Tuesday 21 October 2014

'Dad's Army' star Clive Dunn dies aged 92 after short illness

Robert Dex

Published 08/11/2012 | 05:00

'Dad's Army' star Clive Dunn has died aged 92 in Portugal after a short illness.

The actor, who played Corporal Jones in the hit sitcom, is believed to have been ill for a few weeks. His agent Peter Charlesworth said the star will be "sorely missed".

Dunn, who leaves his wife, children and grandchildren, was born in London into a showbusiness family and started out with a number of small film roles in the 1930s before the war intervened.

He served in Greece before being captured and spent four years as a prisoner of war.

After the war he resumed his career and in 1968 landed the role of Corporal Jones in the sitcom about life on the home front.

The character, a World War One veteran-turned butcher, was notorious for his often rambling recollections of his time in the army and his much-used catchphrase "Don't panic".

Dunn also had a number one hit in 1970 with 'Grandad' and went on to play the title character in a children's show of the same name.

Mr Charlesworth said: "He had been a star since the mid 1930's. He was a young man playing old men even when he was young."

Dunn lived in Portugal for more than 20 years and, in a 1992 interview with 'Saga Magazine', he explained the appeal of the place was down to Greta Garbo.

Friend

He said: "The reason I came to Portugal originally was through seeing Greta Garbo in the film 'Queen Christina'. In the script she was going to the south-west corner of Europe, full of sunshine, where warm breezes blew. The final shot shows her on her way to Portugal and I thought if it's good enough for Garbo, it's good enough for me."

Ian Lavender, who played Private Pike in the show, said Dunn was a good friend.

He said: "He was a music hall artiste really, that's what his family were, and he had that attitude of keep going until you get the laugh but even though he was born into it, I don't think he thought that was his reason on earth and if it came to it, the most important thing was to be with his family where they were happy and he would say: 'This is where we want to be and it's where we are happy'.

"That's how I think of Clive."

Irish Independent

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