John Woodnutt

Last updated 09 January 2020

John Woodnutt (1924-2006)
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John Woodnutt

Born: Monday 3rd March 1924
Died: Monday 2nd January 2006 (age: 81)


John Woodnutt was a British actor.

Born in London he made his acting debut at the Oxford Playhouse at the age of 18.

He had many television and film roles, including that of Henry VII in the first episode of The Six Wives of Henry VIII (1970); Sir Watkyn Bassett in the television version of Jeeves and Wooster (1990 to 1993); and Merlin and Mogdred in the children's adventure game programme Knightmare (1987-1990). One of his earliest television roles was in 1956 in the ITV drama One, broadcast live. He appeared five times in Z-Cars and once in Softly, Softly.

He appeared Doctor Who four times, in Spearhead From Space (1970) as Hibbert, Frontier In Space (1973) as the Draconian Emperor, Terror of the Zygons (1975) in the dual roles of Broton and the Duke of Forgill and The Keeper of Traken (1981) as Seron.

He appeared in The Avengers episode "Quick-Quick Slow Death" in 1966 and played "The Spidron" in the cult science fiction series The Tomorrow People in 1973. He also appeared in the Look and Read educational serial "The Boy From Space" in 1971, as the Thin Spaceman; in the 1976 HTV series Children of the Stones as the sinister butler Link.; and in the 1978 series The Doombolt Chase. 

In the 1980s, he played various guest roles in several television movies such as Hitler's S.S.: Portrait in Evil, starring Bill Nighy and John Shea. In the BBC Scotland television series of The Secret Garden, made in 1975, he played the part of Mr. Archibald Craven. He appeared in producer Barry Letts's classic serials Sense and Sensibility, Stalky & Co., and The Pickwick Papers. He played the Senior Tutor in Porterhouse Blue, appeared regularly as Sir Watkyn Bassett in the Jeeves and Wooster series alongside Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie and also appeared briefly in the comedy sketch show Paul Merton: The Series in the early 1990s.

Radio and television Sherlock Holmes stories in which he appeared included the BBC Radio 4 adaptation of The Hound of the Baskervilles and, as Mr. Merryweather, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes with Jeremy Brett in the episode entitled "The Red-Headed League". He also made an appearance in the 1965 Douglas Wilmer Sherlock Holmes series on the BBC.