Where Do I Know That Actor?

MIDSOMER MURDERS strikes again with a guest star two-fer that should have hit a familiar note with some UNC-TV viewers.

If you tuned in Saturday night, you caught Part One of “Worm In The Bud” in which DCI Barnaby uncovered lies, witchcraft and more in Midsomer Worthy. You also may have spotted two actresses you’ve seen before – Emily Joyce and Wendy Craig.

Emily Joyce played the role of lawyer Bernadette Sullivan. Joyce has been seen on TV series like Inspector Lewis, The Inspector Lynley Mysteries and Grafters. The show where she may be best known is the sitcom My Hero where she played nurse Janet Dawkins, level-headed love interest of zany superhero Thermoman. UNC-TV aired My Hero some years back and it was quite fun. Maybe we’ll bring back again someday (fingers crossed).

Wendy Craig played Victoria Bartlett, mother-in-law of the murder victim. Craig has, more recently, appeared as Aunt Juley on The Forsyte Saga. However, she may be best known to viewers as Ria on the Britcom Butterflies (where she starred opposite Geoffrey Palmer). UNC-TV aired this show back in the ’80s, so you have to be a loooong-time UNC-TV viewer to spot her from that series.

MIDSOMER MURDERS continues with the conclusion to “Worm In The Bud” – Saturday night at 8 on UNC-TV.

Got a face you can’t place from one of the plethora of programs UNC-TV airs from the UK? Email me at sparkymac@unctv.org and I’ll try to help out.

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Where Do I Know That Actor?

At this point, MIDSOMER MURDERS is so rife with cameos and guest stars, I’m honestly surprised when I watch an episode and I don’t recognize someone I’ve seen before elsewhere. This week, it’s Anna Maxwell Martin. The actress had a bit part as a young student named Arabella. This threw me for a moment because I’m used to seeing her in more mature roles (sure enough – as many actors do – she was in her early 20s playing a teenager when this show was made in 2002) but I eventually recognized her.

Where have you seen her? Well, Martin has played Susan in The Bletchley Circle, (2012 – 2014), Elizabeth Darcy in Death Comes to Pemberley (2013), Sarah Burton in South Riding (2011), Gaoler’s Daughter in The Wind in the Willows (2007) and Esther Summerson in Bleak House (2005), so she’s been around for a while and has been well-represented on shows UNC-TV has aired.

That’s it! One person worth mentioning because that’s all it takes, isn’t it – one familiar face to make you ask yourself “Where do I know that actor?”

MIDSOMER MURDERS continues Saturday night at 8 on UNC-TV.

Got a face you can’t place from one of the plethora of programs UNC-TV airs from the UK? Email me at sparkymac@unctv.org and I’ll try to help out.

Where Do I Know That Actor?

I hope you watched Saturday’s MIDSOMER MURDERS (Ring Out Your Dead, Part One) because we have a veritable who’s who of guest stars you’ve seen before from other programs aired on UNC-TV. I was practically giddy with all the familiar faces. See if you spotted them.

Let’s start with Reggie Barton, played by Graham Crowden. You know him best as Tom Ballard on Waiting for God but longtime Doctor Who fans may remember him as Soldeed from the classic Tom Baker serial The Horns of Nimon. (Now that’s going way back.) Crowden also portrayed Marquis of Auld Reekie on The Way We Live Now and Lord Chancellor on a 1985 Bleak House (both on Masterpiece). Continue reading

Where Do I Know That Actor?

MIDSOMER MURDERS strikes again. If you caught this week’s episode (part two of “Tainted Fruit”), you got a glimpse of several actors who’ve been seen elsewhere on UNC-TV. See if you spotted them.

We’ll start with Lucy Punch who played spoiled, rich Melissa Townsend. UNC-TV viewers first met her as Elaine, one of Dr. Martin Ellingham’s many receptionists. In fact, she was his first, playing that role in season one of Doc Martin. Continue reading

Where Do I Know That Actor?

For a change of pace we’ll eschew MIDSOMER MURDERS for a week and focus on another whodunit series with a high guest star quotient: DEATH IN PARADISE. (Hey, I guess when your agent calls with a job offer on a sunny Caribbean island, only a fool declines.) This week’s episode saw the isle of Saint Marie’s Day of the Dead celebrations interrupted by the usual murder and mayhem. It also gave DI Jack Mooney and team a chance to meet a trio of guest stars you might have recognized.

Danny Rahim played Finn Anderson, husband of the victim. He’ll best be known to UNC-TV viewers for his role as DC Tariq Lang on DCI Banks. Continue reading

Where Do I Know That Actor?

And once again, as the thirteenth season nears its conclusion, MIDSOMER MURDERS shows us you can’t be a real actor in the UK if you don’t guest star at least once on this series. This week’s episode (“Fit for Murder” part one) saw the Barnabys taking in a spa weekend at upmarket Swavely Manor. Of course, the bodies pile up quickly (else the story wouldn’t last long) and we get to see a bounty of guest stars, some immediately recognizable, others less so. Let’s meet them, shall we?

We’ll start with Lesley Manville who was spa owner Phoebe Archbold. The Oscar-nominated Manville has appeared on two Masterpiece presentations worth noting – she portrayed Mrs. Rose on Cranford and Villy on The Cazalets.

Geraldine James, who played spa neighbor Miranda Bedford, has deeper PBS roots. She’s been seen as Sarah Layton on The Jewel in the Crown, Beatrice on Rebecca, Joyce Malfin on White Teeth, Lady Rowley on He Knew He Was Right, Hilary Rees-Benton on The Amazing Mrs. Pritchard and Barbara Turney on The Last Enemy. Continue reading

Where Do I Know That Actor? (Mamma Mia! Edition)

Every now and then, I like to veer slightly away from the small screen to make a big screen connection and, right now, there seems only one film deserving of such a look. The ABBA-inspired sequel Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again took in around $34 million in its opening weekend, placing it number two at the box office. Although I’ve not seen it myself I couldn’t help but be taken by all the familiar names and faces I spied viewing the trailer during a recent cinematic outing. Some may be obvious, but let’s take note of them all as best we can.

The hit movie stars Lilly James in the role of Young Donna in 1979. James may not be the biggest name in the cast but she should be among the best well-known of PBS-related stars since she played Lady Rose on Downton Abbey.

Meryl Streep, of course, plays Donna, reprising her role from the first film. Offhand, you might think Streep hasn’t been a presence on public broadcasting and, for the most part, you’d be right. However, imdb.com credits her with two roles on Great Performances – Edith Varney on Secret Service (1977) and Leilah on Uncommon Women… and Others (1979). Moreover, the acclaimed actress had appeared on American Masters, Live From Lincoln Center, the documentary series Freedom: A History of Us and the Ken Burns’ series The Roosevelts: An Intimate History, among others. So I think it’s safe to say Meryl Streep has a long and healthy PBS association. Continue reading