Barkworth, Peter 1929-2006

views updated

Barkworth, Peter 1929-2006
(Peter Wynn Barkworth)


See index for CA sketch: Born January 14, 1929, in Margate, England; died October 21, 2006. Actor, educator, and author. An acclaimed stage actor, Barkworth is best known for his performances on British television, particularly his role as a mild-mannered bank manager in the short-lived but popular 1970s series Telford's Change. Barkworth was interested in acting, especially comedy, since childhood. He performed as the "Boy Entertainer" at fund-raising events, but then became enamored of drama after acting in a version of Macbeth. He studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) in London in the mid-1940s and then performed with the Folkestone Repertory Theatre Company and the Sheffield Repertory Theatre Company. His first big successes as an actor came in 1956, when he had a part in South Sea Bubble at the Lyric Theatre, and again in 1957, when he starred as Bernard Taggart-Stewart in the Phoenix Theatre production of Roar Like a Dove. Television became a viable option for him in the 1960s, as he landed a role in the series The Power Game. He also appeared in films, such as No Love for Johnnie (1963) and Where Eagles Dare (1969). Barkworth's career hit its apex in the 1960s and 1970s. During this time, he taught at the RADA, won two best-actor awards in 1974 from the Royal Television Society and Broadcasting Press Guild, and two best-actor awards from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts: one in 1972 for his performance as Edward VIII in Crown Matrimonial and a second in 1974 for his part in Professional Foul. Although his most famous series, Telford's Change, lasted for only ten weeks in 1978, it went into syndication and remained a fan favorite for many years. Barkworth's career declined in the 1980s and 1990s, and he found it more difficult to obtain acting roles. However, he continued to work through the 1990s, including in a 1994 Globe Theatre production of The Winslow Boy and the 1997 movie Oscar Wilde. Barkworth was the author of books on acting, including About Acting (1980), More about Acting (1984), and The Complete about Acting (1991). The founder of a small production company, Astramead, he also published a collection of his writings called For All Occasions: A Selection of Prose, Poems and Party Pieces (1997).



Times (London, England), October 25, 2006, p. 67.