Actor George Cole.
George Cole started his acting career when he was fifteen and continued until 2015. At the time of his death in that year, he had just finished making a movie.
His first break came along in 1940 when he was cast in a film that was released the following year. George had been given up for adoption at birth and the British actor Alastair Sim took him in along with his adopted mother.
George first came to the attention of the film-going world at large when he played the part of the dodgy Flash Harry in the brilliant St Trinian’s series of films. (That’s him as Flash Harry in the photograph).
Flash Harry was the ‘loveable rogue’ type; a bloke not always adhering to the letter of the law and always looking for a chance to make money. He played this part in the films made between 1954 and 1966.
Twenty years after he had first played Flash Harry, he played another shady but loveable character in a television series that introduced him to a whole new generation of fans. The role was that of Arthur Daly who was rather like the older version of Flash Harry. It was inspired casting and the series lasting for fifteen years.
Co-star Dennis Waterman described later how much fun it had been creating the series and how the two actors had a chemistry that comes across on the screen. He said that if ever anything went wrong during filming, the cameramen knew to keep the cameras rolling because the two actors would ab lib and these were invariably kept in the episode. You can see an example below.
Minder – full episode
George Cole Gallery
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