Walter Leonard Sparrow (22 January 1927 – 31 May 2000) was an English film and television actor best known for his appearance as Duncan in the 1991 film Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves starring Kevin Costner.
Born in Eltham, London in 1927, Sparrow began his career as a stand-up comic before moving to acting with a period with the Royal Shakespeare Company. His first film role was in 1964, in Dr. Terror's House of Horrors, with Christopher Lee. Subsequent films, interspersed between countless TV appearances, included the 1969 sex fantasy Zeta One, Young Sherlock Holmes, and the acclaimed 1988 film The Accidental Tourist starring William Hurt, Kathleen Turner and Geena Davis.
His career enjoyed a resurgence in the 1990s, with Sparrow playing key roles in the 1991 film Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves as the blinded retainer Duncan, 1993's The Secret Garden as gruff gardener Ben Weatherstaff, and the 1995 American coming-of-age film Now and Then as tragic drifter 'Crazy Pete'. In 1998 he starred in Tony Harrison's film Prometheus.
Sparrow's even more prolific TV appearances included regular roles in the soap opera Emmerdale Farm, as two different characters, and the comedy Paris, and guest spots on Hugh and I, Adam Adamant Lives!, Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased), Z-Cars, The Onedin Line, All Creatures Great and Small, Alas Smith and Jones, Rumpole of the Bailey, One Foot in the Grave, Ernie in Birds of a Feather, and The Bill among many others.
One of his more notable guest appearances was in the 1989 episode Danger UXD of the sitcom Only Fools and Horses, which had 16.1 million viewers, as sex shop owner Dirty Barry. His last appearance was in 2000 in an episode of the BBC's medical drama series Doctors.
|1963||A Stitch in Time||Gardener||Uncredited|
|1965||Dr. Terror's House of Horrors||Second Ambulance Man||(segment "Disembodied Hand"), Uncredited|
|1965||City Under the Sea||Second Fisherman||Uncredited|
|1969||Zeta One||Stage Manager|
|1969||The Champions||George Whetlor||Episode: "The Night People"|
|1970||Cool It Carol!||Cameraman|
|1975||The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes' Smarter Brother||Henchman||Uncredited|
|1978||The Famous Five||Salomon "Sully" Weston||Episode: "Five Get Into Trouble": Part 1 & 2|
|1985||Young Sherlock Holmes||Ethan Engel|
|1988||The Accidental Tourist||Hot Dog Vendor|
|1990||I Hired a Contract Killer||Hotel Porter|
|1991||Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves||Duncan|
|1991||Let Him Have It||Nightwatchman|
|1993||The Secret Garden||Ben Weatherstaff|
|1994||Don't Get Me Started||Nurse||Uncredited|
|1995||Now and Then||Crazy Pete|
|1995||The Famous Five Finniston Farm||Grandad||Episode: "Five on Finniston Farm"|
|1996||Jane Eyre||Lord Eshton|
|1997||The Woodlanders||Old Creedle|
|1999||Treasure Island||Ben Gunn|
- Sparrow on the Internet Movie Database
- Martland, John. Obituary. The Stage. 6 July 2000