External linksEdit