Famous People of Ealing:
Film and Television Celebrities 

By Dr. Piotr Stolarski  

Film Still of Alec Guinness and Joan Greenwood in the Ealing Studios film The Man in the White Suit  (1951)

                       Above: Alec Guinness and Joan Greenwood in the Ealing Studios
                       film The Man in the White Suit 

Christmas is on its way. As well as being a time of religious celebration, it is also a time for recreation as many of us will be watching television or going to the cinema during the Christmas holidays – more so than at other times of the year. December’s blog post is therefore about 35 famous people of Ealing linked to the small screen, silver screen, and the stage. Many actors, TV presenters, as well as comedians and film producers/directors have either lived, worked, or gone to school in Ealing or its surrounding districts. This post is the first in a series detailing the famous people of Ealing; more categories of celebrity will appear next year.  

1946 - (Acton), Actress

Rosalind AyersBorn in Birmingham in 1946, Rosalind Ayres is most famous for playing Lady Lucy Duff-Gordon in the 1997 blockbuster film Titanic

She has appeared in numerous films and television series, including regular performances in Armchair Thriller, Penmarric, Play for Today, The Bounder, Father's Day and Trevor's World of Sport. 

Ayres appeared on the BBC One semi-improvised sitcom Outnumbered as Gran in a number of episodes from 2010 to 2012. 

In addition to her film and television work, in 2011, Ayres provided voice and motion capture work for Katherine Marlowe, the main antagonist of the video game Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception.

Links to Ealing: an Acton resident by the 1970s (Acton Gazette 14/6/1979//13a).  

1896 - 1977 (Ealing), Producer

Photo of Sir Michael BalconBalcon founded Gainsborough Pictures, which was to become a famous British film company, which was based in Islington. In 1938 he worked in partnership with Reginald Baker at Ealing Studios, in charge of production, and was to make the name of Ealing world famous.

At first, during the Second World War, he made serious, often documentary, films. But he is best known for the Ealing comedies, such as Passport to Pimlico (1948), The Lavender Hill Mob (1951), and The Ladykillers (1955).

A modern Wetherspoons pub, ‘The Sir Michael Balcon’ in The Mall, Ealing, is named after him. 

Links to Ealing: Film producer with Ealing Studios, 1938-1956. 

1918 - 2000 (Ealing), Producer 

Photo of Morris BarryMorris Barry was a notable figure on the production side of the BBC in the 1960s and 1970s.

He made his name as a producer and director on productions such as Angels, Compact and ZCars; but his most impressive credit was perhaps as producer of the highly popular dramatisation of Poldark by Winston Graham.

Morris Barry had a strong connection with Doctor Who as well. He directed three stories during the Patrick Troughton years: The Moonbase (1967), The Tomb of the Cybermen (1967) and The Dominators (1968). 

Links to Ealing: one-time Ealing resident in 1960s.  

1976 - (Ealing), TV Presenter

Photo of Angelica BellBorn in 1976 of St. Lucian heritage, Angelica Bell worked on Children’s BBC from 2000 to 2006. She became the main anchor of shows including That’s Genius!, Xchange, 50/50, and Short Change

Since then she has worked on mainstream adult television including Comic Relief, and The One Show. In September 2017, Bell won the twelfth series of BBC's Celebrity MasterChef, beating Dev Griffin and Ulrika Jonsson.

She has also worked for ITV.

Links to Ealing: Grew up in Ealing and educated at Notting Hill & Ealing High School, Ealing. She is the daughter of Labour politician Julian Bell, the leader of Ealing council since 2010.

(See also: articles in Ealing and Acton Gazette – 2/3/2007//3, and 7/1/2011//14.)  

1925 - (Ealing), Actress

Photo of Honor BlackmanHer extensive film career began in 1947, but she is most well-known for her role as Bond girl Pussy Galore in the film Goldfinger (1964). Her portrayal of Cathy Gale in the television series The Avengers (1962-1964) got her the Bond part.

Honor Blackman’s other films include Jason and the Argonauts (1963), Shalako (1968) – alongside Sean Connery and Brigitte Bardot, and Something Big (1971) – with Dean Martin.

