Dads’ Army actor Bill Pertwee dies

Bill Pertwee died at 86. Picture: PA
Bill Pertwee died at 86. Picture: PA
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Dad’s Army star Bill Pertwee died peacefully today with his family around him, his agent said.

The actor, who was 86, was known for his role as the air raid warden Hodges in the classic 1970s’ comedy.

Dad's Army actors, Ian Lavender, Clive Dunn and Bill Pertwee. Picture: PA

Dad's Army actors, Ian Lavender, Clive Dunn and Bill Pertwee. Picture: PA

Agent Meg Poole, of Richard Stone Partnership, said: “He was a really, really nice man. Very bright, very intelligent.

“He came from a big theatrical family, a big show business family, and like all of them it was his life and it was very important to him and he was a hugely professional, very clever man.”

Pertwee’s wife died several years ago and he is survived by his son, Jonathan, she added.

Jonathan said: “He would give everything a go. He was very dedicated to the people around him and he was very dedicated to his charity work.

“But also he was very humble about the whole thing, he was the subject of This is Your Life in 1999, and he’d always think how lucky he was.

“He’d say ‘marvellous, isn’t it, to be in this business’, because he said I’m not really a proper actor, but he was extraordinarily versatile.”

Great bond

He said Dad’s Army was very important to his father.

He added: “He loved it. He loved the people in it, it was a big part of his life and he used to have a lot of fun with Clive and John Le Mesurier and Frank Williams and all of them. They just had a great bond.”

The actor had been ill over Christmas and was living at a home in Cornwall at the time of his death.

Pertwee’s argumentative character on Dad’s Army was well known for his frequent wartime cry of “Put that light out!”

The show won a Bafta for best comedy in 1971 and led to a film, which also starred Pertwee, in the same year.

Ms Poole said: “Anybody who was in Dad’s Army was very well known.

“If you’re in Dad’s Army, which has never been off the television in one way or another, they’ve been repeated endlessly by the BBC, they’re repeated endlessly on digital channels and people watch it and it’s still getting incredibly good ratings.”

In 1989 Pertwee also wrote a book book about the making of the series called “Dad’s Army: The Making of a Television Legend”, which was republished in 2009 for the show’s 40th anniversary celebrations.

Honour

He also wrote an autobiography, “A Funny Way to Make a Living”, and “Promenades and Pierrots: One Hundred Years of Seaside Entertainment”.

Several other Dad’s Army stars have also died recently.

Pertwee’s co-star, actor Clive Dunn - who was known for his role as Lance Corporal “Jonesy” Jones, died in November last year aged 92.

Philip Madoc, who was known for his role as a German U-Boat commander in the classic Dad’s Army “Don’t tell him, Pike” also died aged 77 in March last year.

Pertwee received an MBE for his charitable services in June 2007 and said at the time it was a surprise and “a great honour”.

As well as starring in Dad’s Army, Pertwee appeared in three Carry On films, Carry on Loving (1970), Carry on at Your Convenience (1971) and Carry On Girls (1973).