Bruce Boa

Andrew Bruce Boa (10 July 1930  17 April 2004) was a Canadian actor, who found success playing the token American in British films and television, usually playing military types. Boa's most recognizable film role is in The Empire Strikes Back (1980) as General Rieekan.[1] On television, his most notable role is probably as the hard-nosed American guest, Mr. Harry Hamilton, in the "Waldorf Salad" episode of the BBC sitcom Fawlty Towers.[2]

Bruce Boa
Andrew Bruce Boa

(1930-07-10)10 July 1930
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Died17 April 2004(2004-04-17) (aged 73)
Surrey, England
Years active1958–1997
Spouse(s)Cherry Boa (?-2004; his death)
RelativesMarion Woodman (sister)

Early life

Bruce Boa was born on 10 July 1930 in Calgary, Alberta, the second of three children of Ila (née Phinn) and Andrew Boa, a clergyman. His older sister was Jungian analyst and author Marion Woodman, and his younger brother was Fraser Boa, also a Jungian analyst, who died in 1992.[3] Boa attended the University of Western Ontario, graduating in 1952 with a degree in theology, then spent a brief period playing professional football for the Calgary Stampeders. After travelling through Europe, he began his acting career in England in 1958, and settled there permanently in the 1960s. In a 1959 interview he stated that he was also writing novels and film scripts;[4] however, it would appear these works were not published or filmed.


Boa's film credits include Man in the Middle (1964), The Adding Machine (1969), Who? (1973), The Cherry Picker (1974), The Omen (1976), Silver Bears, Superman, Carry On Emmannuelle (1978), A Touch of the Sun, The London Connection, A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square (1979), Silver Dream Racer (1980), Ragtime (1981), Octopussy (1983), Return to Oz (1985), and Screamers (1995).[5] He also played the Marine colonel in Full Metal Jacket (1987) who chastises Matthew Modine's character over having a peace pin on his lapel while having "Born To Kill" written on his combat helmet.[6]

On television, in 1977 he appeared in Come Back, Little Sheba, an episode of Laurence Olivier Presents, opposite Laurence Olivier and Joanne Woodward.[7] Other television credits include: The Avengers, Out of the Unknown, The Champions, The Troubleshooters, The Saint, Ace of Wands, Special Branch, The Onedin Line, Z-Cars, The New Avengers, The Professionals, The Omega Factor, Dempsey & Makepeace, Astronauts, Hart to Hart, Remington Steele, Howards' Way, the 1979 miniseries A Man Called Intrepid, the 1988 television film The Bourne Identity, Tales of the Unexpected, As Time Goes By, Road to Avonlea, Kavanagh QC, Bulman and Warship.[8]


Boa died from cancer on 17 April 2004 in Surrey, England.[9] He was survived by his British wife Cherry and their three children. He was also good friends with John Cleese.



Year Title Role Notes
1960 Man in the Moon Roy
1964 Man in the Middle Maj. Lawson
Stopover Forever Freddie
1967 The Mini-Affair American Newman
1969 Can Heironymus Merkin Ever Forget Mercy Humppe and Find True Happiness? Car Salesman Uncredited
The Adding Machine Detective
1970 The Revolutionary Guest at Party
1973 Who? Miller
1974 The Cherry Picker Dr. Softman
1976 The Omen Thorn's Aide
1977 Silver Bears American Banker
1978 Carry on Emmannuelle U.S. Ambassador
Superman Joint chief of general staff Extended version, Uncredited
1979 The London Connection Colonel
Unidentified Flying Oddball Air Force Officer Uncredited
A Touch of the Sun Jim Coburn
A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square Morgan Stanfield
1980 The Ninth Configuration Sergeant in Combat Shack
The Empire Strikes Back General Carlist Rieekan
Silver Dream Racer 2nd TV Reporter
1981 Ragtime Jerome
1982 A Woman Called Golda Mr. Macy
1983 Octopussy General Peterson
1984 Scream for Help Surgeon
The Razor's Edge Henry Maturin
1985 Water US Advisor
Return to Oz Policeman
Claudia Gerald
1986 The American Way Col. Parker
1987 Full Metal Jacket POGE Colonel
Ping Pong American tourist
1988 Hawks Byron Deckermensky
1989 Slipstream Guard Supervisor
Murder Story Corrigan
1990 The Serpent of Death Bartlet
1991 White Light Clay Avery
1993 For the Moment Mr. Anderson
The Neighbor Bishop
1995 Screamers Secretary Green


Year Title Role Notes
1962 The Avengers Bob Slade 1 episode
1963 The Saint Jack Williams Episode: The Sporting Chance Season 2, ep. 13 [10]
1963 The Third Man Insp. McDonald 1 episode
1966 Out of the Unknown K.G. Bullen 1 episode
1973 The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes Freeling Poignton 1 episode
1977 The New Avengers Mahon 1 episode
1978 Lillie Joaquin Miller 1 episode
1978 The Professionals John Jerry Patterson 1 episode
1979 Fawlty Towers Mr Hamilton Episode: Waldorf Salad
1981-83 Astronauts Beadle 13 episodes
1983 Philip Marlowe, Private Eye Don Luigi Episode: The Pencil
1983 Hart to Hart William Eady Episode: Passing Chance
1984 Remington Steele Wallace Carlisle Episode: Maltese Steele
1984 The First Olympics: Athens 1896 President Francis Patton TV mini-series
1985 The Dirty Dozen: Next Mission US Colonel TV Movie
1986-90 Howards' Way Robert Hudson 3 episodes
1988 Tales of the Unexpected Mr. Groober 1 episode
1988 The Bourne Identity Senator Crawford TV mini-series
1993 The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles Ambassador Kerens Episode: Vienna, November 1908
1994 Scarlett Minister 1 episode
1995 As Time Goes By Young Rocky 1 episode
1997 Kavanagh QC Governor Stamford Cotton 1 episode


  1. Phillips, Michael Scott (18 May 2018). "Quite Quite Fantastic! The Avengers for Modern Viewers". via Google Books.
  2. Carpenter, Julie (7 May 2009). "Our Fawlty memories".
  3. Carey, Benedict (19 July 2018). "Marion Woodman, Explorer of the Feminine Mind, Dies at 89". The New York Times.
  4. Hack, Sylvia (12 November 1959). "Canadian Trying His Talents". The Gazette. Montreal, Canada via
  5. "Bruce Boa". BFI.
  6. "Full Metal Jacket (1987)". BFI.
  7. "Come Back Little Sheba (1977)". BFI.
  8. "Bruce Boa".
  9. Lentz, Harris M. (2008). Obituaries in the Performing Arts, 2004: Film, Television, Radio, Theatre, Dance, Music, Cartoons and Pop Culture. McFarland. pp. 46–47. ISBN 9780786452095.
  10. "ShoutFactoryTV : Watch The Saint Episode : The Saint: S2 E13 - The Sporting Chance".
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