Peter Cellier (born 12 July 1928) is an English actor who has appeared on film, stage and television. He is known for his role as Sir Frank Gordon in Yes Minister and then Yes, Prime Minister in the 1980s.

Peter Cellier
Cellier in 2007
Born (1928-07-12) 12 July 1928 (age 95)
Hendon, Middlesex, England
Known for

Early life edit

Cellier was born in Hendon, Middlesex on 12 July 1928,[1] into a family of actors including his father Frank, his mother Phyllis Shannaw, and his half-sister Antoinette. His grandfather was the Gilbert and Sullivan conductor François Cellier.[2][3]

Career edit

Theatre edit

Cellier started his career at the Leatherhead Theatre in 1953. His theatre work has included seasons at Stratford-on-Avon, The Old Vic and the Chichester Festival Theatre, and he was a founder-member of the National Theatre. Shakespeare plays in which Cellier has appeared include Hamlet, The Merchant of Venice, Othello, Love's Labour's Lost, Measure for Measure, As You Like It, King John, Julius Caesar, Cymbeline and Henry V, as the Dauphin. Other roles include Pinchard in Georges Feydeau's An Absolute Turkey, Tommy Devon in Aunt Edwina, The Dean of Archeo in Body and Soul, Eric Shelding in The Case in Question, Danforth in The Crucible, Duke Francis in The Dark Horse, Dr. Finache in Jacques Charon's National Theatre production of Feydeau's A Flea in her Ear, Charles Blutham in Juno and the Paycock, Dr. Herdal in The Master Builder, Sir John Tremaine in Me And My Girl, The Chaplain in Mother Courage, Christopher in A Private Matter, Captain Brazen in The Recruiting Officer (replacing Laurence Olivier), Polonius in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead Higgins in Ross, Miguel Estete in The Royal Hunt of the Sun and Desmond in The Winslow Boy.[4]

Television edit

On television, Cellier has appeared in a wide range of programmes since 1955, including detective series such as Softly, Softly and Bergerac, adventure series such as Doctor Who, historical dramas such as The Six Wives of Henry VIII, Upstairs, Downstairs and The Duchess of Duke Street. He made appearances on the John Mortimer written series Rumpole of the Bailey (two guest roles, the second as a defence department official in "Rumpole and the Official Secret") and Paradise Postponed (three episodes as solicitor Mr. Rattling). He also appeared in the sitcoms It Ain't Half Hot Mum, Yes Minister and its sequel Yes, Prime Minister (1981–87) and Keeping Up Appearances, as Major Wilton-Smythe (1990–91),[4] among others. In the two Minister series, he played Sir Frank Gordon, the Permanent Secretary to HM Treasury, urbanely contending with Nigel Hawthorne's Sir Humphrey Appleby for supremacy within the civil service.[4] He played Roy Difford in the Casualty episode "The Silence of Friends",[5] and the judge in BBC Four's Canoe Man (2010), which recounted the John Darwin disappearance case.

Films edit

Cellier's film work includes Morgan! (1966), as Second Counsel; Young Winston (1972), as Captain 35th Sikhs; Luther (1973), as the Prior; Don't Just Lie There, Say Something! (1973), as the Attorney General; Man About the House (1974), as Morris Pluthero; Man Friday (1975), as Carey; Barry Lyndon (1975), as Sir Richard; Sister Dora (1977), as Actor; Jabberwocky (1977), as First merchant; Crossed Swords (1977), as Mean Man; Holocaust 2000 (1977), as Sheckley; The Pumaman (1980), as Martin; Breaking Glass (1980), as Garage Customer; Chariots of Fire (1981), as the head waiter at The Savoy; And the Ship Sails On (1983), as Sir Reginald J. Dongby; The Last Days of Pompeii (1984), as Calenus; A Room with a View (1985), as Sir Harry Otway, a landlord; Clockwise (1986), as Headmaster; Out of Order (1987), as Home Secretary; Personal Services (1987), as Mr. Marples; Howards End (1992), as Colonel Fussell; Bhaji on the Beach (1993), as Ambrose Waddington; The Remains of the Day (1993), as Sir Leonard Bax; Stanley's Dragon (1994), as Mr. Johnson; Mrs Dalloway (1997), as Lord Lezham; and Ladies in Lavender (2004), as BBC Announcer.

