David Lodge

Biography

David Lodge: "this ugly mug of mine gets me the meaty parts" The actor David Lodge, who has died at the age of 82, is best remembered for the string of British film comedies in which he appeared with Peter Sellers, such as Two Way Stretch (1960), where he played the amiable safecracker Jelly Knight, and Return Of The Pink Panther (1975). Although he appeared in over 100 films from 1959 to 1989, he never once had what he considered to be a starring role. He thought himself unattractive and ineligible for romantic roles, insisting "this ugly mug of mine gets me the meaty parts". Lodge was born in Strood, Kent, and for the first 12 years of his life, until his father left the Royal Navy, he knew him only for tearful goodbyes followed by joyous receptions two years later. After the family moved to London, he attended St Nicholas school, Golden Square, Soho, and worked at the same time as a paperboy and butcher's assistant. On leaving school, he joined the Post Office, delivering commercial telegrams round the City of London. When war broke out in 1939, Lodge was recruited into the RAF. His artistic career began, according to his own account, while he was spudbashing and singing loudly to alleviate the boredom. The pianist Teddy Rubach heard him and invited him to sing with the station band. By the end of the war he was one of 12 members of Ralph Reader's Gang Show, along with Dick Emery and Sellers, the show's drummer - a comic one, naturally - travelling round airfields in France and Germany to entertain the troops. He and Sellers spent at least some of their time selling black-market petrol and cigarettes: he remained loyal to Sellers for the rest of his life, and was best man at his marriage to Britt Ekland. After the war, Lodge turned his hand to almost anything that would keep the wolf from the door. He worked as a circus clown and a ringmaster, later arguing that the experience had genuine theatrical value. Behind the clown's mask there was no facial movement, so he was forced to act with his body. As a ringmaster, he had to learn how to make himself heard above a dozen others. When a touring show in which he was resident comedian folded in Limerick, he smuggled ballpoint pens, which were very precious at the time, back to England to repay the loan of his fare. His determination eventually paid off. After struggling in variety, at holiday camps, in repertory and as a warm-up artist for the Goons, he was finally spotted on the stage in Windsor and offered a part in the film Cockleshell Heroes (1955), as one of a team of kayakers sent to attack German ships moored upriver at Bordeaux. It was also nearly his last film, as the vessel that he shared with Trevor Howard capsized, but he survived being thrown into the water while wearing a faulty frogman's outfit. From then on, he was rarely out of work. He appeared on the stage in the long-running Peter Ustinov play Romanoff And Juliet, and established himself in both military films, such as Ice-Cold In Alex (1958) and Guns At Batasi (1964), and in numerous comedies, including I'm Alright Jack (1959), The League Of Gentlemen (1959), Carry On Regardless (1961 - five more Carry Ons followed in the 1970s) and Dock Brief (1962). Both aspects of his screen persona made him a natural recruiting sergeant in Oh! What A Lovely War (1969). Six-foot tall and muscular, he was frequently cast as a heavy, but what endeared him to audiences was his evident vulnerability behind the moustache. His reputation as a reliable character actor brought him roles in such television series as The Saint, The Champions and Bless This House. His early association with the Goons had already borne surreal, silent fruit in The Running Jumping And Standing Still Film (1959), created by Spike Milligan and Richard Lester. On television, Lodge joined Milligan in the anarchic Q5 (1969) and its successors Q6 to Q9 (1975-80). In the mid-1960s, Lodge was team manager Gerry Barford in the BBC football soap opera United! For many years he lived as a bachelor with his parents and a budgerigar in Winchmore Hill, north London. However, in June 1963, while working in Yugoslavia on the Viking epic The Long Ships, alongside Richard Widmark and Oscar Homolka, he surprised everyone. After a whirlwind 24-hour courtship, he proposed to a French journalist and ex-model, to whom he remained devoted. His wedding was the source of one of his favourite anecdotes as, for him, it struck a blow for sexual equality. His bride was asked, "Do you, Marilyn, undertake to keep your husband in the manner to which he is accustomed, even if he is not gainfully employed?" She predeceased him.

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Known For
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Corruption

Groper

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The Bulldog Breed

CPO Knowles

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Edge of Sanity

Underwood

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Transformers - Robots In Disguise

Midnight Express / ... (8 episodes, 2001-2002)

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On the Beat

Insp. Hobson

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The Swan Princess: Christmas

Number 9 / Footman (voice)

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Tutenstein: The Fearless Pharaoh Vol. 3

(11 episodes, 2003-2006)

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Shopkins: Chef Club

(voice)

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Trial and Error

Bateson

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A Unicorn Adventure

(voice)

Starring In
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Justice League: Warworld

Sheriff (voice)

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Trick or Treat Scooby-Doo!

Warden Collins / Harry the Hypnotist / Inspector (voice)

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Bigfoot Family

Arlo Woodstock (voice)

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Spycies

Reporter Clarck / Male Voice

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A Unicorn Adventure

(voice)

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Shopkins: Chef Club

(voice)

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The Last: Naruto the Movie

Narrator (voice)

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Alpha and Omega 3: The Great Wolf Games

Nars (voice) (as David O. Lodge)

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Team Hot Wheels: The Origin of Awesome!

