Colin Jeavons

Last updated 09 January 2020

Colin Jeavons

Born: Sunday 20th October 1929 (age: 94)

BFI Profile

Colin Jeavons (born 20 October 1929, NewportMonmouthshire) is a Welsh television actor.

Jeavons is known for portraying Inspector Lestrade in the Granada television serials The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, or the part of the undertaker, Shadrack, in the television situation comedy written by Keith Waterhouse and Willis Hallfrom Waterhouse's novel Billy Liar. He narrated the series Barnaby the Bear and sang the theme tune.

Pete Stampede and Alan Hayes wrote of Jeavons in The Avengers Guest Biography page as "one of those under-rated, ever-present supporting actors who never turn in a bad performance." and as a recurring UFO-obsessed character in the sci-fi comedy Kinvig, "frankly stole the show each and every week."

His most critically acclaimed role was as the neglected and abused child, Donald, in Dennis Potter's Blue Remembered Hills (1979). He also featured prominently in the 1990 dramatisation for television of House of Cards by Michael Dobbs, as Tim Stamper, Tory Whip and ally of Ian Richardson's Francis Urquhart. The character returned - promoted initially to Chief Whip, then to Party Chairman - in the sequel, To Play the King. He was already a well-known character in the sixties following his definitive portrayal of Uriah Heep in the BBC TV's first television adaptation of Charles DickensDavid Copperfield in 1965. He had roles in other Dickens adaptations including The Old Curiosity ShopGreat Expectationsand Bleak House.

In 1963 he played the extremely reluctant hero Vadassy forced into espionage in Epitaph For a Spy for BBC Television.[2] He is known as a regular character actor on television classical adaptations; he hosted Play School for a time. He played "with chilling authority" in the words of writer David Stuart DaviesProfessor Moriarty in The Baker Street Boys (1982), and "with great panache" Inspector Lestrade in the Granada Television series The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes(featuring Jeremy Brett as Holmes). Producer Michael Cox of the Granada Television series for Sherlock Holmes stated frankly that they were given the best Lestrade of his generation.[3]

In 1978 he played the part of Mr Johnston, a schoolteacher in the BBC supernatural drama Tarry Dan, Tarry Dan, Scary old Spooky Man.

In 1984, he played the existentialist philosopher Soren Kierkegaard in the "Prometheus Unbound" episode of Don Cupitt's Sea of Faith (TV series) for BBC.

In 1986 he was seen in Paradise Postponed. In 1985, he played Adolf Hitler in Hitler's SS: Portrait in Evil. He also appeared in Doctor Who in the 1966 story The Underwater Menace and the 1981 spin-off K-9 and Company; as Briggs, the lawyer who halts the marriage between Jane and Rochester in the 1983 BBC version of Jane Eyre, twice in cult TV series The Avengers (in "A Touch of Brimstone" and "The Winged Avenger")and once in Adam Adamant Lives! as a murderous fashion designer.

His elder son, Barney Jeavons, managed the British rock band Reuben. In 2007 he emerged from retirement and, heavily bearded, starred as the enigmatic General in Reuben's pop video "Blood, Bunny, Larkhall". In the behind-the-scenes short, Jeavons explained briefly some of the highlights of his acting career.


Biography from the Wikipedia article, licensed under CC-BY-SA