She has also worked widely in the theatre, on television, and as a singer. She played Laura West in the ITV television sitcom The Upper Hand (1990-1996). 

Links to Ealing: Educated at North Ealing Primary School and Ealing County Grammar School for Girls.

(See also: articles in Middlesex County Times – 15/10/1965//12 and 11/12/1970//8).  

1941 - (Ealing), Actress

Photo of Julia BreckShe is best known for her frequent appearances in Spike Milligan's Q series (1975– 80), in which she generally appeared as a buxom sexual predator. Breck also appeared in Monty Python's Flying Circus, On the Buses, The Two Ronnies and Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em. Also active in the theatre, she retired from show business in 1982. 

Links to Ealing: Used to live in Ranelagh Road, Ealing.

(See also: 4 articles on her in the Ealing Gazette: 24/2/1978//6, 15/6/1979//15a, 18/12/1981//5a, 5/11/1982//7f).

1960 - (Southall), Film director

Photo of Gurinder ChadhaBorn in Kenya, her family moved to Southall when she was two years’ old, and she considers herself English and Indian. 

Drawing on her own experiences, most of her 15 films explore the lives of Indians living in England. Her most well-known film was the popular Bend it like Beckham (2002). Others include: Bhaji on the Beach (1993),  Bride and Prejudice (2004),  Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging (2008), and It's a Wonderful Afterlife (2010).

Her latest feature is the partition drama Viceroy's House (2017). She was awarded an OBE in 2006. 

Links to Ealing: Lived in Southall from age of two, attending Clifton Primary School.

(See also: Ealing and Acton Gazette article – 19/4/2002//2.) 

1889 - 1977 (Hanwell), Actor

Photo of Charles ChaplinA music hall performer, before travelling to the USA. Famous as a comic actor in films such as City Lights and Modern Times, he rose to fame in the silent film era (early 1900s-1920s). His film The Great Dictator (1940) satirised Hitler.

Considered one of the most important figures in film history, he was also a filmmaker and composer, but his popularity waned from the 1940s. 

Links to Ealing: Attended Central London District School, Hanwell, 1896-1898.

(See: 9 stories on him in Ealing Local History Centre’s Newspaper Card Index under ‘Chaplin, Charlie’, as well as under ‘Schools – Central London District School’. See also: talk by Dr. Jonathan Oates on Central London District Schools and Charlie Chaplin.)  

1957 - 2017 (Ealing), TV Presenter and Actor

Photo of Keith ChegwinInitially an actor on television, film, and in theatre (including a role in Roman Polanski’s film Macbeth (1971)), Keith Chegwin became a household name in the mid-1970s presenting programmes such as Multi-Coloured Swap Shop, Cheggers Plays Pop and, in the 1980s, Saturday Superstore.

Later work has included television shows The Big Breakfast, It’s a Knockout, Naked Jungle, Pointless, Celebrity Big Brother, and Dancing on Ice. 

Links to Ealing: Attended Barbara Speake Stage School, Acton, from the 1960s. An Ealing resident by the 1970s.

(See: three stories on him in the local press – Ealing Gazette 4/4/1975//3b, Midweek Gazette 19/7/1977//3b, Ealing Gazette 24/6/1983//7g – on microfilm at Ealing Local History Centre.)  

1959 - (Ealing), Comedian

Photo of Julian ClaryRaised a Catholic but openly gay, Clary began appearing on television in the mid 1980s and became known for his deliberately stereotypical camp style.

Since then he has also acted in films, television and stage productions, and was the winner of Celebrity Big Brother 10 in 2012. He has released several videos/DVDs of his comedy work.

Other television performances have included ITV Panto, Strictly Come Dancing, Have I Got News For You, and QI.

Clary has also written two comedy books, and used to be a columnist for the New Statesman. He married his partner Ian Mackley in 2016. 

Links to Ealing: Attended St. Benedict’s School, Ealing.  

