Windsor Davies

Last updated 09 January 2020

Windsor Davies (1930-2019)
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Windsor Davies

Born: Thursday 28th August 1930
Died: Thursday 17th January 2019 (age: 88)


Windsor Davies (born Canning Town, West Ham, London) was a British actor, well known for playing the part of Battery Sergeant Major Williams in the 1970s/1980s British sitcom It Ain't Half Hot Mum.

Davies was born to Welsh parents, and he returned to his parents' native Nant-y-Moel when the Second World War began in 1939. He attended Ogmore Grammar School and Bangor Teacher Training College. He then worked as a teacher and did national service before going into acting. 

He played Mog in the classic Welsh film Grand Slam and played the role of sailor Taffy in the first of the BBC-series The Onedin Line (1971).He became well known for playing the part of Battery Sergeant Major Williams in the British sitcom It Ain't Half Hot Mum (1974-81). One of his catchphrases was "Shut Up!" delivered with an ear drum shattering military scream. The other was the phrase "Oh dear, how sad, never mind", delivered in a dry, ironic manner, and used when others around him had problems. As a spin-off from the series, Davies and co-star, Don Estelle had a number one hit in the UK with a semi-comic version of "Whispering Grass". He played major roles in two later Carry On films, Behind in 1975 and England in 1976. He later re-established himself as a sitcom actor with the role of antique dealer Oliver Smallbridge in Never the Twain, with Donald Sinden.

He is also known for providing the voice of Sergeant Major Zero in Gerry Anderson's Terrahawks television series which broadcast from 1983 to 1986; and appeared in the Doctor Who story The Evil of the Daleks as Toby in 1967. He auditioned to be the voice of the UK's speaking clock in 1984 but lost out to fellow actor Brian Cobby.

Davies has never been short of voice-over work - and his distinctive, deep voice can be heard in such projects as New Zealand's Pink Batts house insulations and confectionery ads for Cadbury's Wispa. In the 1970s, Davies read an edition of Radio Four's Morning Story programme. Davies played a sergeant in the Highland Regiment in Adolf Hitler: My Part in His Downfall with Jim Dale and Spike Milligan. This film was released in 1972.

Windsor Davies starred in two Carry On films, Carry On Behind (1975), playing the part of Butcher Fred Ramsden and then in Carry On England (1976), playing Sergeant Major 'Tiger' Bloomer.

He was the subject of This Is Your Life in 1976.

Davies retired from acting in his 70s and he and his wife lived in France. He is survived by his five children (his wife Eluned died in September 2018).

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

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