Where Do I Know That Actor?

This week’s Midsomer Murders (“The Magician’s Nephew” – part 1) proved that Halloween is a most dangerous holiday indeed. We also saw a few guest stars that keen-eyed viewers might recognize from other UNC-TV fare past and present. I counted five actors of note that I knew from elsewhere. See if you spotted them all.

Michael Fitzgerald portrayed antiquarian bookseller Hugo Cartwright. He was also Canon Neil Patterson on The Choir and Major Salmon on Sharpe’s Revenge. And he played the Duke of Manhattan on an episode of Doctor Who (“New Earth”).

Ronald Pickup was artefact dealer Ernest Balliol. The veteran actor also portrayed Jeffrey Livingstone on The Jury, Daniel Byrne on The Rector’s Wife and Prince Yakimov on Fortunes Of War. Going back a bit, Rickup voiced Aslan on the Chronicles Of Narnia series which ran on Wonderworks. Continue reading

Where Do I Know That Actor? (Dunkirk Edition)

Dunkirk, Christopher Nolan’s World War II tale, is the #1 film at the box office. In full disclosure, I haven’t seen the film yet (although it’s on my summer cinema must-see list). However, I have seen the trailer several times and I always lose count of the familiar faces I spy from shows we’ve broadcast on UNC-TV. So I thought it might be fun to see how many I could find. Some were obvious, others less so.

Mark Rylance (Mr. Dawson) was the actor I first recognized. He won an Academy Awards for Bridge of Spies a few years back but I knew him instantly as Thomas Cromwell from Wolf Hall. And if we go back 20 years, Rylance also played King Henry V on a 1997 Great Performances.

Tom Hardy (Farrier) is probably most associated with blockbuster films like Inception, The Dark Knight Rises and Mad Max: Fury Road yet Hardy has a couple of Masterpiece roles of note. He played Heathcliff on Wuthering Heights and Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, on The Virgin Queen.

Kenneth Branagh (Commander Bolton) portrayed Swedish detective Kurt Wallander for four seasons on Masterpiece Mystery. Going back a bit, Branagh starred as Shakespeare’s Henry V in the Masterpiece Theatre presentation of that feature film – and he played Guy Pringle on Fortunes of War, another Masterpiece Theatre series. Continue reading

Where Do I Know That Actor?

If you missed episode one of Remember Me on Sunday night, you missed not only Michael Palin in a very interesting role but you missed the beginning an eerily spooky mystery series. However, if you did watch, you may have recognized a few familiar faces. Let’s see who they were and where you might know them.

Michael Palin starred as pensioner Tom Parfitt. Certainly Palin has made a name for himself as a globe-trekking adventurer in series like Around The World In 80 Days, Pole To Pole and Brazil With Michael Palin. However, his claim to fame and the reason 99% of people who know his name do so is that he was a member of the groundbreaking comedy series Monty Python’s Flying Circus. He also starred in a fantastic program called Ripping Yarns (which even some die-hard Python fans have never seen) and we aired this show sometime in the late 70s or early 80s.

Mark Addy played police detective Rob Fairholme. Addy was the wonderfully-named Pumblechook in a 2012 Masterpiece Classic presentation of Great Expectations.

Julia Sawalha portrayed Hannah Ward’s mother, Jan. Sawalha may be best known for her role as Saffron on the Britcom Absolutely Fabulous (in full disclosure – UNC-TV has never aired this one) but public broadcasting audiences may remember her as Dorcas Lane on Lark Rise To Candleford, Jessie Brown on Cranford or Mercy Pecksniff on Martin Chuzzlewit. Continue reading

Where Do I Know That Actor?

This week’s Death In Paradise featured a trio of guests worthy of mention.

In the episode (“Lost Identity”), DI Goodman receives a little help from his visiting Aunt Mary, played by Wendy Craig. Craig was most recently seen as Aunt Juley in The Forsyte Saga (UNC-EX aired the series within the last few years) however a generation of UNC-TV viewers may best remember her as dissatisfied housewife Ria Parkinson in the bittersweet sitcom Butterflies.

The next guest actor is Robert Daws. He played John Green on Death In Paradise but has popped up in a couple of Masterpiece series worth noting. Going back to the 1990s, Daws was Tuppy Glossop in the wonderful Jeeves And Wooster (Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie played the title roles in that P. G. Wodehouse adaptation). More recently, the actor was seen as Dr. Choake in the Poldark. Continue reading

Where Do I Know That Actor?

For the time being, Sunday nights belong to Masterpiece as the evening consists of My Mother And Other Strangers, Grantchester and, now, Prime Suspect: Tennison. It’s the latter Masterpiece Mystery! series that I’ll tackle this week because there were several familiar faces that viewers may know from other programs.

We’ll start with our star, Stefanie Martini. She plays the young Jane Tennison, a role made famous by Helen Mirren in the original series. Martini has only a few credits to her name at this point (Prime Suspect: Tennison may indeed be her breakout role) and there’s nothing major you may know her from on UNC-TV. However, since this is all about connections, I’ll note she did appear on a season three episode of Endeavour (“Prey”) as Georgina Mortmaigne.

Alun Armstrong was career criminal Clifford Bentley. You may recognize the name since I mentioned him a few weeks back when he portrayed Joanna Froggatt’s stepfather in Dark Angel. Armstrong has also appeared in several Masterpiece presentations over the years – Little DorritAristocratsOliver Twist, David Copperfield and Bleak House. Armstrong also played retired copper Brian Lane in the series New Tricks.

Nancy Carroll played Mary Collins but she’ll be best known to UNC-TV viewers as Lady Felicia on Father Brown. Continue reading

Where Do I Know That Actor?

The Tunnel is back. The gripping crime drama kicked off season two Saturday night and continues into August. Adapted from the Danish/Swedish crime series The Bridge, the program follows two detectives (one French, one English) as they tackle crimes that span international boundaries. The show also boasts a few familiar faces. See if you caught them.

Let’s  start with the two leads – Stephen Dillane and Clémence Poésy – who play police detectives Karl Rosebuck and Elise Wassermann. Both actors, who return from the first series, have appeared in programs UNC-TV has broadcast before. Poésy was Isabelle in Birdsong on Masterpiece and Queen Isabella in Richard II on Great Performances in The Hollow Crown series. Dillane was Jonathan Byrne in The Rector’s Wife, Karenin in Anna Karenina, Edward Cazelet on The Cazelets and Schmidt in God On Trial, all on Masterpiece. Continue reading

Where Do I Know That Actor?

Fans of Father Brown over on the Explorer Channel may have noticed some familiar-ish faces on last Friday’s episode (“The Star Of Jacob” – in which a mysterious stranger, a missing donkey and a kidnapped baby threaten to spoil Christmas festivities). Let’s meet them, shall we?

Raymond Coulthard, who played John Langdon in the episode, will be best known as Miles Edgerton on Mr. Selfridge. Aside from guest roles in programs like Is It Legal? and Foyle’s War, Coulthard has been seen in several other Masterpiece series. He was Mr. Glascock in He Knew He Was Right, Prince of Arragon in Merchant Of Venice and the Venetian Ambassador in Casanova. Continue reading