Noel Howlett

Noel Howlett (22 December 1902 – 26 October 1984) was an English actor,[1] principally remembered as the incompetent headmaster, Morris Cromwell, in the ITV 1970s cult television programme Please Sir![2] He was the subject of infatuation by Deputy Head Doris Ewell, played by Joan Sanderson.[3]

Noel Howlett
Actor Noel Howlett.jpg
Born(1902-12-22)22 December 1902
Maidstone, Kent, England
Died26 October 1984(1984-10-26) (aged 81)
Hammersmith, London, England
Years active1936–1984

Howlett was born in Maidstone, Kent, and began his career as Richard Greatham in Noël Coward's Hay Fever. At Northampton Repertory Theatre in 1930 he played Sherlock Holmes. He also appeared as Mr Williams in the 1948 film The Winslow Boy, starring Robert Donat.[4] At Stratford-on-Avon in 1953, he played Old Gobbo (father to Donald Pleasence's Launcelot Gobbo) in The Merchant of Venice, Edward IV (brother to Marius Goring's Richard III), Baptista in The Taming of the Shrew and Gloucester in King Lear.[5]

An early TV role was portraying a vicar in the 1958/59 BBC series Quatermass and the Pit.[6] He appeared as Professor Rushton in a one-off 1967 edition ("Mission Highly Improbable") of The Avengers and as the Reverend Simon Blanding in a one-off 1967 edition ("Dead Man's Shoes") of Man in a Suitcase.[1] Other screen appearances include the 1960s TV shows Softly, Softly and Danger Man. He also appeared in one 1976 episode ("I Talk to the Trees") of the BBC situation comedy The Good Life as slightly eccentric allotment gardener Mr Wakeley.[7]

He also frequently broadcast and did a spell for the BBC as a member of their Drama Repertory Company (now the Radio Drama Company), one of his appearances being as Inspector Walter Neider in the 1965 Paul Temple radio episode, "Paul Temple and the Geneva Mystery".[8]

Selected filmographyEdit

External linksEdit


  1. ^ a b "Noel Howlett". Archived from the original on 12 July 2012.
  2. ^ "Peter Denyer: Actor who played the slow but lovable Dennis in 'Please". 26 September 2009.
  3. ^ marcus, laurence. "PLEASE SIR! – A TELEVISION HEAVEN REVIEW".
  4. ^ "The Winslow Boy (1948)".
  5. ^ "Noel Howlett".
  6. ^ "BFI Screenonline: Quatermass and the Pit (1958–59) Credits".
  7. ^ "I Talk to the Trees (1976)".
  8. ^ "Paul Temple and the Geneva Mystery". 28 October 1965. p. 62 – via BBC Genome.