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JEAN ANDERSON
Mary Hammond
First appearance:
Episode 1
Last appearance:
Episode 92

FOLLOWING A string of sympathetic roles as nurses, teachers, social workers and policewomen in British feature films of the mid- 20th century, Jean Anderson won her greatest fame on television as characters of authority and imperious dignity, playing the matriarchal Mary Hammond in the business saga The Brothers and the former suffragette Joss Holbrook in the Japanese prisoner-of-war drama Tenko.

"Jocelyn's a scruffy character who wears a tattered grey dress," said Anderson on taking the role. "I was bored with being elegant. Ever since The Brothers, I've been cast as a grand lady in the theatre. This time, I'm an aristocrat with a Cambridge degree but not a bit nice to hear. I'm a bit of a Women's Lib character and I think I can be forgiven a few bloodys."

 

Anderson herself, kindly and softly spoken, was born in Eastbourne, East Sussex, in 1907, of a Scottish family that had made its money in the textile business. Brought up in Guildford, Surrey, she originally wanted to be a concert violinist and played in the Guildford Orchestra under Claud Powell, whose theatrical director son Peter she later married.

 

However, she switched careers but remained a performer by training as an actress at RADA. She made her professional debut alongside another former RADA student, Robert Morley, on a 50-week tour of Many Waters (1929) and acted at the Festival Theatre, Cambridge, under the director Tyrone Guthrie, in a company that featured Flora Robson and Robert Donat. Anderson subsequently became a leading lady at Cambridge, where Peter Powell directed, and the couple married in 1934.

 

When later that year Powell formed the Seagull Players in Leeds, Anderson joined the company to play Lady Macbeth. Then, after starring on the London stage in Eugene O'Neill's Ah! Wilderness (Ambassadors Theatre), she became resident leading lady in Michael McLiammoir/Hilton Edwards productions at the Gate Theatre, Dublin. During the Second World War, when Leonard Sachs joined the Forces, he left her to run the Players' Theatre, London's Victorian music-hall venue.

 

Later, Anderson appeared on the London stage in Terence Rattigan's Variation on a Theme (starring Margaret Leighton, Globe Theatre, 1958) and The Sleeping Prince (as the Grand Duchess, alongside Susan Hampshire and George Baker, St Martin's Theatre), Henrik Ibsen's Hedda Gabler and Frank Wedekind's Spring Awakening.

 

During the Second World War, the actress also appeared in Ministry of Information documentaries and acted Barbara O'Reilly in Britain's first soap opera, broadcast on BBC radio. As Front Line Family, on the North American Service in 1942, it featured the Robinsons coping in wartime Britain and was clearly used as propaganda to encourage the Americans' participation in the war. With a title change to The Robinsons, it switched to the Light Programme and remained popular with British listeners until being axed in 1947.

 

After the war, Anderson joined Jack Hawkins, Fay Compton and Alec Clunes on a British Council/Arts Theatre tour of Europe (1947), performing Hamlet, Othello, Candida and the Don Juan in Hell scene from Man and Superman.

 

She made her film debut in the Victorian crime melodrama The Mark of Cain (1947) and was regularly seen in the cinema as a character actress over the next 20 years, usually in benevolent roles. She played an evacuee mother in Seven Days to Noon (1950), a doctor in Out of True (1951) and a night sister in Life In Her Hands (1951), as well as spinster aunts and saintly grandmothers.

 

In the musical Half a Sixpence (starring Tommy Steele, 1967), Anderson played Lady Botting, who handed out the regatta prizes. As she took more and more character roles on television, her film appearances became less frequent, although she was notable as the chilling matron of an adoption home in Country Dance (alongside Peter O'Toole and Susannah York, 1969).

 

The actress made her first impact on television as the mother in two different BBC adaptations of E. Nesbit's classic children's story The Railway Children (1951, 1957). She subsequently appeared in many television plays, including productions for Play of the Week (1957, 1958), Sunday Night Theatre (1959), Saturday Playhouse (1959) and Armchair Theatre (1961).

 

Her roles in adaptations of other classics included Ellen in Wuthering Heights (made by the renowned team of the writer Nigel Kneale and producer Rudolph Cartier, 1962), Mrs Ridd in the serial Lorna Doone (1963) and Miss Gilchrist in Robert Louis Stevenson's St Ives (1967).

 

In The Brothers (1972-76), Anderson played Mary Hammond, the widow of a Midlands haulage firm entrepreneur who left part of the business to his mistress, Jennifer Kingsley (played by Jennifer Wilson), and the rest to his three sons. This scenario provided the springboard for boardroom- to-bedroom melodrama as the hard-faced matriarch proved to be a dominant personality able to control her feuding sons.

 

Later, joining the Second World War drama Tenko for its second and third series (1982, 1984) as the ragged, sweating Joss Holbrook, Anderson stood up for her fellow captors in Japanese internment camps and on an enforced jungle march to an old mission school in the Far East. Lavinia Warner's drama was a remarkably realistic recreation of the suffering experienced by a group of expatriate British and Dutch women imprisoned after the fall of Singapore in 1942, with the title taken from the Japanese word for "roll-call".

 

On television, Anderson also played Madam Gullmington in Catherine Cookson's The Black Velvet Gown (1991), Ruth, Lady Fermoy in Diana: her true story (1993) and Granny de Winter in Rebecca (1997), and guest-starred in dozens of series, including Miss Marple (1987), G.B.H. (1991), House of Eliott (1991), Heartbeat (1992), Inspector Morse (1993), Doctor Finlay (1995, 1996), Casualty (1996) and Hetty Wainthropp Investigates (1998).

 

At the turn of the century, Anderson was one of Britain's oldest working actresses and entered her ninth decade in show business. Her final television role was in Endgame (2000), back at the Gate, Dublin, as part of that theatre's project to put on screen new productions of all Samuel Beckett's plays.

 

Mary Jean Heriot Anderson, actress: born Eastbourne, East Sussex 12 December 1907; married 1934 Peter Powell (one daughter; marriage dissolved 1949); died Edenhall, Cumbria 1 April 2001.

 

GLYN OWEN
Edward Hammond #1
First appearance:
Episode 1
Last appearance:
Episode 10

 

THE VETERAN television actor Glyn Owen had a knack of playing characters who were both flawed but sympathetic.

 

In Coronation Street(1965), he was Norman Lindley, who returned to his estranged wife, the cornershop owner, Florrie, to ask for a divorce, had a fling with Elsie Tanner and ended up making a new start with Florrie in Canada.

 

In the first series of the boardroom-to-bedroom drama The Brothers (1972), he was Edward Hammond, the eldest of three squabbling sons who all inherit their father's haulage firm. Edward had expected to take it over himself after helping to establish the business over many years.

 

Then, Owen virtually reprised that tycoon role when Gerard Glaister, producer of The Brothers, cast him in Howards' Way (1985- 90) as the cantankerous Jack Rolfe. Rolfe was a widower who had married the daughter of the owner of the fictional Mermaid boatyard in a calculated move intended to ensure his inheritance of the business, in which he had risen from apprentice to manager. Although he secured his ambition, Rolfe was a volatile and sentimental man who turned to drink as a result of the guilt he felt. Eventually, the yard's failing fortunes forced him to accept new investment from a redundant aircraft designer, Tom Howard (played by Maurice Colbourne), and he was soon drinking the yard's profits after a financial turnaround. Jack Rolfe was irritating, but oozed a charm and humour that made others forgive him. Glyn Owen considered himself to be very different from the character, saying:

 

"I'm nothing like him. I'm not nearly as tough and abrasive, and I'm less stubborn, too. I'd never have dug my heels in over wooden boats, as Jack has. On the other hand, I can understand his feelings for them and for the work that's gone into them, the sheer skill. "

 

Howards' Way, filmed on the River Hamble in Bursledon, near Southampton, was conceived as a British answer to the glossy American soap operas Dallasand Dynasty, and its combination of naked capitalism and steamy affairs - in the vein of The Brothers, but with more glitz - attracted up to 14 million viewers over six series. In 1989, riding high on his Howards' Way fame, Owen recorded a pop single, "I Wish I Could Love You Again", backed by the Simon May Orchestra.

