Edward Rigby

Edward Rigby (5 February 1879 – 5 April 1951) was a British character actor.[1]

Edward Rigby
Edward Coke

(1879-02-05)5 February 1879
Ashford, Kent, England
Died5 April 1951(1951-04-05) (aged 72)
Richmond, Surrey, England
Years active1910-1951
Spouse(s)Phyllis Austin (1888 – 1979)

Early life

Rigby was the second son of Jamaican-born Dr. William Harriot Coke (1851–1922) and his wife, Liverpool-born Mary Elizabeth (1850–1929) of 17 High Street, Ashford, Kent. He was educated at Haileybury, and Wye Agricultural College. Under his real name, Edward Coke (Rigby was his mother's maiden name), he served in the Artists' Rifles and Royal Field Artillery in World War One and was awarded the Military Cross, cited on 17 September 1917 "for conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty as artillery liaison officer. At a time when all communication with his artillery group was severed, he made repeated attempts to restore the connection, and personally crossed a river under heavy fire in his efforts to mend the cable and to lay fresh ones. He showed the greatest gallantry and disregard of danger throughout the operation, and only desisted from his efforts on receiving the direct order from his headquarters to do so."

He married on 4 February 1912 at St Thomas, Streatham Hill, London, Phyllis Muriel Mary Austin, a novelist. Their son, Cyril Edward Rigby Coke (1914–1993), a television director, married Muriel Young (1923–2001), an ITV announcer and TV presenter.

Stage and screen career

He made his first stage appearance in 1900 at the Grand Theatre in Fulham and later toured Australia, United States and Canada. He followed his first film appearance, the 1910 silent The Blue Bird, with roles in more than 150 films from 1933 to 1951.


He collapsed after a heart attack in the street at Richmond and when taken to Richmond Hospital was found to be dead. He was cremated at Mortlake Crematorium on 11 April 1951.

Selected filmography


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