Frank THORNTON (1921-2013)

Frank Thornton
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THIS IS YOUR LIFE - Frank Thornton, actor, was surprised by Michael Aspel at Pinewood Studios at a British Comedy Society dinner.

Frank studied at the London School of Dramatic Art, and having served in the Royal Air Force during the Second World War, he joined a repertory theatre company. After working on stage and in a few films during the 1950s, he became a familiar face on British television, specialising in comedy. He was a regular on It's a Square World, and appeared in classic British sitcoms such as Hancock, Sykes, The Goodies and Love Thy Neighbour.

He continued to appear in films, mostly comedies, during the 1960s and 1970s, including Carry On Screaming!, The Bed Sitting Room and No Sex Please, We're British.

Frank is best known for playing the role of Captain Peacock in the long running BBC sitcom Are You Being Served? which ran from 1972 to 1985. In 1984 he starred as Sir John Treymane in the hit London musical Me and My Girl, earning rave reviews and an Olivier Award nomination. And in 1998 he joined the regular cast of another long running BBC sitcom, Last of the Summer Wine.

“Somebody’s betrayed me”

Frank Thornton recalls his experience of This Is Your Life in an exclusive interview recorded in October 2009

Screenshots of Frank Thornton This Is Your Life - and Frank at his home in October 2009

programme details...

  • Edition No: 1006
  • Subject No: 981
  • Broadcast date: Mon 19 Oct 1998
  • Broadcast time: 7-7.30pm
  • Recorded: Sun 11 Oct 1998
  • Venue: Teddington Studios
  • Series: 39
  • Edition: 7
  • Code Name: Bird

on the guest list...

  • Beryl - wife
  • Jane - daughter
  • Jonathan – grandson
  • Andrew – grandson
  • David - grandson
  • Dulcie Gray
  • Bill Owen
  • Peter Sallis
  • Kathy Staff
  • Jane Freeman
  • Jean Ferguson
  • Alan Bell
  • Roy Clarke
  • John Ball - brother
  • Joan Ball – sister-in-law
  • Peter Hull
  • Peter Jones
  • Margaret Wolfit
  • Richard Lyndhurst
  • Esther Rogers
  • Iris Russell
  • Johnny Ladd
  • Jean Barber
  • Hugh Lloyd
  • Derek Nimmo
  • Clementina Bentine
  • Richard Bentine
  • Madeline Smith
  • Ursula Smith
  • Mollie Sugden
  • Wendy Richard
  • John Inman
  • David Shepherd
  • Donald Sinden
  • Filmed tributes:
  • Julian Clary
  • June Whitfield
  • Danny La Rue
  • Trevor Bannister

production team...

  • Researcher: Emma Dooley
  • Writer: Ian Brown
  • Directors: John Gorman, Steve Docherty
  • Series Producer: Jack Crawshaw
  • Producer: Sue Green
  • Executive Producer: John Longley
names listed in bold indicate subjects of This Is Your Life
Series 39 subjects: Charles Stewart > Carol Smillie > Roy Walker > Sharron Davies > Christopher Chittell > Barbara Dickson > Frank Thornton > Phillip Schofield > Alastair Stewart > Bob Wilson > Frankie Dettori > Elizabeth Spriggs > Rick Wakeman > Sue Johnston > Bill Deedes > Sylvia Young > Anne Kirkbride > Christopher Biggins > Damon Hill > George Layton > Floella Benjamin > Bill Pertwee > Mark Cook > Gary Mabbutt > Suzi Quatro > Ian Bannen