Gerald Harper

Gerald Harper (born 15 February 1929) is an English actor, best known for his work on television, having played the title roles in Adam Adamant Lives! (196667) and Hadleigh (196976). He then returned to his main love, the theatre. His classical work includes playing on Broadway with the Old Vic company, playing Iago at the Bristol Old Vic and Benedick at the Chichester Festival Theatre. Other plays in London included Crucifer of Blood at the Haymarket Theatre, House Guest, A Personal Affair, Suddenly at Home and Baggage. He has directed many plays, amongst them a production of Blithe Spirit in Hebrew at the Israeli National Theatre.

Gerald Harper
Born (1929-02-15) 15 February 1929
London, England
Alma materRADA
Spouse(s)Jane Downs (1957–1975, divorced)
ChildrenSarah Jane

Early life

Harper was born in London, and originally wanted to be a doctor, but became interested in acting while still at school. He was educated at Haileybury and, after National service, trained at RADA.[1] He started in the London Arts Theatre followed by Liverpool Playhouse before returning to London to perform in Charley's Aunt with Frankie Howerd.[2]

Acting career

His film credits include The Admirable Crichton (1957), A Night to Remember (1958), The League of Gentlemen (1960), Tunes of Glory (1960), The Young Ones (1961), The Punch and Judy Man (1963), The Shoes of the Fisherman (1968) and The Lady Vanishes (1979).[3] On radio he did The Sunday Affair for Capital Radio.[4] Television also included The Sleeper, The Corsican Brothers and Gazette.[5]

Harper presented a series of Sunday lunchtime shows for Capital Radio in the 1970s, and, later, a series of Saturday afternoon shows for BBC Radio 2 in the early 1990s, in which he played classic songs from the past and gave away bottles of champagne and chocolates.[2] His opening phrase, usually spoken over the introduction of the first song, was "Hello....I'm Gerald Harper. Welcome to my Saturday selection". The radio show was resurrected for Talksport radio for a few months between 2000-2001, and re-titled Champagne and Roses.

He also had roles in Free as Air and Ross and toured in America with the Old Vic and Boeing-Boeing.[6][7] He toured the country in 2008 as the lead in Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None directed by Joe Harmston for producer Bill Kenwright.[8] He also played one of the barristers in The Baccarat Scandal at Chichester Festival Theatre which starred Keith Michell.[9]

Personal life

He married the actress Jane Downs. He lived for a while with the actress Sarah Alexander.[10]

Selected filmography


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