Ray Brooks (actor)

Raymond Michael Brooks[2][3] (born 20 April 1939[4] in Brighton, Sussex) is an English television and film actor.[5]

Ray Brooks
Raymond Michael Brooks

(1939-04-20) 20 April 1939
Brighton, Sussex, England
Years active1959–present
Sadie Elcombe (m. 1963)

Early work

Ray Brooks began as a television actor. He appeared in the long-running ITV soap Coronation Street, and played Terry Mills in the series Taxi! with Sid James (1963).[6] He played small roles in British films such as H.M.S. Defiant, Play It Cool and Some People, and then rose to prominence in the UK after starring alongside Michael Crawford and Rita Tushingham in the 1965 film The Knack …and How to Get It.[5] The film, directed by Richard Lester, won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 1965.[7] Brooks followed up this success starring in the ground-breaking 1966 television drama Cathy Come Home.[8]

Through the 1960s, he also had small roles in a number of other cult television series: including The Avengers, Danger Man, and Doomwatch.[9] He played the major role of David Campbell in the Doctor Who film Daleks' Invasion Earth 2150 A.D.[10]

Major film roles in the 1970s were less numerous. These included roles in the all-star Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, and in Carry On Abroad (1972) as oversexed waiter Giorgio.[5] He also appeared in a number of Pete Walker films including The Flesh and Blood Show, Tiffany Jones and House of Whipcord.[11] In this decade Ray released an album of his own songs, and built a successful career doing voiceovers for television advertisements, and children's television series Mr Benn.[12][13][14]

The 1980s

Brooks returned to prominence with the BBC comedy drama Big Deal (1984–86), where he co-starred with Sharon Duce.[15] After Big Deal ended, Duce and Brooks starred together, as different characters, in the popular Growing Pains (1992) about a pair of middle-aged foster parents.[16]

Brooks was also the narrator of the well known children's animations by David McKee: Mr Benn and King Rollo.[17] From 1980-1983, he played Detective Sergeant Dave Brook in a BBC Radio 4 detective series, rebroadcast as Robert Barr - Detective on BBC Radio 4 Extra from 2013 to 2017.[18] Brooks starred in another Edward Boyd thriller, Castles in Spain, on BBC Radio 4 in 1987.

In 1987, the BBC chose Brooks as one of the principal character voices for the acclaimed French animated science fiction film Les Maitres du Temps, which the BBC had co-produced in 1982.[19]

The 2000s

Brooks was the original 'next stop' announcement voice of the Tramlink system, before being replaced by Nicholas Owen.[20][13]

In 2002, he acted in BBC drama Two Thousand Acres of Sky.[21] He joined the cast of the long-running BBC soap opera EastEnders as Joe Macer in 2005.[22] On 30 September 2006, it was announced that Brooks' EastEnders character would depart in January 2007 following the departure of Joe's wife, Pauline Fowler (Wendy Richard), at Christmas. His final appearance was on 26 January when his character confessed to killing Pauline, before falling from a window to his death.[22]

He starred as Detective Sergeant Brook in the BBC Radio 2 police series: Robert Barr - Detective; series 1: 13 episodes, series 2: 10 episodes, series 3: 8 episodes and series 4:8 episodes (1980 to 1985). These were broadcast again on BBC Radio 4 Extra between 2013 and 2018.[23] The series is written by Robert Barr.[18]



  1. "findmypast.co.uk". search.findmypast.co.uk.
  2. "Raymond Michael BROOKS - Personal Appointments (free information from Companies House)". beta.companieshouse.gov.uk.
  3. "findmypast.co.uk". search.findmypast.co.uk.
  4. "Birthdays today". The Telegraph. 20 April 2012. Archived from the original on 24 May 2014. Retrieved 19 April 2014. Mr Ray Brooks, actor, 73
  5. "Ray Brooks".
  6. "Taxi!: The Runaway". The Radio Times (2074): 31. 8 August 1963 via BBC Genome.
  7. "THE KNACK... AND HOW TO GET IT - Festival de Cannes". Festival de Cannes.
  8. "BFI Screenonline: Cathy Come Home (1966)". www.screenonline.org.uk.
  9. "Ray Brooks". www.aveleyman.com.
  10. "Daleks: Invasion Earth 2150 A.D. (1966) - Gordon Flemyng - Cast and Crew - AllMovie". AllMovie.
  11. "Ray Brooks - Movies and Filmography - AllMovie". AllMovie.
  12. "Ray Brooks (6) - Lend Me Some Of Your Time". Discogs.
  13. "Ray Brooks – The Walford Gazette". www.wgazette.com.
  14. Beaumont-Thomas, Interviews by Ben (7 March 2017). "How we made cult cartoon Mr Benn". The Guardian via www.theguardian.com.
  15. "Big Deal (1985)".
  16. "Growing Pains". The Radio Times (3570): 52. 28 May 1992 via BBC Genome.
  17. "Where have you Benn Ray Brooks?". Bradford Telegraph and Argus.
  18. "Death at the Weekend, Series 3, Robert Barr - Detective - BBC Radio 4 Extra". BBC.
  19. "BBC - collective - les maitres du temps / gandahar dvds". www.bbcattic.org.
  20. "FOI request detail". tfl.gov.uk. Transport for London.
  21. "Mr Benn out of retirement for Brighton Festival". The Argus.
  22. "Ray Brooks dig at 'scruffy' soap". Daily Mirror. 21 February 2010.
  23. "BBC Radio 4 Extra - Robert Barr - Detective - Episode guide".
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