John Arnatt

John Edwin Arnatt (9 May 1917 – 21 December 1999) was a British actor.[1]

John Arnatt
John Edwin Arnatt

(1917-05-09)9 May 1917
Died21 December 1999(1999-12-21) (aged 82)
Spouse(s)Betty Huntley-Wright (1948 - ?) (divorced)
Sheila Tracy (1962-1999; his death)

Early life and education

John Arnatt was born in Petrograd on 9 May 1917. His parents were Francis and Ethel Marion (née Jephcott) Arnatt. He attended Epworth College. Arnatt trained for the stage at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.[2]


One of Arnatt's most high-profile roles was as "The Deputy Sheriff of Nottingham" in the fourth and final season of 1955-60 TV series The Adventures of Robin Hood starring Richard Greene. His character filled in for Alan Wheatley, who played the regular sheriff. Arnatt's character was introduced and interacted with Wheatley's character in the episode "The Devil You Don't Know". In the 1962 film Dr Crippen, starring Donald Pleasence (who also had a recurring role in "The Adventures of Robin Hood" as Prince John), Arnatt played Chief Inspector Walter Dew.[3] Arnatt also played an imitation "M" to Tom Adams' imitation James Bond in two films, Licensed to Kill (1965 film) and Where the Bullets Fly (1966). In 1967, Arnatt got something of a promotion when he played the High Sheriff of Nottingham opposite Barrie Ingham's Robin in the film A Challenge for Robin Hood.[4]

Never well known, he amassed numerous television credits in programmes such as Keeping Up Appearances, Dangerfield, Lovejoy, The Professionals, House of Cards, and Z-Cars. He had a recurring role in the early episodes of the ITV legal drama The Main Chance (1969–70) and in Doctor Who he was the second actor to play Time Lord Cardinal Borusa in the serial The Invasion of Time (1978). Later, in the television film Marple: The Moving Finger (1985), he played Reverend Guy Calthrop.[5]

In 1995 he was elected Master of the Green Room Lodge no. 2957.


John Arnatt died at the age of 82 on 21 December 1999.[6]

Selected filmography


  1. "John Arnatt". BFI.
  2. Ian Herbert, ed. (1981). "ARNATT, John". Who's Who in the Theatre. 1. Gale Research Company. p. 2223. ISSN 0083-9833.
  3. shatteredillusions (3 June 1966). "Dr. Crippen (1963)". IMDb.
  4. "John Arnatt".
  5. "John Arnatt".
  6. Shorter, Eric (7 January 2000). "John Arnatt". The Guardian. Retrieved 3 July 2009.

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