Cellier played W. S. Gilbert in the 1983 film The Best of Gilbert and Sullivan, in which Gilbert and Sullivan reunite to watch a performance of their greatest songs at the Royal Albert Hall.[6][7]

Filmography edit

Year Title Role Notes
1960 Sink the Bismarck! First Lieutenant on Destroyers Uncredited
1966 Morgan – A Suitable Case for Treatment Second Counsel
1970 The Six Wives of Henry VIII Sir Christopher Hales Episode: Anne Boleyn
1971 The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes Duke of Wiltshire Episode: The Duchess of Wiltshire's Diamonds
1972 Young Winston Captain
1972 The Protectors Auctioneer Episode: King Con
1972–1975 Play for Today Various 3 episodes
1973 Scotch on the Rocks Graham Hart
1973 Upstairs, Downstairs Henry Pritchett Episode: Word of Honour
1974 Luther Prior
1974–1977 Warship Captain Calder 2 episodes
1974 Don't Just Lie There, Say Something! Attorney General
1974 Man About the House Morris Pluthero
1975 Slade in Flame Salesman In Car Showroom Uncredited
1975 Man Friday Carey
1975 Barry Lyndon Sir Richard
1976 The Duchess of Duke Street Mr Mather Episode: The Bargain
1977 Jabberwocky 1st Merchant
1977 The Prince and the Pauper Mean Man
1977–1982 Crown Court Judge Robinson 4 episodes
1977 Holocaust 2000 Sheckley
1978 Pennies from Heaven Bank Manager TV mini-series, Episode: The Sweetest Thing
1980 The Pumaman Museum Curator
1980 Breaking Glass Garage Customer
1981 Yes Minister Sir Frank Gordon Episode: The Quality of Life
1981 Chariots of Fire Head Waiter–Savoy
1982 Doctor Who Andrews Episode: Time-Flight (Part 1)
1983 And the Ship Sails On Sir Reginald J. Dongby
1984 The Last Days of Pompeii (miniseries) Calenus
1985 A Room with a View Sir Harry Otway, a landlord
1986 Clockwise Headmaster #4
1986–1987 Yes Prime Minister Sir Frank Gordon 4 episodes
1987 Personal Services Mr. Marples
1987 Out of Order Home Secretary
1988 Don't Wait Up Patient Richard Balfour Series 5 Episode 7: Golf
1990–1991 Keeping Up Appearances The Major 3 episodes
1992 Howards End Colonel Fussell
1993 Bhaji on the Beach Ambrose Waddington
1993 The Remains of the Day Sir Leonard Bax
1993 Goodnight Sweetheart The Spiv Episode: Is Your Journey Really Necessary?
1994 Stanley's Dragon Mr. Johnson
1997 Mrs Dalloway Lord Lezham
2003 Midsomer Murders Peregrine Slade Episode: A Talent for Life
2004 Ladies in Lavender BBC Announcer
2005–2010 Doctors David Padkin / Stanley Hill 2 episodes
2007 Casualty Roy Difford Episode: The Silence of Friends

References edit

  1. ^ "Peter Cellier". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 23 July 2018.
  2. ^ McFarlane, Brian; Slide, Anthony (1 January 2013). The Encyclopedia of British Film: Fourth Edition. Manchester University Press. ISBN 9780719091391.
  3. ^ Brennan, Sandra. "Peter Cellier - Biography, Movie Highlights and Photos". AllMovie.
  4. ^ a b c Programme note for Globe Theatre production of An Absolute Turkey, 1994
  5. ^ "The Silence of Friends" episode of Casualty (2007) at the IMDB database
  6. ^ The Best of Gilbert and Sullivan (1983) at the IMDB database
  7. ^ Shepherd, Marc. "Gilbert & Sullivan's Greatest Hits (Video, 1983)", Archived 11 February 2009 at the Wayback Machine A Gilbert and Sullivan Discography, accessed 3 June 2009

External links edit