The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Monday, October 3, 2022


Peter Bowles, actor in 'To the Manor Born,' dies at 85
In a six-decade career in TV, film and onstage, he played comedy and drama, hapless heroes and villains, often with the air of the archetypal English gent.

by Katharine Q. Seelye



NEW YORK, NY.- Peter Bowles, a dapper British character actor who was best known for his role as an arriviste in the popular British television sitcom “To the Manor Born,” died Thursday. He was 85.

The cause was cancer, according to a statement to the BBC from his agent. No further information was available.

In a six-decade career, Bowles, who was the son of servants and grew up without indoor plumbing, appeared in a merry-go-round of productions in television, film and onstage, alternating between comedy and drama, hapless heroes and villains. Whatever character he played, he often projected the air of what his agent called “the archetypal English gent.”

Bowles’ well-known television credits included roles in “Rumpole of the Bailey,” “The Bounder,” “Only When I Laugh” and the recent series “Victoria.” He wrote and starred in “Lytton’s Diary,” about the life of a newspaper gossip columnist. And he achieved success in “The Irish R.M.,” in which he played a British army officer sent to Ireland as a resident magistrate. The New York Times called the show “devilishly hilarious.”

But he was best known for his portrayal of Richard DeVere in “To the Manor Born.” DeVere, the son of Czech-Polish émigrés, is the nouveau-riche owner of a supermarket who buys a grand English manor house from its original owner, Audrey fforbes-Hamilton, played by Penelope Keith. She moves to a nearby small cottage, from which she eyes DeVere’s activities with considerable disapproval.

“The show was a reflection of the disruptions to the English class system by the recently elected Margaret Thatcher, a shopkeeper’s daughter who had poshed up her voice but was committed to social mobility,” Mark Lawson wrote in an appreciation of Bowles in The Guardian on Thursday.

“The casting of the charming Bowles,” he added, “helped to offset the potentially nasty snobbery of the premise.”

The sitcom aired from 1979 to 1981 in Britain, where it routinely drew audiences of 20 million, astronomical by British standards. Like other British series he was in, it later aired in the United States on PBS.




Peter Bowles was born in London on Oct. 16, 1936. His father, Herbert Reginald Bowles, was a valet and chauffeur to a son of the Earl of Sandwich; his mother, Sarah Jane (Harrison) Bowles, was a nanny employed by the family of the Duke of Argyll in Scotland. (The two met when they both worked for the family of Lord Beaverbrook, the newspaper baron and Cabinet minister under Winston Churchill.)

During World War II, when Peter was 6, the family moved to one of the poorest working-class districts of Nottingham, in the English Midlands, where their house had an outside toilet and no bath.

After appearing in amateur plays in Nottingham, Peter won a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, where his fellow actors included Alan Bates, Peter O’Toole and Albert Finney, with whom he shared a flat.

Bowles started onstage with the Old Vic Company in 1956 with small parts in Shakespeare dramas. Over time, he starred in 45 theatrical productions. He was seen in the early 1990s by director Peter Hall, who then cast him in a string of plays in London’s West End.

After Bowles left the theater for television and comedy, the BBC famously pronounced that he would never work again in drama. But after several television successes, he defied that prediction and returned to the theater as Archie Rice, a failing music-hall performer, in John Osborne’s “The Entertainer” in 1986; he was the first actor to play the part in London since Laurence Olivier in 1957.

Other stage roles included his portrayal of the art dealer Joseph Duveen in “The Old Masters” (2004), a play by Simon Gray about Duveen and art critic Bernard Berenson, directed by Harold Pinter; and of the “seriously posh, clipped-voice husband” Peter Bliss, as the Times described him, in Peter Hall’s 2006 London revival of Noël Coward’s comedy of manners, “Hay Fever” (also set in an English country house).

He continued to act in movies, too, with roles in: “Eyewitness” (1970, released in the U.S. as “Sudden Terror”); “The Steal” (1995); “Color Me Kubrick” (2005) and “The Bank Job” (2008).

He is survived by his wife, actor Susan Bennett, and three children, Guy, Adam and Sasha.

This article originally appeared in The New York Times.










Today's News

March 19, 2022

Exhbition at Royal Academy of Arts draws from the collection of Israel Goldman

Bonhams announces acquisition of US auction house Skinner

Andrew Clemens sand bottle, tall case cocks, & glassware soar past estimates

Doyle to present two auctions of Asian art during Asia Week New York

Executive Director Charles A. Guerin to retire from Biggs Museum of American Art

Christie's to offer meteorites from the collection of Michael Farmer

Sound Botánica opens with new commissions, healing sound baths and over 30 works by Guadalupe Maravilla

Spring 2022 exhibition takes an unparalleled look at a Magritte masterpiece from The Israel Museum collection

San Francisco Ballet appoints Danielle St.Germain-Gordon Executive Director

Lyon Biennale unveils the visual identity of its 16th edition "manifesto of fragility"

'Texas Chain Saw Massacre' and the lessons few horror films get right

Peter Bowles, actor in 'To the Manor Born,' dies at 85

Zimmerli Art Museum extends exhibition dedicated to Ukraine's Post Soviet era art revival

John Dilg now represented by Galerie Eva Presenhuber

Stylecraft and the NGV announce Ashley Eriksmoen as the winner of the 2022 Australian Furniture Design Award

Bruneau & Co.'s online-only Estate Fine Art & Antiques Auction

Museum of the City of New York unveils new immersive installation "Raise Your Voice" by Amanda Phingbodhipakkiya

Driehaus Museum acquires 80 prints from PAN, essential journal of the Avant-Garde

Neue Auctions announces English & Chinese Export Art & Antiques Auction

Colby Museum photography exhibit highlights rare and unpublished works by leading artists

How to Start a Sports Betting Company

Does Home Insurance Cover Paintings, Artwork, and Sculptures?

What Every Online Business Should Know About Labor Attorneys

Photo Booth Rental: The Fun and Easy Way to Make Any Event Memorable

Making Art Work When Working A Hybrid Pattern




Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 



Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

sa gaming free credit

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org juncodelavega.com facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site Parroquia Natividad del Señor
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful