Basil Radford

Arthur Basil Radford[1] (25 June 1897, Chester – 20 October 1952, Westminster, London[2]) was an English character actor who featured in many British films of the 1930s and 1940s. He trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and made his first stage appearance in July 1924. He is probably best-remembered for his appearances alongside Naunton Wayne as two cricket-obsessed Englishmen in several films from 1938 to 1949.

Basil Radford
Basil Radford (left) and Naunton Wayne
Arthur Basil Radford

(1897-06-25)25 June 1897
Died20 October 1952(1952-10-20) (aged 55)
Years active1929–1952
Spouse(s)Shirley Deuchars (1926–1952) (his death) 1 child ( George Radford )

Early life

Radford was born in Chester, England on 25 June 1897.

First World War

He was a commissioned officer in the British Army's South Staffordshire Regiment in the First World War, in 1918 transferring into the Royal Air Force, ending the war as a subaltern when he was demobilised in 1920.[3] Radford had a crescent-shaped scar on his right cheek from a wound sustained during his time in the trenches. Depending on the lighting and camera angle it varied from barely perceptible to prominent.[4]

Film career

Radford first appeared with Naunton Wayne as their characters Charters and Caldicott in Alfred Hitchcock's 1938 thriller The Lady Vanishes. They were popular enough to reprise their roles in Night Train to Munich, which was again scripted by Frank Launder and Sidney Gilliat.

They appeared together in several other 1940s films, including Crook's Tour (1941), Millions Like Us (1943), Dead of Night (1945), Quartet (1948), It's Not Cricket (1949), Stop Press Girl (1949), and Passport to Pimlico (1949).

Apart from his long-running partnership with Naunton Wayne, Radford made many other memorable film appearances in character roles. His other films included Young and Innocent (also for Hitchcock) (1937), The Way to the Stars (1945), The Captive Heart (1946), The Winslow Boy (1948) and Whisky Galore! (1949).


Radford's health began seriously to fail in the summer of 1951, forcing him to take a long break from acting. He died of a heart attack on 20 October 1952, while rehearsing for a radio show with Naunton Wayne in London.

Personal life

In 1926 he married Shirley Deuchars. They had one son.[5]

Complete filmography

* Charters and Caldicott films


  1. "Results for England & Wales Births 1837-2006". 2015. Retrieved 19 February 2015.
  3. WO/372/16/126396, W.W.1 Medal Index Card for Radford, The National Archive, Kew, Surrey, England.
  4. Article in 'The Guardian' newspaper 29.12.2007 entitled 'Mustard and Cress by M. Sweet
  5. "Obituary: Basil Radford - The Times (21 October 1952)". The Alfred Hitchcock Wiki. 2015. Retrieved 19 February 2015.

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