1891-1958 (Ealing), Actor

Photo of Ronald ColmanWounded in the First World War, Ronald Colman was a popular English actor during the 1920s-1940s. He worked in theatre from 1916, and in film from 1917, capitalising on his charming voice once talking films became the norm.

He won a Best Actor Oscar in 1947 for A Double Life, having received nominations for Bulldog Drummond (1929), Condemned (1929) and Random Harvest (1942). Other classics starring Colman included A Tale of Two Cities (1935), Lost Horizon (1937) and The Prisoner of Zenda (1937).

Colman has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his contributions to motion pictures and television. He also worked in radio from 1945. 

Links to Ealing: Attended the Rolandseck School, Haven Green, Ealing.  

1930 - (Acton), Actor

Photo of Sean ConneryCharismatic Scotsman, most famous for his portrayal of Ian Fleming's James Bond in seven films, 1962-1967, in 1971 and 1983.

He won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar in 1988 for his role in The Untouchables.

His film career also includes such films as Marnie, The Name of the Rose, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, The Hunt for Red October, Finding Forrester, Highlander, Murder on the Orient Express, Dragonheart, and The Rock.

He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2000, and retired from acting in 2006. 

Links to Ealing: He lived at a house called Acacia, in Centre Avenue, Acton (1962-1967), taking some part in local life.

(See also: references to Connery in Newspaper Card Index, and in Cumulative Index, at Ealing Local History Centre.) 

1921 - 1984 (Ealing), Comedian and Magician

Photo of Tommy CooperA tall figure famed for his red tarboosh, Cooper served in the British Army in North Africa, where he honed his comedy and magic skills with the troops.

He joined the Magic Circle and had become one of the most famous comedians around by the 1970s, largely owing to his television appearances, and his trademark ‘failed’ magic tricks.

He had a heart attack on live television in 1984, and died soon afterwards. 

Links to Ealing: His daughter, Vicky, attended Lourdes Mount School, Ealing, in the 1960s.

(see: Middlesex County Times, 15/7/1966//1).  

1910 - 1999 (Ealing), Film Director

Photo of Charles CrichtonBeginning as a film editor in 1931, Charles Crichton started working at Ealing Studios in 1940, where he was most famous for directing films such as Against the Wind (1948), The Lavender Hill Mob (1951), and The Titfield Thunderbolt (1953).

Later films he directed during the 1950s included The Divided Heart (1954), Law and Disorder (1958), and Floods of Fear (1959). He also directed Peter Sellers in The Battle of the Sexes (1959).

After reduced success in the 1960s, his next film was A Fish Called Wanda (1987), but he also directed for television, including shows such as The Professionals, and Dick Turpin

Links to Ealing: Director of Ealing Studios films (1940s-1950s).

(See also: Obituary in Ealing and Acton Gazette 24/9/1999//3b; and references in Ephemera Files H94-H97 and Cumulative Index at Ealing Local History Centre.) 

1934 - (Ealing), Actress

Photo of Dame Judi DenchOne of the most recognisable English theatre, television, and cinema actresses of recent times. Her theatre career began in 1957, and embraced the National Theatre Company and the Royal Shakespeare Company.

A seven-time Oscar nominee, Dench won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Queen Elizabeth I in Shakespeare in Love and has received nominations for her roles in Mrs Brown (1997), Chocolat (2000), Iris (2001), Mrs Henderson Presents (2005), Notes on a Scandal (2006), and Philomena (2013).

Dench has received numerous other awards, and she played ‘M’ in James Bond films between 1995 and 2015. 

Links to Ealing: Became Vice-President of Questors Theatre, Ealing, in 1981 (EG 6/2/81//1e), and President of Questors Theatre in 1985 (EG 6/9/85//15d).  

1954 - 1994 (Ealing), Actress

Photo of Lynne FrederickKnown for her classical ‘English rose’ beauty, Lynne Frederick’s career spanned the 1970s during which time she made about thirty films or television drama appearances. These included the role of Catherine Howard in Henry VIII and his Six Wives. She married Peter Sellers in 1977 to become his fourth and final wife. After his death she struggled with depression and self-harming, married twice more, but died aged 39 in California, USA. 

Links to Ealing: Born in Hillingdon but later lived in Hanger Hill. Attended Notting Hill and Ealing High School.  

1956 - (Ealing), Actress 

Photo of Fiona FullertonBest known for her role as KGB spy Pola Ivanova in the 1985 James Bond film A View to a Kill and as Alice in the 1972 film Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, she began as a child actor in 1969. Other roles have included: TV serials Angels, The Charmer, Hold the Dream, and Shaka Zulu. Having taken part in Strictly Come Dancing on BBC television (2013), she is now a landlady with properties in London and Oxford. 

Links to Ealing: Lived in Ealing, by 1977, when she formed a drama company in the borough, to c. 1983, when she moved to live in central London.

(See: 11 stories on her in Newspaper Card Index: 'Fullerton, Fiona'.).  

1958 -  (Acton), Television Personality 

Photo of Sarah GreeneAnyone growing up in the 1980s will remember Sarah Greene as a presenter on Blue Peter, Saturday Superstore, and Going Live – working with the likes of Keith Chegwin, Mike Read, and Phillip Schofield.

An actress by training, she was one of the most recognisable faces of late 80’s/early 90’s television. Later acting roles included the Doctor Who serial Attack of the Cybermen, Casualty, Brookside, French & Saunders, as well as the hoax paranormal programme called Ghostwatch.

She has also presented on This Morning, and took part in 2008’s Dancing on Ice on television. 

Links to Ealing: Lived in a house in Bedford Park in late ‘80s, early ‘90s (author’s knowledge).


1914 - 2000 (Ealing), Actor

Photo of Alec GuinnessIn films, Guinness was initially associated mainly with the Ealing Comedies, and particularly for playing nine characters in Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949).

Other films he starred in from this period included The Lavender Hill Mob (1951), The Man in the White Suit (1951), and black comedy The Ladykillers (1955): with all three ranked among the best British films.

Later notable roles included Emperor Marcus Aurelius in The Fall of the Roman Empire (1964), Yevgraf in Doctor Zhivago (1965), King Charles I in Cromwell (1970), and Obi-Wan Kenobi in the Star Wars films (from 1977). Television work included the role of George Smiley in John le Carré’s Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (1979).

Guinness won an Academy Award, a BAFTA, a Golden Globe and a Tony Award. He converted to Catholicism in 1956, and was knighted in 1959. 

Links to Ealing: Acted in the Ealing Comedies (1949-1955).

(See local obituaries in: Southall Gazette 11/8/2000//14a, photo; Ealing and Acton Gazette 11/8/2000//15, photo.)  

1908 - 1975 (Ealing), Actor

Photo of William HartnellHaving worked in theatre from 1925, Hartnell starred in over 60 films from 1932. He served in the Royal Tank Corps in World War Two, but left after 18 months due to a nervous breakdown.

Upon returning to acting, he was well known for his role as Sergeant Grimshaw, the title character of the first Carry On film, Carry On Sergeant (1958), and Company Sergeant Major Percy Bullimore in the sitcom The Army Game from 1957 until 1958, and again in 1960.

His final film was in 1963 – playing ‘Dad’ Johnson in This Sporting Life. However, he played his most famous role on television: the first incarnation of Doctor Who in the hit BBC series, from 1963 to 1966.

Links to Ealing: Sometime Ealing resident, most probably during the filming of Doctor Who at Ealing Studios in the 1960s.

(See: stories in Middlesex County Times – 1 July 1966, p. 16; 12 August 1966, p. 6.) 

1914 - 1966 (Ealing), Comedian 

Photo of Arthur HaynesHaynes served with the Royal Engineers during World War Two, becoming an entertainer with the troops.

Working with fellow comedian Charlie Chester on BBC radio in the late 1940s, he later starred in the comedy sketch television series The Arthur Haynes Show, from 1956 to 1966, making him famous nationwide and beyond.

He also performed in films, starring alongside the likes of Michael Caine and Cary Grant, and appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show in the United States.

Links to Ealing: Died of a heart attack in Ealing (where he probably lived) in 1966.

(See: newspaper articles in local press – Middlesex County Times 30 December 1966, and Middlesex County Times 25 November 1966, p. 1.) 

1911 - 2003 (Ealing, Perivale), Actress 

Photo of Thora HirdThora Hird was a triple BAFTA Award-winning English actress and comedian of stage and screen, presenter and writer. Her career spanned almost 65 years, and she appeared in more than 100 films, becoming a household name and a British institution.

She was best known for television comedy in the sitcoms Meet the Wife (1963–66), In Loving Memory (1979–86), Hallelujah!(1983–84), and for nearly two decades as Edie Pegden in Last of the Summer Wine (1986–2003).

Hird was a committed Christian, hosting the religious programme Praise Be!, a spin off from Songs of Praise on the BBC. Her work for charity and on television in spite of old age and ill health made her an institution. Her advertisements for Churchill stairlifts also kept her in the public eye.

She was created an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1983 and raised to Dame Commander (DBE) in 1993.

Links to Ealing: She worked at the Ealing Studios, appearing the 1942 film Went the Day Well? and lived at Perivale during c. 1939-c. 1945. 

1967 - (Ealing), Historian and TV Presenter

Photo of Bettany HughesBettany Hughes is an historian of the ancient period who has appeared on television since the 2000s.

Her books include Helen of Troy (2005) and The Hemlock Cup (2010). Her numerous television appearances have included presenting roles in: The Spartans (2003), Athens: the Dawn of Democracy (2007), and Britain’s Secret Treasures (since 2012). She has also worked extensively on radio.

Educated at St. Hilda’s College, Oxford, she is currently a research fellow at King's College London, a tutor for Cambridge University's Institute of Continuing Education, an honorary fellow at Cardiff University, and the recipient of an honorary doctorate at the University of York. She is also the sister of Simon Peter Hughes the cricketer and TV cricket commentator. 

Links to Ealing: She won a bursary to attend Notting Hill and Ealing High School in Ealing. Also an Ealing resident. 

(See: local newspaper articles – Ealing and Acton Gazette 4/11/2005//27, and 23/5/2008//24).  

1913 - 1976 (Ealing, Acton), Actor

Photo of Sidney JamesBorn in South Africa, Sid James served as a lieutenant in an entertainment unit in the army in World War Two.

He arrived in the UK in 1946. Working in British films from 1947, his breakthrough came on radio with Hancock’s Half Hour.

Sid James appeared in three Southall Studios films between 1951 and 1953.

He acted in nine Ealing Studios films, including The Lavender Hill Mob (1951), The Titfield Thunderbolt (1953), and The Shiralee (1957). 

Thereafter, most famously, he also starred in many of the Carry On comedies (two of which, Carry on Teacher and Carry on Constable, were filmed in Ealing), becoming a household name with one of the most recognisable faces in show business.

He died in 1976 of a heart attack while performing in the theatre. 

Links to Ealing: Starred in three Southall Studios films in the early 1950s. Later starred in nine Ealing Studios films. James resided in Pope's Lane, and 35 Gunnersbury Avenue (19561963), and later lived in Acton.

(See: Local History blog, ‘Carry on Filming’ by Paul Howard Lang (April 2016 post about Sid James)).

1924 - 2012 (Ealing), Broadcaster

Photo of Kenneth KendallKendall was a school teacher before becoming a captain in the Coldstream Guards – being wounded on D-Day in World War Two.

He became the first newsreader to appear on BBC television reading the news, in 1955. He was a newsreader for both ITV and the BBC on television for many years.

He presented the Channel 4 game show Treasure Hunt from 1982-1989. He also presented Songs of Praise, and had small parts in a few films.

A homosexual, Kendall entered into a civil partnership with Mark Fear in 2006, with whom he lived on the Isle of Wight. He died, following a stroke,in 2012.

Links to Ealing: Ealing resident. He often appeared at charity or public events locally, 1972 - 1977 (See: ‘Kendall, Mr. Kenneth’ in Newspaper Card Index).  