 

Born in Bolton, Lancashire, of a Welsh father, Glyn Owen enjoyed singing in his school choir but switched to amateur dramatics when his voice broke. He turned professional by joining the Dundee Repertory Theatre as an assistant stage manager.

 

On moving to London, he was a founder-member of the English Stage Company at the Royal Court Theatre, where "Angry Young Men" such as John Osborne, Lindsay Anderson and Tony Richardson found an outlet for plays that challenged the Establishment and brought working- class culture to a wide audience (in the same way that Joan Littlewood's Theatre Workshop was doing at the time).

 

Among those that Owen acted in were Osborne's The Blood of the Bambergs and Under Plain Cover (Plays for England, 1963) and Gwyn Owen's The Keep (1962). He also spent six months in New York as the Knight in the Broadway production of another Osborne play, Luther (directed by Tony Richardson at the St James and Lunt-Fontanne Theatres, 1963-64), and recreated the role of Conn in The Keep for television.

 

Much later, he returned to New York to play Max Harkaway in a revival of the comedy London Assurance (directed by Ronald Eyre at the Palace Theatre, 1974-75), but he never considered carving out a stage career there. "I'd get homesick," he said. "You see, I may look tough, but basically I'm a pussycat!"

 

Television was the medium in which Owen was most prolific. After playing George Brett in the six-part sci-fi series The Trollenberg Terror (1956), in the "Saturday Serial" slot, he became widely known as the Irish casualty officer Dr Patrick ("Paddy") O'Meara in Britain's first twice-weekly serial, Calling Nurse Roberts (1957), which was turned into the long-running hospital drama Emergency - Ward 10, and the 1959 film spin-off, Life in Emergency Ward 10.

 

He was then seen as Hugo in the swashbuckling family adventure Richard the Lionheart (1962-63), before starring as the former policeman Richard Hurst in the popular spy series The Rat Catchers (1966-67), about a special intelligence unit set up to tackle enemy menaces in defence of Britain and the Western alliance. Between acting in The Brothers and Howards' Way, Owen had a string of other leading roles in television series, including Jack Mullery in Oil Strike North (1975) and Animal Morgan in the Welsh lifeboat drama Ennal's Point (1982).

 

He listed his favourite stage roles as the headmaster in Colin Welland's Roll On Four O'Clock and Claudius in Hamlet, opposite Tom Courtenay. "There's nothing like the reaction a live audience gives you, and I wouldn't be without it," he said. "I can never get used to the ovation they give me when I walk on stage."

 

Glyn Owen, actor: born Bolton, Lancashire 1928; twice married (one son, one daughter); died 10 September 2004.

 

PATRICK O’CONNELL
Edward Hammond #2
First appearance:
Episode 11
Last appearance:
Episode 92

 

Patrick's West End appearances include Roots, Poor Bitos, US and Macbeth. He has had seasons at the RSC (Stratford Upon Avon) and the Royal Court Theatre. He directed Contradictions at the Orange Tree Theatre and played Kent in King Lear at the Young Vic. He also played O'Rourke in The Bofors Gun in the original production at Hampstead and opposite Leonard Rossiter in a revival of Joe Orton's Loot for the Theatre Of Comedy. His films include Cromwell, The Human Factor, Mackenzie Break, Ragman's Daughter, Spaghetti House Siege, Runners written by Stephen Poliakoff and The Shooting Party with James Mason. His many appearances on TV include Z Cars, Dixon of Dock Green, Softly Softly, Callan, Redcap, The Professionals, Yes, Minister, The Patriot Game, The Bill, Inspector Morse, Peak Practice, Dangerfield and As Time Goes By. He was John Gamble in Fraud Squad, Col. Sergeant O'Brien in Frontier, Edward Hammond in The Brothers and Jack Blair in We'll Meet Again. Patrick retired from acting to persue a career as a painter.

