Happy Birthday to acting legend Bill Maynard, who turns 87 today. Bill, a well-known and colourful figure, has been entertaining us on stage and screen for seven decades. He is probably best remembered for his long running role in the ITV Sunday night drama Heartbeat.
We of course know Bill from his involvement in the Carry On films. Bill made his first appearance in the series as Mr Dreery in Carry On Loving in 1970. He followed up this cameo role with further appearances in the early 1970s - Guy Fawkes in Henry, Fred Moore in At Your Convenience, Freddy in Matron and finally the landlord of The Old Cock Inn in Carry On Dick in 1974. Bill also filmed a role as Mr Fiddler, Kenneth Williams' boss at Wundatours in Carry On Abroad but sadly the entire performance was cut. He was also originally cast to play the Police Inspector in Girls, but was released when an impressive television assignment came along. David Lodge took his role in Girls.
Although never a main player in the films, Bill's supporting turns were eye catching and he definitely made a significant contribution to the Carry Ons. Away from the series, Bill made other popular comedy film appearances in the likes of Bless This House, Man About The House and all four of the Confessions films, playing Robin Askwith's father.
Although Bill has been mainly retired for the best part of a decade, he is still very much around, appearing in a programme about Sid James not all that long ago and hosting his own regional radio until recently. Whatever Bill is up to today, I hope he has a great birthday!
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