Born Thomas Terry Hoar-Stevens in Finchley, England, he worked in cabaret and as a film extra before finding success as an entertainer during World War II. After the war he worked in TV, radio and variety, but it was during the mid-1950s that he developed his famous persona, first in his television series, How Do You View?, and then in films. His performance as Major Hitchcock in John and Roy Boulting's Private's Progress (1956) gave birth to his catchphrase you're an absolute shower, and made him a favourite in British comedy films for the next decade. He reprised the role of Hitchcock in I'm All Right Jack (1959), and appeared in several of the Boultings' other films including Lucky Jim and Brothers in Law.
He played a variety of exuberant, malevolent and silly characters during the 1960s, and became famous for his portrayal of the archetypal cad, bounder, and absolute rotter. He was married twice, first to Ida Patlanski (from 1938-1962, when they divorced) and secondly to Belinda Cunningham (from 1963 - 1990, his death) by whom he had 2 sons, Timothy and Cushan.He was a cousin of the British actor Richard Briers.
In 1971 he was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, and by 1977 he had retired. He died in 1990 at the age of 78.
|Birthday||July 14, 1911|
|Birthplace||Finchley, London, England, United Kingdom|
|Date of death||January 8, 1990 (Godalming, Surrey, England, United Kingdom, age 78)|
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