John Arnatt

John Edwin Arnatt (9 May 1917 – 21 December 1999) was a British actor.[1]

John Arnatt
Actor John Arnatt.jpg
John Edwin Arnatt

(1917-05-09)9 May 1917
Died21 December 1999(1999-12-21) (aged 82)
Spouse(s)Betty Huntley-Wright (1948–?) (divorced)
Sheila Tracy (1962–1999; his death)

Early life and educationEdit

John Arnatt was born in Petrograd on 9 May 1917. His parents were Francis and Ethel Marion (née Jephcott) Arnatt. He attended Epworth College. Arnatt trained for the stage at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.[2]


One of Arnatt's most high-profile roles was as "The Deputy Sheriff of Nottingham" in the fourth and final season of 1955-60 TV series The Adventures of Robin Hood starring Richard Greene. His character filled in for Alan Wheatley, who played the regular sheriff. Arnatt's character was introduced and interacted with Wheatley's character in the episode "The Devil You Don't Know". In the 1962 film Dr Crippen, starring Donald Pleasence (who also had a recurring role in "The Adventures of Robin Hood" as Prince John), Arnatt played Chief Inspector Walter Dew.[3] Arnatt also played an imitation "M" to Tom Adams' imitation James Bond in two films, Licensed to Kill and Where the Bullets Fly (1966). In 1967, Arnatt got something of a promotion when he played the High Sheriff of Nottingham opposite Barrie Ingham's Robin in the film A Challenge for Robin Hood.[4]

Never well known, he amassed numerous television credits in programmes such as Steptoe and Son, Keeping Up Appearances, Dangerfield, Lovejoy, The Professionals, House of Cards, Thriller and Z-Cars. He had a recurring role in the early episodes of the ITV legal drama The Main Chance (1969–70) and in Doctor Who he was the second actor to play Time Lord Cardinal Borusa in the serial The Invasion of Time (1978). Later, in the television film Marple: The Moving Finger (1985), he played Reverend Guy Calthrop.[5]

In 1995 he was elected Master of the Green Room Lodge no. 2957.


John Arnatt died at the age of 82 on 21 December 1999.[6]



Year Film Role Notes
1948 The Only Way Marquis de Boulainvilliers TV film
Fly Away Peter John Neilson TV film
At the Villa Rose Harry Wethermill TV film
1949 Meet Simon Cherry Tommy Uncredited
1950 Dick Barton at Bay Jackson
1951 Cry, the Beloved Country Prison Warden Uncredited
1952 Circumstantial Evidence Steve Harrison
1953 House of Blackmail Pete Carter
1954 Forbidden Cargo Customs Officer Uncredited
1955 The Star Without a Name Grig TV film
Richard of Bordeaux Henry Bolingbroke, Earl of Derby TV film
1956 The End Begins Hugh Pakenham TV film
For the Defence Crawford TV film
Tearaway Chief Inspector Ball TV film
1957 The Trial of Mary Dugan District Attorney Galwey TV film
The Passionate Stranger Maurice Lamport
The Indifferent Shepherd Hugh Wigmore TV film
1958 Hunted Doctor Hildo TV film
Background Bill Ogden TV film
1960 The Bulldog Breed Briggs Uncredited
1961 No Love for Johnnie Gregson, BBC Reporter Uncredited
The Impersonator Detective Superintendent Fletcher
Whistle Down the Wind Superintendent Teesdale
The Third Alibi Superintendent Ross
1962 Only Two Can Play Bill
Out of the Fog Detective Superintendent Chadwick
1963 Shadow of Fear Sharp
Dr. Crippen Inspector Dew
The Set Up Superintendent Ross
1964 Clash by Night Inspector Croft
1965 Joey Boy Brigadier Charles Chapman
Hysteria Mr. James
Licensed to Kill Rockwell
1966 Where the Bullets Fly Rockwell
1967 A Challenge for Robin Hood Sheriff of Nottingham
Our Mother's House Man Client
1971 Crucible of Terror Bill
1973 Paganini Strikes Again Inspector Mainwaring
1975 A Suitable Case for Killing? Public Prosecutor TV film documentary
1979 Licensed to Love and Kill Merlin
1997 A Royal Scandal Archbishop TV film


Year Film Role Notes
1953-1957 Sunday Night Theatre Various roles 6 episodes
1954 Emney Enterprises 1 episode
1955 The Granville Melodramas Captain Skinner Episode: "The Silver King"
Colonel March of Scotland Yard Wesley Episode: "The Case of the Misguided Missal"
London Playhouse Finch Episode: "Fighting Chance"
1955-1961 ITV Television Playhouse Various roles 4 episodes
1956 My Friend Charles Detective Inspector Dane Recurring role
The Adventures of the Big Man Owen Carrigan Episode: "Rich Girl"
The Other Man Harry Vincent 2 episodes
ITV Play of the Week Bernard K. Froy Episode: "I Killed the Count"
1957 Escape Tom 2 episodes
Sword of Freedom Count Ugo Episode: "The Woman in the Picture"
Dixon of Dock Green Inspector Dix Episode: "Silver Jubilee"
1958 The Diary of Samuel Pepys Duke of Albemarie Series regular
The Royalty John Andrews Series regular
1959 The Last Chronicle of Barset Mr. Robarts Recurring role
The Invisible Man Lord Peversham Episode: "The Big Plot"
Armchair Theatre Dr. Lederer Episode: "A House of His Own"
1960 The Adventures of Robin Hood Deputy Sheriff of Nottingham Series regular
1961 Probation Officer Sergeant Conway 1 episode
ITV Play of the Week Alec Episode: "Doctor Everyman's Hour"
Deadline Midnight Pearce Episode: "Take Over"
BBC Sunday-Night Play Superintendent Harding Episode: "The Test"
1962 Sir Francis Drake Duke of Cordova 2 episodes
Armchair Theatre General von Schiltz Episode: "Night Conspirators"
Probation Officer Ralph Cooper 1 episode
The Saint Major Fanshire Episode: "The Arrow of God"
Edgar Wallace Mysteries Superintendent Ross Episode: "The Set Up"
1963 The Human Jungle Recorder Episode: "Time-Check"
The Plane Makers Peter Humphreys Episode: "Too Much to Lose"
1963-1964 Emergency Ward 10 Doctor Fitzgerald Series regular
1964 Miss Adventure Episode: "The Velvet Touch"
Fire Crackers Station Officer Blazer Recurring role
Sykes and a... Episode: "Sykes and a Bird"
1965 The Airbase Air Commodore Episode: "Peace at Any Price"
The Third Man Count Hagar Episode: "Man at the Top"
Z-Cars Briggs Episode: "A Matter of Give and Take"
1966 Dixon of Dock Green John Chiltern Episode: "The Fourth Finger"
1968 Z-Cars Frank Bowers Episode: "Blame It on Father Christmas"
1969 Callan High Commissioner Episode: "Blackmailers Should Be Discouraged"
Strange Report Inspector Hughes Episode: "Kidnap - Whose Pretty Girl Are You?"
1969-1970 The Main Chance Sidney Bulmer Series regular
1970 Take Three Girls Doctor Episode: "Variation on May and September"
Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) Uniformed Inspector Episode: "Could You Recognise the Man Again?"
Steptoe and Son Copeland Episode: "The Three Feathers"
1972 Doctor in Charge Dr. Lanchbery Episode: "Doctors' Lib"
Man at the Top Ogilvie Episode: "Don't Rock the Boat"
Thirty-Minute Theatre Coroner Episode: "The Seventh Juror"
Softly, Softly: Taskforce Chief Constable Daniels Episode: "On the Third Day"
The Pathfinders Wing Commander Alexander Episode: "Sitting Ducks"
1973 Barlow Chief Constable Daniels Episode: "Publicity"
Special Branch Denning Episode: "The Other Man"
Freewheelers Hassell 3 episodes
1974 Marked Personal James Lawrence 2 episodes
Thriller Mr. Robinson Episode: "Sign It Death"
General Hospital James Lytton 1 episode
1975 Crown Court Harold Gilman Episode: "The Obsession"
Doctor on the Go Mr. Edwards Episode: "Clunk Click"
1977 The Cedar Tree General Von Heynig 2 episodes
1978 Doctor Who Borusa The Invasion of Time
1979 Turning Year Tales Cyril Muncaster Episode: "Clubs"
Thundercloud Vicar Episode: "Bats in the Belfry"
The Onedin Line Mr. Ramsden Episode: "Storm Clouds"
1980 The Professionals Humber Episode: "Black Out"
Rings on Their Fingers Mr. Taylor Episode: "Ladies Man"
1981 Shelley Thomas Humphries Episode: "Signing On"
Wilfred and Eileen Major 1 episode
1981-1986 The Kenny Everett Television Show Various roles 10 episodes
1982 King's Royal Sir James Spence 1 episode
Jackanory King Episode: "Ivan the Ninny"
1983 The Cleopatras Sophron Episode: "80 BC"
Don't Wait Up Man at cricket match 1 episode
1984 Tripper's Day Customer Episode: "Special Offers"
1985 Miss Marple Reverend Guy Calthrop Episodes: "The Moving Finger"
1986 Bluebell Pierre 2 episodes
1990 House of Cards Sir Jasper Grainger Miniseries
1992 Covington Cross Doctor 1 Episode: "The Persecution"
1993 Lovejoy Stanley Barton Episode: "Lovejoy Loses It"
Alleyn Mysteries Nash Episode: "The Nursing Home Murder"
Keeping Up Appearances Sir Edward Episode: "Looking at Properties"
If You See God, Tell Him National Telephone Grandad 1 episode
1995 Dangerfield Harry Campbell Recurring role
1999 Dad Mr. Jarrold Episode: "Securidad"


  1. ^ "John Arnatt". BFI. Archived from the original on 14 July 2012.
  2. ^ Ian Herbert, ed. (1981). "ARNATT, John". Who's Who in the Theatre. 1. Gale Research Company. p. 22–23. ISSN 0083-9833.
  3. ^ shatteredillusions (3 June 1966). "Dr. Crippen (1963)". IMDb.
  4. ^ "John Arnatt".
  5. ^ "John Arnatt".
  6. ^ Shorter, Eric (7 January 2000). "John Arnatt". The Guardian. Retrieved 3 July 2009.

External linksEdit