John Ringham

John Henry Ringham (10 February 1928 – 20 October 2008)[2] was a British character actor of both television and stage who appeared in over a hundred screen appearances in a wide variety of roles. He is known for his role in the 1980s sitcom Just Good Friends as Norman Warrender.[3][1]

John Ringham
John Henry Ringham

(1928-02-10)10 February 1928
Died20 October 2008(2008-10-20) (aged 80)
London, England
Spouse(s)Elizabeth Shepherd (1959–1962)
Hedwig Felizitas Nowacki (1966–2008; his death)[1]

Early life

Ringham was born in Cheltenham where his father was a travelling book salesman. He was educated at the Cheltenham Grammar School for Boys (now known as Pate's Grammar School). As a teenager he was a member of a drama group run by a retired professional actor. He was then called up for National Service and served from 1946 until 1948 as an officer in Egypt and Mandatory Palestine.

After leaving the army he spent four years as a member of a touring theatre company based in Gloucestershire called the Compass Players.[4]


He appeared throughout BBC Television's Shakespeare adaptation An Age of Kings in 1960, most prominently as Humphrey Duke of Gloucester, the brother of Henry the Fifth.[5] Other appearances over the years include several parts in Z-Cars; Softly, Softly, and Barlow at Large; Flambards; Poldark; the War and Peace dramatisation in 1972; Birds of a Feather; The Bill; Bless Me Father; Taggart; Bergerac; The Tripods; Juliet Bravo; Minder; All Creatures Great and Small; Dixon of Dock Green; Are You Being Served?; Catweazle; Up Pompeii!; The Avengers; The Piglet Files, When the Boat Comes In, London's Burning and Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em.[6][7][8]

Ringham played Inspector Lanner in the 1985 Sherlock Holmes adaptation of The Resident Patient.[9] In Dad's Army he played two different characters — Private Bracewell in the pilot (he was set to become a major recurring character, but this was later dropped), then Captain Bailey in four later episodes.[10][11]

He appeared in the long-running show Doctor Who three times, first as the bloodthirsty priest Tlotoxl in the story The Aztecs (1964). He returned in the stories The Smugglers (1966) and Colony in Space (1971).[12]

Playwright and author

He was also a playwright and the author of three books, including a biography of the composer George Frideric Handel.[4]


Ringham died of cancer in 2008 aged 80.[4]


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