Denis Shaw

Denis Shaw (7 April 1921 – 28 February 1971) was a British character actor specialising in slimy villains. Born in Dulwich, he was a rotund man, with dark, wavy hair and slanty eyes. This appearance meant he would often be found troubling countless heroes of the 1950s and 1960s on film and television, most memorably as the German guard Priem in The Colditz Story (1955).

Denis Shaw
in The Prisoner episode Arrival (1967)
Denis Findlay Shaw

7 April 1921
Died28 February 1971(1971-02-28) (aged 49)

Alternatively, he could also be found propping up the tavern bar in a number of British horror films. These include Jack the Ripper (1959), The Mummy (1959) and The Curse of the Werewolf (1961). He was cast in the leading role of The Great Van Robbery (1959) as the judo-throwing Interpol detective Caesar Smith. In the film he travels to Rio de Janeiro, Rome and Paris, tracking the robbers of a Royal Mint van.

Shaw's many television credits include, The Adventures of Robin Hood, The Avengers, Danger Man, Dixon of Dock Green, The Prisoner, Sherlock Holmes and Z-Cars.

He died in London of a heart attack at the age of 49. A familiar face around the bars of Soho in London, he is mentioned in Keith Waterhouse's play Jeffrey Bernard Is Unwell.


Year Title Role Notes
1952Girdle of GoldChoirmaster
1953The Long MemoryShawUncredited
1953House of BlackmailBassett
1954Forbidden CargoShip's CookUncredited
1955The Colditz StoryPriem
1955The PrisonerPlainclothesmanUncredited
1956Who Done It?Professor Otto Stumpf
1956Keep It CleanSlogger O'Reilly
1956Port AfriqueGrila
1956The WeaponGroggins
1957Stars in Your EyesHecklerUncredited
1957The Flesh Is WeakSaradine
1957Seven ThundersUmschlagUncredited
1957The DepravedInspector Flynn
1958Soapbox DerbyMr. Lender
1958Blood of the VampireBlacksmith
1958Woman PossessedBishop
1958Moment of IndiscretionInspector Marsh
1958Links of JusticeHeth
1958Passport to ShameMac
1958The Great Van RobberyCaesar Smith
1959Innocent MeetingUncle
1959The Bandit of ZhobeHussu
1959Jack the RipperSimes
1959No Safety AheadInspector
1959The Man Who Could Cheat DeathTavern CustomerUncredited
1959The MummyMike
1959The Night We Dropped a ClangerHammerstein
1960Naked FuryCaptain Horst
1960Trouble with EveGeorge Rigby
1960Beyond the CurtainKrumm
1960Make Mine MinkShanghai Harry ProprietorUncredited
1960The Two Faces of Dr. JekyllTavern CustomerUncredited
1960The CriminalTaxi Customer at RacetrackUncredited
1961Ticket to ParadiseGiuseppe
1961The Night We Got the BirdStooge to Manny
1961The Hellfire ClubSir Richard Benlow
1961Carry On RegardlessSecond Sinister PassengerUncredited
1961A Weekend with LuluBar Patron
1961The Curse of the WerewolfGaoler
1961Nothing BarredConvict #4
1962The Pirates of Blood RiverSilverUncredited
1963The RunawayAgent
1967The Deadly AffairWolfeUncredited
1967The Viking QueenOsiris
1968The Magnificent Six and 1/2Heavyset Workman
1969The File of the Golden GooseVance
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