Harry Towb

Harry Towb (27 July 1925 – 24 July 2009[1]) was an actor from Northern Ireland.[2]

Harry Towb
Born(1925-07-27)27 July 1925
Larne, County Antrim, Northern Ireland
Died24 July 2009(2009-07-24) (aged 83)
London, England
OccupationStage, film and TV actor
Years active1950–2009
Spouse(s)Diana Hoddinott (1965–2009; his death)

Early life and career

Towb's father was Russian Jewish and his mother was Irish. He attended the Finiston School and Technical College, Belfast. He then appeared on stage with a touring theatre company in Ireland, in repertory theatre in England and in London's West End, where he had a role in the musical adaptation of Bar Mitzvah Boy. He also appeared in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum at the National Theatre in 2004.[3]

He made numerous appearances on UK television including popular UK TV series Callan, the Ronald Howard led Sherlock Holmes, The Avengers, Home James!, Casualty, The Bill, Minder, Doctor Who and Heartbeat. His film appearances include Above Us the Waves (1955), The Blue Max (1966), Prudence and the Pill (1968), Patton (1970) and Lamb (1985).[4] On radio, in 1959 he appeared in the classic episode of Hancock's Half Hour "Fred's Pie Stall". In December 2008, Towb appeared in two episodes of the BBC soap opera EastEnders as David, Janine Butcher's fiancée. He also appeared on BBC TV's long running Music Hall show, The Good Old Days.

Harry Towb was also a regular presenter on the BBC Schools' programme You and Me featuring with Cosmo and Dibs. In the late 1970s, Towb appeared in a series of TV commercials advertising Younger's Tartan Special beer, which were shown on very heavy rotation in Scotland.

Personal life

Harry Towb was married to the actress Diana Hoddinott, with whom he had three children.[5] He died at his home in London from complications due to cancer. As his obituary in The Times said, "Asked, once, why he had become an actor, Harry Towb said it was because he had always wanted to be someone else." His "being fascinated by others... made him one of the finest character actors of his day," The Times continued. Towb, said one critic, "can be relied upon to add distinction to any production"."[6] Towb was Jewish and in 1983 recorded a documentary, Odd Men In, about Belfast's Jewish community. He would describe his interview with Belfast-born Chaim Herzog for this documentary as his proudest moment.[7]

Selected filmography


  1. "Actor Harry Towb dies". breakingnews.iol.ie. 25 July 2009. Retrieved 25 July 2009.
  2. http://www.allmovie.com/artist/harry-towb-p71514
  3. Coveney, Michael (30 July 2009). "Harry Towb". The Guardian.
  4. "Harry Towb".
  5. "BBC NEWS - UK - Northern Ireland - Actor Harry Towb dies of cancer". news.bbc.co.uk.
  6. Obituary. 'Harry Towb: Actor', The Times. 29 July 2009.
  7. Actor Harry Towb dies from The Jewish Chronicle
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