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John Talfryn Thomas (31 October 1922 – 4 November 1982) was a Welsh character actor, best known for supporting roles on television in the 1970s, including those of Private Cheeseman in Dad's Army (1973–1974) and Tom Price in Survivors (1975), while Thomas also appeared with Jon Pertwee in two Doctor Who serials.
Thomas as Mr Cheeseman in Dad's Army
John Talfryn Thomas
31 October 1922
|Died||4 November 1982 (aged 60)|
John Talfryn Thomas was born in Swansea on 31 October 1922. He trained as an instrument mechanic but joined the local amateur dramatic society. During World War II, he joined the Royal Air Force (RAF), and was a rear gunner on a Lancaster bomber, flying on multiple raids into Germany. After surviving a crash in which all the other crew members were killed, he took up acting partly as therapy for the trauma, before training as an actor in the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA).
For some time Thomas acted in provincial theatres. In the late 1950s, he began making television appearances, and in the 1960s appeared in two episodes of The Avengers - A Surfeit of H2O (1965) and Look Stop Me (1968) - as well as with Roger Moore in The Saint (1968) and in The Persuaders! (as "The Poacher" in the episode 'A Home Of One's Own', 1971). In 1973, Thomas appeared in the Seven of One episode "I'll Fly You for a Quid", appearing alongside Ronnie Barker in a community of Welsh gamblers. Thomas also appeared with Jon Pertwee in the Doctor Who serials, Spearhead from Space (1970) and The Green Death (1973), and in the Worzel Gummidge episode The Scarecrow Wedding (1980). Thomas excelled at playing quirky and sometimes seedy Welshmen. His distinctive appearance was enhanced by his protruding front teeth, which earned him the nickname 'Talf The Teef'. Thomas is perhaps best remembered for his role as Mr. Cheeseman in the television series, Dad's Army (1973-1974).
In 1975, Thomas appeared as Tom Price in seven episodes of the first series of the BBC TV series, Survivors, acting alongside main stars Carolyn Seymour, Ian McCulloch and Lucy Fleming, before the character of Tom was killed off in the tenth episode of the first series. In 1979, Thomas appeared on The Ken Dodd Laughter Show with Rita Webb and Pat Ashton (and he was a regular on Ken Dodd's BBC radio comedy show).
Talfryn Thomas' few films included Sky West and Crooked (1965) starring Hayley Mills, and Andrew Sinclair's adaptation of Dylan Thomas's Under Milk Wood (1972), with Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor and Peter O'Toole. Like Burton, Talfryn Thomas had been in the BBC radio play. He was also seen in Come Play with Me (1977) and the cult film, Sir Henry at Rawlinson End (1980) from Vivian Stanshall.
Thomas died of a heart attack on 4 November 1982, four days after his 60th birthday.
Selected television rolesEdit
|1960||The Citadel||Chenkin's Henchman / Miner|
|1964 to 1974||Z Cars||McCall / Greenough / Jake Morris|
|1965||The Avengers||Eli Barker / 'A Surfeit of H2O'|
|1968||The Saint||Owen Thomas|
|1971||The Persuaders!||The Poacher|
|1971||Edna, the Inebriate Woman||Tramp|
|1971 to 1972||Coronation Street||Dirty Dick|
|1970||Doctor Who – Spearhead from Space||Mullins|
|1973||Doctor Who – The Green Death||Dave|
|1973||Seven of One – I'll Fly You for a Quid||Mr Pugh|
|1973 to 1974||Dad's Army||Private Cheeseman|
|1975||Survivors – 7 episodes
|1975||Get Some In! – Call-Up||Corporal White|
|1977||Treasure Island||Tom Morgan|
|1977||King of the Castle||Vine / Vein|
|1979||The Ken Dodd Laughter Show||Various|
|1980||Worzel Gummidge – The Scarecrow Wedding||Soggy Boggart|
|1981||The Incredible Mr Tanner||Cledwyn|
- "Other Characters". The Dad's Army Appreciation Society. Retrieved 10 October 2012.
- "Talfryn Thomas". www.aveleyman.com.
- "I'll Fly You for a Quid (1973)". BFI.
- "BBC - Doctor Who Classic Series Episode Guide - Cast and crew". www.bbc.co.uk.
- "Worzel Gummidge: The Scarecrow Wedding/Fire Drill (1980)on Pickwick (United Kingdom VHS videotape)". www.videocollector.co.uk.
- "The Avengers Forever: Talfryn Thomas". theavengers.tv.
- Perry, Jimmy (2 October 2011). "Dad's Army: behind the lines of a comedy classic" – via www.telegraph.co.uk.
- "BFI Screenonline: Survivors (1975-77) Credits". www.screenonline.org.uk.
- "Talfryn Thomas". BFI.
- "BBC Radio 4 Extra - The Ken Dodd Show, From 07/09/1975". BBC.
- "Sky West and Crooked". www.aveleyman.com.
- "Under Milk Wood (1971) - Andrew Sinclair - Cast and Crew". AllMovie.
- "Under Milk Wood". 3 October 1963. p. 61 – via BBC Genome.