Jack Watson (actor)

Jack Watson (15 May 1915 – 4 July 1999) was an English actor who appeared in many British films and television dramas from the 1950s onwards.[1]

Jack Watson
Watson in the trailer for The Devil's Brigade (1968)
Born(1915-05-14)14 May 1915
Died4 July 1999(1999-07-04) (aged 84)
Years active1951–1994
Spouse(s)Betty Garland (1943–1999) (his death) (3 children)


Watson was born in Thorney, Cambridgeshire.[2] He was the son of a Gaiety Girl, Barbara Hughes, and a music hall comedian, Nosmo King. Watson often appeared on stage with his father as straight man, where he was known simply as Hubert.[3] During the Second World War he was a physical training instructor in the Royal Navy, and his physique was much in evidence in many of his subsequent screen roles. He died of blood cancer at the age of 84.

Acting career

During the war Watson was resident compère of the BBC radio comedy The Navy Mixture.[4] After the war, his talent as an impersonator resulted in his becoming a regular on BBC radio programmes such as Take it from Here, Hancock's Half Hour and The Clitheroe Kid.[5][6] He gradually made the transition to television, where his first major role was in Coronation Street, in which he became Elsie Tanner's (Pat Phoenix) first lover.[7] Watson appeared in Coronation Street as Bill Gregory on and off between 1961–1984 ; his final episode in 1984 was also the final episode for Pat Phoenix who played his love interest Elsie Tanner in the series. He appeared as a powerful but shell-shocked ex-soldier in Dr. Finlay's Casebook, in an episode entitled "Not qualified" which formed part of the 8th series of the popular British programme. Probably his best-known television role was as Llud, Arthur's craggy sidekick in Arthur of the Britons.[8] His last major TV role was in the award-winning Edge of Darkness (1985).

Watson appeared in over 70 films, including Peeping Tom, This Sporting Life, Grand Prix, Tobruk, The McKenzie Break, The Devil's Brigade and The Wild Geese.[1][9]



  1. "Jack Watson". BFI.
  2. III, Harris M. Lentz (24 October 2008). "Obituaries in the Performing Arts, 1999: Film, Television, Radio, Theatre, Dance, Music, Cartoons and Pop Culture". McFarland via Google Books.
  3. "Obituary: Jack Watson". The Independent. 9 July 1999.
  4. Bergan, Ronald (9 July 1999). "Jack Watson" via www.theguardian.com.
  5. "BBC Radio 4 Extra – Hancock's Half Hour, Series 6, The Impersonator". BBC.
  6. "The Clitheroe Kid". 11 February 1965. p. 17 via BBC Genome.
  7. "BBC News – Entertainment – Veteran actor Jack Watson dies". news.bbc.co.uk.
  8. "Arthur Is Dead (1972)". BFI.
  9. "Jack Watson - Movies and Filmography". AllMovie.
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