John George Norman Bird (30 October 1924 – 22 April 2005) was an English character actor.
Bird in Cash on Demand (1961)
John George Norman Bird
30 October 1924
|Died||22 April 2005 (aged 80)|
|Spouse(s)||Nona Blamire (28 Nov 1953–his death), two children|
Bird was born in Coalville, Leicestershire, England. A RADA graduate, he made his West End debut in Peter Brook's production of The Winter's Tale at the Phoenix Theatre in 1951. He was also a member of the BBC's Radio Drama Company. His first film appearance was as the foreman in An Inspector Calls (1954).
He was a familiar face to British cinema audiences of the 1950s and 1960s, appearing in nearly 50 films such as The Angry Silence (1960), The League of Gentlemen (1960), Whistle Down the Wind (1961), Victim (1961) and Term of Trial (1962) with Laurence Olivier and The Hill with Sean Connery (1965).
He had over 200 television appearances, notably as Mr Braithwaite in Worzel Gummidge (1979–81) and Mr Arrad in the Fawlty Towers episode "Waldorf Salad" (1979). His long list of credits include Steptoe and Son, Till Death Us Do Part, Rising Damp, Ever Decreasing Circles, Yes Minister, To Serve Them All My Days, All Creatures Great and Small, Z-Cars, Public Eye, The Saint, Department S, Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) and Boon. In 1990 he appeared in Stay Lucky, with Dennis Waterman, which marked his 200th television appearance. One of his last film appearances was as a taxi driver in Richard Attenborough's Shadowlands (1993).
At 16 he left school and spent six months working in an office before studying at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. During the Second World War, he served with Royal Air Force, being demobbed in 1947.
He had met his wife Nona Blamire (Joan Hood in radio's The Archers) in rep in Northampton. They married in 1953 and lived in Teddington for many years. In 1992 they moved to Bridgnorth, Shropshire, to be nearer to their two daughters and five grandchildren.
- An Inspector Calls (1954) - Foreman Jones-Collins (uncredited)
- The Angry Silence (1960) - Roberts
- The League of Gentlemen (1960) - Weaver
- Man in the Moon (1960) - Herbert
- The Secret Partner (1961) - Ralph Beldon
- Very Important Person (1961) - Travers, Senior British Officer
- Whistle Down the Wind (1961) - Eddie
- Victim (1961) - Harold Doe
- Cash on Demand (1961) - Arthur Sanderson
- Night of the Eagle (1962) - Doctor
- Term of Trial (1962) - Mr. Taylor
- In Search of the Castaways (1962) - Senior Yacht Guard
- The Mind Benders (1963) - Aubrey
- The Punch and Judy Man (1963) - Committee Man
- Maniac (1963) - Salon
- The Cracksman (1963) - Policeman
- 80,000 Suspects (1963) - Harold Davis
- Bitter Harvest (1963) - Mr. Pitt
- Hot Enough for June (1964) - Employment Exchange Clerk (uncredited)
- The Bargee (1964) - Waterways Supervisor
- The Beauty Jungle (1964) - Mr. Edward Freeman
- First Men in the Moon (1964) - Stuart
- The Black Torment (1964) - Harris
- The Hill (1965) - Commandant
- Sky West and Crooked (1966) - Mr. Cheeseman - undertaker
- The Wrong Box (1966) - Clergyman
- A Dandy in Aspic (1968) - Copperfield
- The Limbo Line (1968) - John Chivers
- Oh! What a Lovely War (1969) - Training Sergeant (uncredited)
- Run a Crooked Mile (1969, TV Movie) - Sergeant Hooper
- The Virgin and the Gypsy (1970) - Uncle Fred
- The Rise and Rise of Michael Rimmer (1970) - Alderman Poot
- Barnacle Bill (All at Sea) (1970) - Mr. Danvers
- The Raging Moon (1971) - Dr. Matthews
- Please Sir! (1971) - Reynolds
- Hands of the Ripper (1971) - Police Inspector
- Doomwatch (1972) - Brewer
- Young Winston (1972) - Party Chairman
- Ooh… You Are Awful (Get Charlie Tully) (1972) - Warder Burke
- King Arthur, the Young Warlord (1975) - Ambrose
- The Slipper and the Rose (1976) - Dress Shop Proprietor
- The Medusa Touch (1978) - Father
- The Lord of the Rings (1978) - Bilbo Baggins (voice)
- Omen III: The Final Conflict (1981) - Dr. Philmore
- If You Go Down in the Woods Today (1981) - Doctor
- A Voyage Round My Father (1982, TV Movie) - Ham
- On Your Way, Riley (1985, TV Movie) - Frank
- Shadowlands (1993) - Taxi Driver Witness
- On Find My Past & Ancestry, he's down as Norman and John George N Bird with this date of birth and death information
- "Norman Bird". 4 June 2005.
- "Norman Bird - Obituaries - The Stage". 13 June 2005.
- "Norman Bird - Theatricalia". theatricalia.com.
- "Radio and audio book companies", in Lloyd Trott, ed., Actors and Performers Yearbook 2016, pp. 353-354
- "Norman Bird".
- McGillivray, David (1 June 2005). "Obituary: Norman Bird". The Guardian – via www.theguardian.com.
- "Waldorf Salad (1979)".
- "Worzel Gummidge Christmas Special: A Cup O' Tea an' a Slice O' Cake (1980) - James Hill - Cast and Crew - AllMovie". AllMovie.
- TV.com. "Norman Bird". TV.com.
- "Norman Bird - Movies and Filmography - AllMovie". AllMovie.