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James Hayter Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (1) | Trivia (6)

Overview (4)

Date of Birth 23 April 1907Lonavala, India
Date of Death 27 March 1983Villajoyosa, Spain
Birth NameHenry James Goodenough Hayter
Height 5' 5" (1.65 m)

Mini Bio (1)

The son of a police superintendent in India, the character actor James Hayter was educated in Scotland, where he was urged into acting by his headmaster. After one year (1924-5) at the Royal Academy of the Dramatic Arts in London, he performed in repertory theater, eventually appearing in The West End in such plays as "1066 and All That" and "French Without Tears." He made his film debut in 1936 and continued in films until World War II, when he served in the Royal Armoured Corps. After the war, he established an active screen career, excelling at various sorts of character roles, especially in comedy. Characteristic roles include Friar Tuck in The Story of Robin Hood and His Merrie Men (1952) and A Challenge for Robin Hood (1967), The Pickwick Papers (1952), and David Copperfield (1970).

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Lyn Hammond

Spouse (1)

Marjorie Lane (1934 - ?) (divorced)

Trivia (6)

Made his stage debut in 1925. He played Alfred Doolittle in Pygmalion in the West End at the Drury Lane Theatre and on tour for five years.
He did not return to Are You Being Served? (1972) after his first season on the show, even though he intended to, as he was made a better offer NOT to appear on it. He had been doing the TV voice-overs for Mr. Kipling's Cakes, but the firm did not like him playing Mr. Tebbs, as they thought the character was unpleasant and it would hurt their product's image. When Hayter defied Mr. Kipling's request that he quit the show, saying he would continue in the part, the firm offered him three times his BBC salary if he terminated his connection with "Are You Being Served?". According to co-star Nicholas Smith, who was co-starring in a farce with Hayter during the off-season, "I said, what was he going to decide? 'Well, my boy,' he growled, 'if they will pay me three times as much not to do it, then I won't do it. At my time of life I have no more ambition!'" Hayter, who had replaced Arthur Brough on the show, was himself replaced by Alfie Bass, who also lasted just one season.
He died only four days before his Four Sided Triangle (1953) co-star Stephen Murray.
He played Friar Tuck in two unrelated Robin Hood films: The Story of Robin Hood and His Merrie Men (1952) and A Challenge for Robin Hood (1967).
Grandfather of Charity Wakefield.
Father of Robin Hayter.

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