Graham Moffatt

Graham Victor Harold Moffatt (6 December 1919 – 2 July 1965) was an English character actor and comedian who was most active in the 1930s and 1940s. He is best known for a number of films where he appeared with Will Hay and Moore Marriott as 'Albert': an insolent, overweight, overgrown-schoolboy type character, loosely reminiscent of Billy Bunter.

Graham Moffatt
Graham Victor Harold Moffatt

(1919-12-06)6 December 1919
Died2 July 1965(1965-07-02) (aged 45)
Bath, Somerset, England
OccupationComedy actor and publican
Spouse(s)Joyce Muriel (m. 1948–1965) (his death)
ChildrenRichard, Chris, Jayne

Life and career

Born in Hammersmith, London, the son of Frederick Victor Moffatt (1896–1977) and Daisy Eleonora née Whiteside (1895–1969), both of whom outlived him. He was born on 6 December 1919, exactly 31 years after Will Hay, with whom Moffatt would become famous, starring in films.[1]

Moffatt had wanted to act from a young age. He had two sisters, one being Rita Doreen Moffatt (1936–1991). He originally worked as a call boy at Shepherd's Bush Studios, and often saw actor Tom Walls going in and out of the sound stages. Walls took a liking to Moffatt, and chose him for a bit part in the 1934 film A Cup of Kindness. He then gave up his job as a call boy, and went on to appear in 5 more films in minor, mostly uncredited roles before getting his big break in Will Hay films.

His first film with Will Hay was Where There's a Will (1936) in which he plays an office boy. In his next film with Hay, Windbag the Sailor (1936), he is joined by Moore Marriott and his character has become 'Albert'. He is known by this name in all his later films with Hay and Marriott: Oh, Mr Porter! (1937), Old Bones of the River (1938), Ask a Policeman (1939) and Where's That Fire? (1940). Still as Albert, he appeared again with Moore Marriott in a series of films starring Arthur Askey: Charley's (Big-Hearted) Aunt (1940), I Thank You (1941), and Back Room Boy (1942).

His later films include Powell and Pressburger's A Canterbury Tale and I Know Where I'm Going!, before he semi-retired from show business to become a publican with his wife Joyce Muriel Hazeldine whom he married in June 1948 and remained married to for 17 years until his death in July 1965. Together, they ran the Swan Inn at Braybrooke (near Market Harborough), followed by the Englishcombe Inn at Bath.

Whilst landlord of the Swan Inn, Moffatt became good friends with local musician and actor Jim Dale who would often drink at the pub.[2]

In March 1952 he had to be admitted to hospital in Kettering after two weeks of hiccoughing ("hiccupping").[3] He still made occasional film appearances until his death from a heart attack in 1965 at the early age of 45. He made his last film appearance in the 1963 film 80,000 Suspects, directed by Val Guest, who was a writer of many of the films that Moffatt starred in with Will Hay and Moore Marriott.[4] His ashes were scattered at sea off the coast of Beer in Devon.[5]


The Will Hay Appreciation Society was founded in 2009 by British artist Tom Marshall, and aims to preserve the legacy of Will Hay, Moore Marriott and Graham Moffatt and to bring their work to a new generation of fans. As of June 2019, the organisation has over 4200 members.[6] The Will Hay Appreciation Society unveiled a memorial bench to Will Hay, Moore Marriott and Graham Moffatt in October 2018, in Cliddesden, Hampshire the filming location for Oh, Mr. Porter!. The bench was unveiled by Pete Waterman.[7]

Moffatt's life story was made into a short film by The Will Hay Appreciation Society which features interviews from his three children, Richard, Chris and Jayne. The film is called Graham Moffatt: Britain's Favourite Fat Boy.

On 18 August 2019 The Will Hay Appreciation Society unveiled a plaque commemorating Graham Moffatt at one of the pubs he was landlord at, the Swan Inn, Braybrooke. The unveiling was attended by his children, members of the society and local villagers.[8]



  1. GRO Register of Births: MAR 1920 1a 433 HAMMERSMITH – Graham V. H. Moffatt
  2. Marshall, Tom (21 August 2019). "A Blue Plaque for Graham Moffatt - 'Britain's Favourite Fat Boy'". Retrieved 21 August 2019.
  3. PhotograFix YouTube (17 October 2018), Graham Moffatt: Britain's Favourite Fat Boy, retrieved 19 June 2019
  4. GRO Register of Deaths: SEP 1965 7c 38 – Graham V. H. Moffatt, aged 45
  5. Graham Moffatt: Britain's Favourite Fat Boy, retrieved 21 August 2019
  6. "The Will Hay Appreciation Society". PhotograFix: Tom Marshall B.A. (Hons) Photo Colouriser. Retrieved 19 June 2019.
  7. "Mr Porter returns to Cliddesden with guests in tow". Basingstoke Gazette. Retrieved 19 June 2019.
  8. "A Blue Plaque for Graham Moffatt - 'Britain's Favourite Fat Boy'". PhotograFix. Retrieved 21 August 2019.
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