Saturday, 27 August 2011

John Howard Davies R.I.P.

John Howard Davies, former child actor and television producer, passed on 22 August 2011 at the age of 72. The cause was cancer.

John Howard Davies was born on 9 March 1939 in Paddington, London. He was the son of screenwriter Jack Davies. Mr. Davies was only 8 when he was cast Oliver in David Lean's version of Oliver Twist (1948). He went onto The Rocking Horse Winner (1949), Tom Brown's Schoolboys (1951), The Magic Box (1951), and episodes of William Tell. Mr. Davies left acting when he was a teenager, feeling he was not good looking enough to be a leading man nor talented enough to be a character actor. Following National Service in the Royal Navy, he worked in the financial district of London and later as a carpet salesman.

It was in 1966 that he became a production assistant at BBC. In 1967 he began directing and producing TV series. That year he directed episodes of Misleading Cases and produced episodes of The Very Merry Widow. He would go onto direct episodes of The World of Beachcomber, Monty Python's Flying Circus, All Gas and Gaiters, The Goodies, Steptoe and Son, Fawlty Towers, Good Neighbours, All in Good Faith, Andy Capp, Mr. Bean, No Job for a Lady, Hope It Rains, Law and Disorder, and The Bill. He produced such shows as The World of Beachcomber, Monty Python's Flying Circus, All Gas and Gaiters, Steptoe and Son, The Goodies, Fawlty Towers, Good Neighbours, All in Good Faith, Mr. Bean, No Job for a Lady, Hope It Rains, and Law and Disorder.

From 1977 to 1982 John Howard Davies was the head of BBC's comedy division. He approved such shows as Yes, Minister  and Only Fools and Horses.

John Howard Davies had a hand in some of the most legendary British comedy shows of all time. Indeed, Monty Python's Flying Circus, The Goodies, Steptoe and Son, and Fawlty Towers are counted among the greatest British television series of all time. As a child actor he was quite talented, not only giving a strong performance as Oliver in Oliver Twist, but also strong performances in The Rocking Horse Winner and Tom Brown's Schoolboys. As an actor and as a television director, John Howard Davies was very talented.

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