He acted in Edward Bond's play, "Lear," at the Royal Court Theatre in London, England with Harry Andrews, Matthew Guinness, Struan Rodger, Bob Hoskins, Rosemary McHale, George Howe, Mark McManus, Oliver Cotton, Marjorie Yates, and Diana Quick in the cast. William Gaskill was director.
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My job is entertainment. I'm not there to get across any great messages. I don't want to be Prime Minister; I just want to be an actor, make people laugh, make people cry and say other people's lines. And if I believe in the lines, then I'm going to do the show to the best of my ability.
He joined the merchant navy when he was 15, and spent six years at sea. Then he began to study acting, and appeared with the Royal Shakespeare Company. He first gained widespread notice for playing ambitious footman Frederick Norton in "Upstairs, Downstairs".