1890 - 1965 (Ealing), Actor

Photo of Stan LaurelBorn Arthur Stanley Jefferson in Lancashire, he began his career in music hall, and went on to make 107 short films with his comedy partner Oliver Hardy, between 1917 and 1951.

In 1961, Laurel was given a Lifetime Achievement Academy Award for his pioneering work in comedy. He has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and is considered to have been one of the most significant actors in early film and comedy. 

Links to Ealing: Stan Laurel's parents (Arthur and Venetia Jefferson) lived at 49 Colebrook Avenue, West Ealing from c.1916-1940. When their son and Hardy were on a UK tour in the 1930s they visited them and also appeared at an Ealing cinema. 

1946 - (Southall), Actress

Photo of Hayley MillsDaughter of Sir John Mills. Highly rated in her early career, Hayley Mills won the BAFTA Award for Most Promising Newcomer for her performance in the British crime drama film Tiger Bay (1959), the Academy Juvenile Award for Disney's Pollyanna (1960) and Golden Globe Award for New Star of the Year – Actress in 1961.

She has appeared in many Disney films since the 1960s. Other roles in theatre and film, including the Agatha Christie tale, Endless Night, have followed.  

Links to Ealing: She lived at Norwood Green, Southall, until 1984. Among the many local ceremonies she was involved in, she opened the St. John's Ambulance bazaar in 1976, and became Vice-President of the local branch. By 1984, she had left the district, moving to central London.

(See: 10 stories on her in Newspaper Card Index: 'Mills, Hayley'). 

1914 - 1999 (Acton), Actor

Real name William Rowbotham, Bill Owen is best remembered for playing the part of the disreputable William ‘Compo’ Simmonite in the TV comedy series Last of the Summer Wine, about three elderly Yorkshiremen (1973-2000).

He also appeared in around 40 films between 1945 and 1990, and was a successful songwriter during the 1960s. He was awarded the MBE in 1976. 

Links to Ealing: Bill Owen was born and lived in Bridgman Road, Acton, and attended Acton Central School. After leaving school he worked at Eastman's, Horn Lane, Acton, as a dyer and cleaner. His son, Tom, was born in 1949, and moved to Acton in 1983. He is also an actor, and has played the part of Compo's son on TV from 1999.

(See: four stories including obituary in Newspaper Card Index: 'Owen, Bill'. Also see: 2 stories and obituary listed in Cumulative Index: 'Owen, Bill'). 

1960 - (Ealing), Actress

Photo of Catherine RabettShe played Cecily ‘Cissy’ Meldrum in the BBC sitcom You Rang, M'Lord? (1988– 1993).

In the theatre, she has played Grace Kelly in Dial M for Murder both on tour and in the West End (1999-2002), and took the lead in The Thirty-Nine Steps (2003-2005).

Other film and television roles have included parts in the Bond film The Living Daylights (1987), and television series Auf Wiedersehen, Pet, and Bergerac.

A former girlfriend of Prince Andrew she has a First class degree in Art History and has been involved in curating and picture research. 

Links to Ealing: Lived in Ealing in the 1980s. Prince Andrew attended a party at her house in 1984 – stoking rumours of a romance

(see: Ealing Gazette 24 February 1984, p. 1).  

1908 - 1985 (Ealing), Actor 

Photo of Michael RedgraveHaving studied in Cambridge, he made his theatre debut in 1934, appearing in several plays (many Shakespearean) in London before the war. He served in the Royal Navy during World War Two, but was discharged on medical grounds in 1942, and was soon acting and directing in theatre during and after the war.

While primarily a theatre actor and director into the mid-1970s, he also appeared on television and in films, such as Mourning Becomes Electra (1947) for which he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor.

The 1950s also saw Redgrave in The Importance of Being Earnest (1952), The Dambusters (1954), 1984 (1956), Time Without Pity (1957), for which he was nominated for a BAFTA Award, and The Quiet American (1958). He died of Parkinson’s disease in 1985.

Links to Ealing: President of Questors Theatre, Ealing, from 1958, he laid the foundation stone for the new Questors Theatre in 1963.

(See: 5 stories on him in Newspaper Card Index under 'Redgrave, Sir Michael').