 

RICHARD EASTON
Brian Hammond
First appearance:
Episode 1
Last appearance:
Episode 92

 

Lincoln Center Theatre, New York: : The Rivals, Henry IV, The Invention of Love (Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Drama League Awards), Observe the Sons of UlsterMarching Towards the Somme. Broadway: Noises Off; Exit the King, The Misanthrope, Cherry Orchard, Hamlet, Cock-a-Doodle-Dandy; Back to Methusela; The Country Wife; School for Scandal (with John Gielgud and Ralph Richardson). Off Broadway: Entertaining Mr. Sloane; Bach at Leipzig; Waste; Hotel Universe; Give Me Your Answer, Do!; Salad Days. Regional: Tom Stoppard’s Every Good Boy Deserves Favor (Philadelphia Orchestra); Old Globe, San Diego(Associate Artist/Mentor MFA Program); Williamstown; Stratfords – Ontario and Connecticut. England: Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (Uta Hagen and Arthur Hill), Death of Bessie Smith, Fagin in Oliver, Kenneth Branagh’s Renaissance Co. and four years at RSC. Films: Henry V, Dead Again, Finding Forester. TV: “Frasier,” “Law & Order,” “LA Law,” “Encore, Encore,” etc; 6 years of BBC’s “The Brothers;” "Doctor Who: Time Flight"; PBS’s Emmy Winning “Benjamin Franklin” (title role). Most recently seen on stage in Tom Stoppard’s Tony award winning The Coast Of Utopia trilogy at the LCT.

 

ROBIN CHADWICK
David Hammond
First appearance:
Episode 1
Last appearance:
Episode 92

 

Born in New Zealand, studied accountancy at Auckland University before taking up a Queen Elizabeth II scholarship at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.He spent seasons at the Bristol Old Vic, Cheltenham Everyman, and Northcott Theatre Exeter, and played England, Walesand Scotland with touring companies. British film and television: Julius Caesar, Hamlet, Taming of the Shrew, Cyrano de Bergerac, Son of Man, Beyond Belief, Waugh on Crime, and seven years as David Hammond on BBC TV’s The Brothers. In the states he has appeared in Anyone for Tennyson? (PBS), The Guiding Light and NY Undercover. He played the lead in the Broadway production of The Circle and appeared in Shadowlands. Off-Broadway: Incident at Vichy, A Cup of Coffee and Magic Time. McCarter credits: Scrooge in A Christmas Carol, At this Evening’s Performance, Arms and the Man, The Triumph of Love, Mirandolina and Mrs. Packard.

 

JENNIFER WILSON
Jennifer Kingsley / Hammond
First appearance:
Episode 1
Last appearance:
Episode 92

 

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION ON JENNIFER WILSON

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DEREK BENFIELD
Bill Riley
First appearance:
Episode 1
Last appearance:
Episode 92

 

Derek Benfield was born in Bradford, Yorkshire, the son of a journalist. He was educated ay Bingley Grammar Schoolbefore serving in the army during the war. He then trained for the theatre at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art where he won the Gertrude Lawrence Award for his performance in "French Without Tears".

 

Derek's first professional appearances were for Brian Rix in Ilkley and Bridlington after which he acted for many years in various repertory companies including Preston, Hull, Salisbury, Hornchurch, Croydon and Worthing. He also appeared in several plays in the West End.

