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Old 19th January 2019, 19:26   #1 (permalink)
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RIP Windsor Davis

Comedy actor Windsor Davies, who starred in 1980s hit show It Ain't Half Hot Mum, and played Sergeant Major Williams, has died aged 88.

RIP Windsor Davies, you used to give me great enjoyment.
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Old 19th January 2019, 19:28   #2 (permalink)
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Re: RIP Windsor Davis

Great loss, powerful figure.
RIP
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Old 19th January 2019, 20:02   #3 (permalink)
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Re: RIP Windsor Davis

Lovely Boy .!!!. Great actor .R.I.P
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Old 19th January 2019, 20:14   #4 (permalink)
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Re: RIP Windsor Davis

Rip
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Old 19th January 2019, 20:40   #5 (permalink)
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Re: RIP Windsor Davis

Another good comedian gone.
Rest in peace Windsor Davies
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Old 19th January 2019, 20:40   #6 (permalink)
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Re: RIP Windsor Davis

Top man and actor , RIP

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Old 19th January 2019, 21:33   #7 (permalink)
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Re: RIP Windsor Davis

Never a great fan of It Ain't Half Racist Mum
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Old 20th January 2019, 00:15   #8 (permalink)
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Re: RIP Windsor Davis

If, like me, you know the name but cannot remember what he looked like, here are photos to jog your memory ... https://www.bing.com/images/search?q...is&FORM=IQFRML

He was born on 28th August 1930 in Canning Town in East London ... so he was 88 when he died. Windsor Davis was 5 ft 10 ins and married Eluned Davies in 1957... they were married for 62 years... she died 4 months before him. They had 5 x children ... photos here ... https://www.bing.com/images/search?q...en&FORM=IQFRML

Windsor Davis portrayed the loud-mouthed Welsh Sergeant Major Williams, nicknamed “Shut Up”, in the hit BBC comedy that was broadcast for seven years from 1974. At its peak, it attracted an audience of more than 15 million viewers each week.

Obituary: Windsor Davies, star of It Ain't Half Hot Mum
19 January 2019. He also topped the pop charts with sitcom partner Don Estelle in 1975, had modelled the role on men he knew on National Service.

"Apart from the brilliance of the writing, I think It Ain't Half Hot Mum was brilliant because that is how it really was," he told BBC Wales in 2012.

"Sergeant majors had these recognisable forms of expression and all that stuff. A lot came from [writers] David Croft and Jimmy Perry who were both ex-Army."

Born in August 1930 in Canning Town, east London, Windsor Davies returned home to his father's home village, Nant-y-Moel in the Ogmore valley, when World War Two broke out.

He was educated at Ogmore Grammar School and also worked as a miner, like his father, before National Service with the Army in North Africa.

After training to be a teacher in Bangor, Davies taught English and Maths for 4 years in the 1950s at Leek in Staffordshire, where he was known as a joker and for making his pupils laugh.

But he was also involved in amateur dramatics and was persuaded by his wife Lynne to answer an advert for a short drama course run by the Kew Theatre Company in London.

"Lynne said to me, 'You'll never be really happy unless you have a go at this, will you?'" he recalled to BBC Wales in 2012.

But he had a false start to his acting career when he was cast in a TV series called Probation Officer. "It was a terrible mistake to have taken that job because I didn't know one end of a TV camera from the other and I didn't know how to tackle the job properly," he recalled.

He was given roles in uniform in police series from Z Cars to Callan and more bit-part work, not always easy with a growing family.

"I worked with virtually every comedian the BBC employed as a feed man - I'd go along and do the one scene, working with people like Dick Emery, Norman Wisdom and Charlie Drake," he said.

And it was a comedy which was to propel him from jobbing actor to stardom and make him a familiar face to millions in the 1970s.

He first teamed up with singer Don Estelle on the northern club circuit. In 1973, they were cast together in It Ain't Half Hot Mum, the follow-up comedy for Dad's Army creators Perry and Croft.

It was set in a Royal Artillery concert party in the last few months of World War Two in India - although the series ran for eight years.

Davies played Battery Sergeant Major Williams - nicknamed Sgt Major "Shut Up!" - a no-nonsense, bellowing platoon leader with a love-hate relationship with the theatrical troupe.

Frustrated in his endeavours to drill them as a fighting unit, he had little time for the artistic pursuits of his charges - always happier in costume than Army uniform - or the upper class twits who were his commanding officers. His authority was further subtly undermined by the camp's Indian servants.

Battery Sergeant Major Williams was originally written as a Londoner and lined up for Rising Damp star Leonard Rossiter but thankfully it was re-written for Davies as a Welshman - who made the part very much his own, even adding his own "lovely boys" catchphrase.

"David Croft and Jimmy Perry had auditioned a number of people and they were fed up with some of them telling them how to play the sergeant major," said Davies about his call to read for the role.

"I did my old Cockney bit but they said, 'Hang on a minute, you're a Welshman - do it as a Welshman' - and I remember thinking about a bloke I knew from the Valleys in South Wales who talked this certain way, and they laughed and when I got home, my agent had called to say they wanted me.

"I thought, it's a series! Which was lovely, with me having a wife and five children."

With Davies alongside 4ft 9 ins tall Estelle as Gunner "Lofty" Sugden, It Ain't Half Hot Mum at its peak attracted 15 million viewers a week and ran for eight series.

The pair also enjoyed a number one hit in 1975 when they recorded a version of Whispering Grass in character, a novelty hit which nevertheless sold more than a million copies. He, Don Estelle and Max Boyce took the characters out into the wider days of light entertainment in the late 1970s. The partnership spilled over into more stage and screen appearances and TV commercials.

'Something else' ... Another "chalk and cheese" partnership saw Davies star as Oliver Smallbridge, alongside Donald Sinden as 2 rival antique dealers in the long-running ITV sitcom Never The Twain and although it was overshadowed by It Ain't Half Hot Mum, it ran for more than 60 episodes.

Back in Wales, Davies also starred in a one-off BBC drama which gained cult status and was still fondly remembered years later - gaining a new lease of life with a DVD release.

Windsor Davies's personal favourite was the 1978's Grand Slam. Grand Slam was a 1978 comedy about the exploits of a group of Welsh fans who travelled to Paris for a rugby weekend. It was shot on location during the weekend of an actual France v Wales match - with the cast even flying over with the Wales team.

Davies - a self-confessed "low grade" rugby player in his youth - was cast as Mog Jones, the leader of the travelling group, who ends up behind bars after an incident at a strip club. He appeared alongside Welsh comic talents Hugh Griffith, Sion Probert and Dewi "Pws" Morris, who all were encouraged to improvise. "That was probably the one I enjoyed most of all," Davies recalled. "I enjoyed my work a lot but that was something else."

Davies was also the voice of Sergeant Major Zero in the 1980s sci-fi series Terrahawks.
As well as stage appearances, there were parts in more than 20 films, including two later Carry Ons.

He retired from acting in his 70s to live in the south of France, near Toulouse, with his wife of 62 years Eluned who died in September. They had five children.
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Old 20th January 2019, 08:44   #9 (permalink)
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Re: RIP Windsor Davis

Not my cup of tea but RIP
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Old 20th January 2019, 08:58   #10 (permalink)
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Re: RIP Windsor Davis

RIP Windsor.
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