Geoffrey Davies obituary


Geoffrey Davies, who has died aged 84, was a well-recognized face on tv enjoying the upper-crust, silver-tongued Dr Dick Stuart-Clark in a string of ITV medical sitcoms based mostly on Richard Gordon’s Physician books.

The actor, whose character has nurses swooning over him, was described by a critic as “blond with good-natured blue eyes and the type of indolent beauty that recommend cricket matches and tea on the garden”.

Only a 12 months after leaving drama college, Davies was solid in Physician within the Home (1969-70) as Stuart-Clark amongst a bunch of medical college students together with the earnest however simply led Michael Upton (performed by Barry Evans), the laddish Duncan Waring (Robin Nedwell) and the nurse-chasing, studies-neglecting Paul Collier (George Layton).

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Geoffrey Davies proper, with Clive Merrison in The Labours of Erica, 1989. {Photograph}: Fremantle Media/Shutterstock

Ernest Clark acted the fearsome Professor Loftus, their mentor on the fictional St Swithin’s educating hospital, for the 2 sequence, with John Cleese, Invoice Oddie and Graeme Backyard among the many scriptwriters.

Davies was so convincing that he was even mistaken for a medic in actual life. “I as soon as pulled up at a visitors accident to see if every part was all proper when somebody noticed me and stated, ‘It’s OK, we’ve obtained a health care provider,’” he recalled.

When the scholars certified, Davies, Evans and Layton – joined by Richard O’Sullivan as Dr Lawrence Bingham – have been transplanted to Physician at Massive for 2 sequence in 1971. Davies’s character, stereotypically, labored in a luxurious Harley Avenue follow. Physician in Cost (1972-73), Physician at Sea (1974) and Physician on the Go (1975 and 1977) adopted.

Davies additionally appeared on Australian stage excursions of Physician within the Home in 1974 and Physician in Love in 1979, main to a different TV sequel, Physician Down Beneath, made in Melbourne – that includes him and Nedwell – and screened on either side of the world. In 1991, the BBC much less efficiently revived the sitcom as Physician on the Prime, with Stuart-Clark as professor of surgical procedure at St Swithin’s, married with a daughter.

Born in Leeds, Geoffrey was the son of Emma (nee Walsh) and Harry Davies, an accountant. His father wished him to be a financial institution supervisor, however on leaving grammar college he grew to become an apprentice industrial artist on the Leeds-based card and board video games producer Waddingtons and spent evenings performing with the newbie Arts Centre drama group at Leeds Civic theatre.

Following nationwide service, Davies turned down the prospect to return to Waddingtons to be able to flip skilled as an actor. A journalist pointed him within the route of the White Rose Gamers repertory firm at Harrogate theatre, which employed him as an assistant stage supervisor. Benjamin Whitrow, a fellow actor there, inspired Davies to go to drama college and helped him to arrange for auditions.

After a 12 months, with a neighborhood authority grant and lead roles behind him, he started coaching at Rada. Shortly earlier than his commencement in 1968, he was noticed in its manufacturing of Noël Coward’s Current Laughter by an agent who signed him up.

He made his display debut because the well-bred Lieutenant Faversham within the star-studded 1969 movie Oh! What a Pretty Battle, a biting critique of first world conflict slaughter within the trenches, tailored from the musical staged by Joan Littlewood and her Theatre Workshop. Then got here the position that made him well-known.

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Geoffrey Davies and Glynis Barber in And Then There Had been None on the Duke of York’s theatre, London, in 1987. {Photograph}: Alastair Muir/Shutterstock

“I spoke to my agent once I heard that ITV have been casting Physician within the Home, however each half had gone,” recalled Davies. “Then, the actor who was attributable to play medical scholar Dr Stuart-Clark dropped out and I obtained an audition.”

The Physician sequence took up Davies’s total Seventies TV profession earlier than he displayed his expertise for drama, notably with an on-and-off position within the Jersey detective drama Bergerac as Roger Dubree (from 1981 to 1984), solicitor of the shady, cigar-puffing Charlie Hungerford (Terence Alexander).

He was again to laughs for the sitcom The Labours of Erica (1989-90), enjoying Dexter Rook, declaring his love for the lead character (Brenda Blethyn), who has no time for love as she ticks off her bucket listing of unfulfilled experiences and adventures.

Throughout comedy and drama, Davies was solid to aristocratic sort as a fancy-dress Charles II in The Different ’Arf (in 1981), Lord Wishbury in The Bretts (1987) and Choose Phelps-Gordon in EastEnders (2002), when Little Mo was discovered responsible of tried homicide (though later launched). In 1992, he performed a barrister within the daytime cleaning soap Households, wherein his actor daughter, Emma, had a lead position.

Davies was additionally prolific – and in style – in provincial theatre, sometimes praised by one critic for having “a marvellous time huffing and puffing as lecherous Colonel Craddock” in Peter Gordon’s Agatha Christie spoof Murdered to Dying on tour in 2002, whereas one other described him as “an actual deal with because the blustering, sherry-swigging, foreigner-hating colonel”.

He appeared within the West Finish as Teddy Deakin in a revival of the Arnold Ridley play The Ghost Prepare (Vaudeville theatre, 1977), Peter in Homicide in Thoughts, by Terence Feely (Strand, now Novello, theatre, 1982), and Philip Lombard within the Agatha Christie thriller And Then There Had been None (Duke of York’s theatre, 1987-88).

“Tv is enjoyable, however there’s nothing like going out on stage and enjoying to a reside viewers,” he stated.

Davies is survived by his spouse, Ann (nee Wheeler), whom he married in 1962, Emma and a grandchild, Camille.


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