 

Derek's first television appearance was in the serial Return to the Lost Planet for the BBC, after which he played countless roles in such popular programmes as Emergency Ward Ten, Dixon of Dock Green, Three Live Wires, Maigret, Coronation Street, Z Cars and The Likely Lads as well as such TV dramas as War and Peace, The Apple Cart and Great Expectations. Since playing Frank Skinner in Timeslip, Derek's face has become a very popular one from his many appearances on television including his role as Bill Riley in the long running BBC series The Brothers, and more recently playing Patricia Routledge's husband Robert in the popular crime drama Hetty Wainthropp Investigates.

 

Derek is also a successful playwright. His many comedies have been widely produced throughout the world.These include: “Beyond A Joke”, “In For The Kill”, “Murder For The Asking”, “A Respectable Wedding” (trans.), “Running Riot”, “The Solomon Communion”, “Caught On The Hop”, “Touch And Go”, “Bedside Manners” (starring John Inman),“Look Who’s Talking”, “Fish Out Of Water”, “Funny Business” and “Second Time Around”.

 

Derek passed away in March 2009.

 

MARGARET ASHCROFT
Gwen Riley
First appearance:
Episode 37
Last appearance:
Episode 92

 

Margaret was born into a theatrical family – she is the niece of Dame Peggy Ashcroft – and did her training at the Old Vic School.Her theatre work includes seasons with the RSC and the Bristol Old Vic,where she played the leading parts in Candida and Long Days Journey Into Night, and an 18 month stint at the Royal Court Theatre. In the West End she has been in Lysistrata, The Country Wife and The Mousetrap. Margaret is well known to television viewers through a wide range of parts in single plays, and many series and serials.In fact,at one point she was appearing on Fridays as the solicitor Margaret Castleton in The Main Chance and on Sundays as lorry driver’s wife Gwen Riley in The Brothers.Apart from frequent appearances in most of the reps, it is on the touring circuit where Margaret has built up and enviable reputation. Productions include Touch And Go, Murder By Appointment, Two And Two Make Sex, Don’t Misunderstand Me, Season’s Greetings, A Murder Is Announced, When We Are Married, Noises Off, The Cat And The Canary, No Sex Please We’re British, Out Of Order, and a Far East tour of Two And Two Make Sex. In fact Margaret has toured nearly every theatre in the UKand has been called over the years a Provincial Twinkle ! In 1994 Margaret was reunited with her Brothers co-star Colin Baker for a season in Bournemouth of the comedy Not Now Darling.

 

HILARY TINDALL
Ann Hammond
First appearance:
Episode 1
Last appearance:
Episode 80

 

Hilary Tindall was born in Manchester and trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. Her first appearance on the professional stage was at the Richmond Theatre followed by weekly repertory at the Marlowe Theatre in Canterbury. She played the juvenile in William Douglas Home’s comedy Aunt Edwina at the Fortune Theatre, and then the lead in A Trip To The Castle at the Arts Theatre. Television roles at that time include Dear Octopus starring Gwen Ffrancon Davies, and The Tempest starring Sir Michael Redgrave. Major roles followed at the Old Vic, Windsor and Leatherhead, and then a return to the West End in her first musical Little Mary Sunshine.

Hilary played Ann Hammond in the very popular BBC series The Brothers and then starred in a Swedish TV serial The Ship Owner. She appeared again in the West End in Parent's Day at the Globe Theatre and has also starred in several stage tours including Verdict, The Gentle Hook, My Cousin Rachel, The Owl And The Pussycat, Jetset. Other stage appearances include Getting Married for Triumph Productions, and for the Nottingham Playhouse Mary Stuart and The Way of the World. Hilary also starred in the musicals Company and A Little Night Music (both by Sondheim) and South Pacific.

She toured in the lead role of the Francis Durbridge thriller Nightcap then played Miss Hannigan in the musical Annie at the Colchester Mercury Theatre. She has also toured in The Amorous Prawn. starred in the Far East tour of The Man Most Likely To with Leslie Philips, Mrs. Danvers in Rebecca and returned to the West End in the thriller Dangerous Obsession by NJ Crisp at the Fortune Theatre.

Hilary’s television appearances include Tales of the Unexpected for Anglia, A Kind of Loving for Granada, The Max Headroom Show for Chrysalis Films for Channel 4.

Hilary sadly died of cancer, aged 52, in 1992. She is survived by her husband, theatrical agent Robin Lowe, together with their daughter Kate and son Julian.

NB Hilary left The Brothers as a regular cast member at the end of series 4, but returns for three episodes during series 7.

 

COLIN BAKER
Paul Merroney
First appearance:
Episode 44
Last appearance:
Episode 92

 

JULIA GOODMAN
Barbara Kingsley / Trent
First appearance:
Episode 1
Last appearance:
Episode 92

 

Julia Goodman started her television career opposite Frankie Howerd in an episode of Up Pompeii! This led to appearances in the movie version of Steptoe & Son, Z Cars, Van der Valk, a regular role in the ITV comedy Chalk And Cheese with Michael Crawford, The Kelly Monteith Show, Fanny By Gaslight, Play For Today, The Lonelyheart Kid, Sorry!, Grange Hill, The Collectors, Hilary Forrest in Coronation Street and Inspector Morse. Julia also played Kirsten McLuhan in the BBC spy drama The Lotus Eaters.

 

She now runs her own highly successful company. See www.personalpresentation.com for more details.

 

NB Julia left The Brothers as a regular cast member at the end of series 3, but returned for the final four episodes of series 7.

 

GABRIELLE DRAKE
Jill Hammond
First appearance:
Episode 1
Last appearance:
Episode 50

 

Gabrielle Drake trained at RADA, where she won the Bronze Medal, and then made her professional debut at the Everyman Theatre Liverpool, playing Cecily in The Importance of Being Earnest.

 

Theatre work includes, most recently, her one-woman show Dear Scheherazade (Elizabeth Gaskell In Her Own Words) for Clive Conway Productions. Also, Lady Bracknell in The Importance of Being Earnest, and La Comtesse in What Every Woman Knows, both at the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester.

 

London West End credits include Mrs. Erylynne in Lady Windermere’s Fan (at the Royal Haymarket), John Whiting’s Penny For A Song (Whitehall Theatre, for the Oxford Stage Company), Noel Coward’s Present Laughter and Peter Hall’s production of An Absolute Turkey (both at the Gielgud Theatre), Court In The Act (Phoenix Theatre), Michael Frayn’s Noises Off (Savoy), Look Look (Aldwych) and Alan Ayckbourn’s How The Other Half Loves (Duke Of York’s).

 

Other theatre work includes Mrs. Conway in Time And The Conways, and Fay in Loot for the Royal Exchange Theatre Manchester; Mrs. Malaprop in The Rivals for the British Actors Touring Company; Vittoria Corombona in The White Devil and Judith Bliss in Hay Fever for the Haymarket Theatre, Leicester as well as seasons for the New Shakespeare Company and the Bristol Old Vic.

 

Television work includes Lady Asherton in The Inspector Lynley Mysteries, Heartbeat, Peak Practice, Medics, Nicola Freeman in Crossroads, Mrs. Kelly Monteith in The Kelly Monteith Show, Harriet Arbuthnot in No. 10, Jill Hammond in The Brothers and Captain Gay Ellis in U.F.O.

 

KATE O' MARA
Jane Maxwell
First appearance:
Episode 56
Last appearance:
Episode 92

 


LIZA GODDARD
April Merroney
First appearance:
Episode 75
Last appearance:
Episode 91

 
 
 
 
Thanks go to the Potteries Prydonians - Steve Worman and Paul Wood - for their help, Ron Brunwin for supplying artwork and Garry Jones for being a regular stalwart of the news section.
Extra special thanks go to the mighty Colin Baker himself for casting his mind back and helping catalogue his career.

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