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Biography

Jump to: Overview (2) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (4) | Trivia (8) | Personal Quotes (9)

Overview (2)

Born in Bristol, England, UK
Height 6' 2" (1.88 m)

Mini Bio (1)

John Challis is an accomplished character actor, personality and raconteur whose wide-ranging career has gone from classical roles on the stage to heavies in television drama, a multitude of policemen, sitcom stardom, pantomime performances and even a one-man show.

He wanted to act from a young age but was encouraged to get a "proper" job, so he worked as a trainee estate agent for a short time. He also had a job delivering groceries. He got into acting through a travelling children's theatre and never attended drama school. Performances in regional repertory theatre followed. He ended up in the Royal Shakespeare Company during the 1960s and made his television debut in The Newcomers (1965). His imposing physical stature helped him gain roles as police officers in Softly Softly (1966) and Crown Court (1972). He was also cast in a recurring role in the BBC's long-running police drama Z Cars (1962) as Sergeant Culshaw. He then played heavies in The Sweeney (1975) and Doctor Who (1963) (both for director Douglas Camfield, who would also later cast him in Beau Geste (1982)).

He worked with David Jason for the first time in the sitcom Open All Hours (1973). In 1980, he landed a guest role (as another policeman) in Citizen Smith (1977). His performance impressed the writer, John Sullivan, so much that he promised he would find another part for him. This led to him being cast as Boycie, the second-hand car salesman, in the first series of Only Fools and Horses.... (1981). It would go on to become one of the longest-running and most popular sitcoms of all time and Challis would be a regular in it. In 2005, Challis began starring in a spin-off, The Green Green Grass (2005). In 2011, he released his autobiography, "Being Boycie", which was followed by "Boycie & Beyond" in 2012. These led to Challis entertaining audiences by touring a one-man show, "Only Fools and Boycie".

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Anonymous

Spouse (4)

Carol Davies (1 June 1995 - present)
Sabina Franklyn (1983 - 1985) (divorced)
Debbie Arnold (1980 - 1982) (divorced)
Jean Challis (1964 - 1966) (divorced)

Trivia (8)

He is most famous as Boycie in the BBC's Only Fools and Horses.... (1981).
He lives in a 12th-century abbot's lodging attached to a ruined monastery on the Welsh borders.
He worked at an estate agents in Surrey prior to becoming an actor.
He is the ex-son-in-law of William Franklyn and Eddie Arnold.
His hobbies include gardening, Cricket and history.
To commemorate the completion of the notoriously troubled Only Fools and Horses.... (1981) episode A Royal Flush, he had T-shirts made for everyone, with a picture of a thumb and forefinger clenched around a nose, which is what the crew did when they were asked how long it would take to film the episode.
According to David Jason, he was nothing like Boycie, his best known character from Only Fools and Horses.... (1981) and it's spin-off series The Green Green Grass (2005) in real life; to those who knew him he was charming, well spoken, an actor of great weight, a gentleman to work with and a team player.

Personal Quotes (9)

I think I prefer comedy, because there is no better feeling then to hear someone laughing- it's to do with making people happy.
We just knew that whatever else we did, however good we were in other roles, the most famous thing we'd ever do was Only Fools and Horses.... (1981). It was just so big. But it was wonderful to be in something that meant so much to people.
[on Roger Lloyd Pack] Speaking as a rather theatrical actor myself, I sort of quite envied him the ability to suggest something by doing absolutely nothing.
Jamaica Inn (2014) looks very good but I haven't heard a single word...Either the actors are mumbling or the sound track is faulty.
[on Doctor Who (1963)] Tom's [Tom Baker] a lot of people's favourite Doctor. He loved a laugh. We had some great times, that was one of the happiest jobs I ever did.
Playing so many villains is really quite difficult for me because I can't fight. I've never been able to fight. I can play football and cricket and all that but I can't run and I can't fight.
Sad news of Lynsey de Paul, beautiful and talented singer/songwriter. Storm in a Teacup, one of my favourite songs.
For me an appearance in Doctor Who (1963) in 1976 came along at the right time. I had got to a point in my life where I had wanted to give up acting. It had got to a point that I had even opened up a garden centre. This did not work and my mother had to bail me out financially. So when I got the call to appear as a villain in Doctor Who (1963) it came at the right time. It was a great job and I had so much fun. From doing that I had the chance to appear in a play, which lead to appearing in a Tom Stoppard play at The National Theatre. So what happened is I went from a bad time to having a wonderful period in my life.
Cynical tweeters seem to enjoy sneering about actors who do panto or trade off their most famous TV character, but as Only Fools started in 1981, modern directors are too young to be familiar with my other work. They only know me as Boycie. Of course, I would love to do some serious drama but I'm also well aware that I'm extremely fortunate to have been part of such an iconic series.

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