Biography

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Jack Warner :: Biography

Jack Warner (born Horace John Waters) was born on the 24 October 1896 Bromley-by-Bow, UK. He was in the Royal Flying Corps in WW1, and from the 1920s in Variety as a comedian, delivering comic monologues - his sisters were variety performers Elsie and Doris Waters.

His film debut was in a Variety theatre mystery, The Dummy Talks (d. Oswald Mitchell, 1943), and he soon became an Ealing regular, with good roles in Hue and Cry (d. Charles Crichton, 1946), as leader of a gang of crooks, and in Against the Wind (d. Crichton, 1947), as the traitor shot dead by the French resistance heroine.

One of his best villains was as a hardened escaped convict chained to young George Cole in My Brother's Keeper (d. Alfred Roome, 1948).

But he will always be remembered for two roles. First was London bus driver Joe Huggett, representative of the steady, reliable working man, on a family holiday at Holiday Camp (d. Ken Annakin, 1947), in which Warner and Kathleen Harrison, described by one critic as 'South London's answer to Ma and Pa Kettle', captured the spirit of post war Labour Britain - 'making do' and generally promoting the wartime egalitarian spirit in peacetime. Warner was the David Jason of his day, in my opinion even more endearing an actor than Jason, and that's saying something. Three more Huggett films followed, as well as a long-running '50s radio series on the BBC Light Programme, all presenting an idealised version of working-class family life.

Second, in The Blue Lamp (d. Basil Dearden, 1949), Warner played the fatally heroic P.C. George Dixon, who was killed off after a mere 21 minutes but the character proved so popular that he was revived by Ted Willis for BBC television in Dixon of Dock Green (1955-76). It presented a reassuring, nostalgic world where young thugs see the error of their ways after a homily from fatherly PC Dixon. His arthritis meant his character had to stop walking the beat and become a desk sergeant. His illness was treated with bee-stings. Warner retired from Dixon of Dock Green as the series ended in 1976. At aged 80 in real life, he was Britain's oldest bobby.

actor jack warner
Jack Warner

In The Ladykillers (1955), he was at the police station desk again, reassuring the little old & magical Katie Johnson. But for most of the '50s, he was in supporting roles, often in domestic settings, as in Home and Away (d. Vernon Sewell, 1956), which repeated the Huggett formula.

His last starring role was as the police inspector in Jigsaw (d. Val Guest, 1962). He was awarded the OBE in 1965.

He died of pneumonia on the 24 May 1981 in London, UK. He was 84.

Warner represented the average, decent 'man on the Clapham omnibus'. Today he is best remembered for playing policemen and honest, dependable working-class fathers; and British audiences of yesterday could easily identify with his aspirations. But he also had a nice line in film villains, who were all the more shocking because of his image.

actor jack warner
Jack Warner

Jack Warner Film Posters available @ amazon.com.

Links

Biography >> Against The Wind >> Blue Lamp >> Boys In Brown >> Captive Heart >> Carve Her Name With Pride >> Jack Warner autographs, photographs and more @ ebay.co.uk (direct link to photographs) - just checked and a bigger selection than i have seen everywhere else >> Jack Warner Dvds available @ amazon.com >> 2016: Forever Ealing Book Reviewed, Photos & In Stock >> The Ladykillers >> It Always Rains On Sunday

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Releases & Links

The Blue Lamp UK Dvd details here. Carve Her Name With Pride details here.

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