1957 - (Hanwell), Actress

Photo of Amanda RedmanShe is most famous for her TV role as Sandra Pullman in the BBC drama series New Tricks (2003-2013). She received BAFTA TV Award nominations for At Home with the Braithwaites (2000–03) and Tommy Cooper: Not Like That, Like This (2014). She has also starred in Dangerfield and Little Dorrit.

Her film roles include For Queen and Country (1988), Sexy Beast (2000) and Mike Bassett: England Manager (2001).

She received an MBE in 2012 for her acting and charity work. Her most recent work includes playing Dr. Lydia Fonseca in the TV series The Good Karma Hospital (2017). 

Links to Ealing: Hanwell resident by 1998

(see local press article – Ealing Gazette 30 January 1998, pp. 16-17). 

1954 - (Ealing), Actress and Singer

Photo of Liz RobertsonHas performed in West End (London) and on Broadway (New York). She played the lead as Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady in London in 1979-1980. She is especially well known for her performances as Madame Giry, having played the role in the original cast of Love Never Dies at the Adelphi Theatre, in The Phantom of the Opera at Her Majesty's Theatre and in The Phantom of the Opera at the Royal Albert Hall.

Links to Ealing: Ealing resident.   

 (See: local newspaper stories – Ealing Gazette 26 October 1979, p. 1a; Ealing Gazette 25 July 1980, p. 5a.) 

1946 - (Ealing, Acton), Actor

Photo of David SuchetWell known TV and theatre actor, particularly for his role as Agatha Christie’s private detective Hercule Poirot, from 1989 (earning a BAFTA nomination in 1991). He began his theatre career sometime before 1973.

He played the lead in the 1984 BBC miniseries Freud. More recent screen roles have included Cardinal Wolsey (2003) for ITV; and tycoon Robert Maxwell and vampire hunter Abraham Van Helsing (both for the BBC in 2006). He finished playing Poirot in 2013, having acted in 13 series of the popular drama.

He has been starring as Lady Bracknell in The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde at the Vaudeville Theatre in London since June 2015 and on tour.

Links to Ealing: Lived in Ealing by 1979, and in Acton by 1985

(see: 3 stories on him in Newspaper Card Index: 'Suchet, David'). See feature on him and his wife in Ealing Gazette, 30 November, 1979 (and brief article on him winning an award for a radio play, in same or previous issue).  

1964 - (Ealing), Actor

Photo of Andy SerkisHe is best known for his performance capture roles comprising motion capture acting, animation and voice work for such computer-generated characters as Gollum in The Lord of the Rings film trilogy (2001–2003) and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012).

Other work includes King Kong in the eponymous 2005 film, Caesar in the Planet of the Apes reboot series (2011–17), Captain Haddock / Sir Francis Haddock in Steven Spielberg's The Adventures of Tintin (2011), and Supreme Leader Snoke in Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens (2015) and is set to reprise the role in Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi (2017).

Upcoming performance capture role includes being cast as Baloo in Jungle Book (2018).

Links to Ealing: Had Catholic parents and was a former pupil at St. Benedict's School, Ealing.

(See: Ealing and Acton Gazette, 10 January 2003, pp. 21a-e – tipped for an Oscar for role in Lord of the Rings.)  

(no dates) (Ealing), TV Presenter

Photo of Bob WellingsHe originally worked for Anglia Television's local news About Anglia in Norwich from 1960, as a reporter and presenter. He joined the BBC Television's South East regional news in 1969 before working on Nationwide from 1971 remaining on the programme until 1979.

He also co-presented That's Life! for a time, Look East and BBC 1's daytime Open Air (1986–89) programme. Later he joined Sky News.

Links to Ealing: Ealing resident by mid-1970s, he opened fairs and bazaars locally.

(See: 11 stories on him in Newspaper Card Index under 'Wellings, Bob'). 

Further Reading

Wikipedia entries for the above, and local newspaper articles as listed. 

In this section:

What's On Guide & Ealing Highlights

Sign up for our e-newsletter

Get regular updates by email on events and activities in the borough. Simply join the mailing list.

Click here