Rhett (voice)

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The Swan Princess: A Royal Family Tale

The Forbidden Arts (voice)

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Both Feet in the Army

(archive footage)

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The Lego Story

Purchasing Manager (voice)

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The Swan Princess: Christmas

Number 9 / Footman (voice)

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Norman Wisdom: His Story

Self - Actor

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Naruto Shippûden: The Lost Tower

Jiraiya (voice)

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Redline

President (voice)

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Happily N'Ever After 2

Rumpelstiltskin (voice)

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First Squad: The Moment Of Truth

Monk (voice: English version)

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Recount

Joe Lieberman (voice)

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Tutenstein: Clash of the Pharaohs

(voice)

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Naruto Shippûden The Movie: Bonds

Jiraiya (voice)

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Bleach Movie 2: The Diamond Dust Rebellion

Kenpachi Zaraki (voice: English version)

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Tales From Earthsea

Additional Voices (voice)

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Paprika

Dr. Torataro Shima (voice)

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Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII

Incidental Characters (voice)

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Transformers - Robots In Disguise

Midnight Express / ... (8 episodes, 2001-2002)

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Tutenstein: The Fearless Pharaoh Vol. 3

(11 episodes, 2003-2006)

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Elysium

Necros (voice)

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Digimon - The Movie

Parrotmon (voice)

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The Glass Shield

Reporter #2

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Edge of Sanity

Underwood

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Bloodbath at the House of Death

Inspector Goule

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Sahara

Ewing

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The English Girls Collection: What's Good For The Goose/Intimate Games/Love Is a Splendid Illusion

Porter

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Carry On England

Captain Bull

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The Return of the Pink Panther

Mac

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Carry On Behind

Landlord

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Carry On Dick

Bullock

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QB VII

Sergeant Flory

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Charley-One-Eye

Colonel (uncredited)

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Carry On Girls

Police Inspector

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Ghost in the Noonday Sun

Zante

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Mutiny on the Buses

Safari Guard

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Beware My Bretheren

C.I.D. Inspector

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The Amazing Mr Blunden

Mr. Wickens

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Hoffman

Foreman (uncredited)

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On The Buses

Busman

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The Magnificent Seven Deadly Sins

Guest Appearance (segment "Sloth")

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The Champions - Set One

Filmer / ... (2 episodes, 1969)

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The Railway Children

Bandmaster

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Toomorrow

1st Policeman (uncredited)

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Scream and Scream Again!

Detective Inspector Phil Strickland (credit only)

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Eyewitness

Local Policeman

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The Magic Christian

Ship's Guide

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Oh! What a Lovely War

Recruiting Sergeant at Music Hall

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The Fixer

Zhitnyak

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Corruption

Groper

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Only When I Larf

Caplan (uncredited)

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Seven Times Seven

Police Sergeant

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Smashing Time

The Caretaker

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After the Fox

Police officer (uncredited)

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That Swinging City

Charlie

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The Wrong Box

Corpse Remover (uncredited)

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Press for Time

Mr. Ross (editor, 'Tinmouth Times')

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The Alphabet Murders

Sergeant

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The Early Bird

Angry Husband (uncredited)

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The Intelligence Men

Stage Manager

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Die amourösen Abenteuer der Moll Flanders

Ship's captain

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Guns at Batasi

Sgt. 'Muscles' Dunn

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A Shot in the Dark

Georges

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The Long Ships

Olla

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Saturday Night Out

Arthur

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The Boys

Mr. Herne

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The Pirates of Blood River

Smith

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Night Creatures

Navy bos'un

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Captain Clegg

Navy Bosun

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Kill or Cure

Richards - Male Nurse

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On the Beat

Insp. Hobson

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Diebe haben Vorfahrt

Sergeant

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Time to Remember

Jumbo Johnson

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Trial and Error

Bateson

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Roommates

Taxi Driver

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Carry On Regardless

Connoisseur

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The Bulldog Breed

CPO Knowles

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The Hellfire Club

Timothy

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The League of Gentlemen

C.S.M.

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Ist ja irre - Unser Torpedo kommt zurück

Security sergeant

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Two Way Stretch

Jelly Knight

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Never Let Go

Cliff

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Yesterday's Enemy

Perkins

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I'm All Right, Jack

Card Player

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The Ugly Duckling

Peewee

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Idol on Parade

Shorty

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I Was Monty's Double

Sergeant RAPC

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Ice Cold In Alex

C.M.P. Captain - Tank Trap

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Tank Force

Patterson

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The Silent Enemy

Sergeant

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Further Up the Creek

Scouse

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Up the Creek

Scouse

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The Safecracker

Parachute Instructor

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The Counterfeit Plan

Sam Watson

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Your Past is Showing

Policeman

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Private’s Progress

Lance Corporal Parsons (uncredited)

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Now and Forever

Man in car in car park (uncredited)

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Finger of Guilt

Police Sgt. Brown

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Cockleshell Heroes

Marine Ruddock

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