Years active 1929–1952
|Name Basil Radford|
Role Character actor
|Full Name Arthur Basil Radford|
Born 25 June 1897 (1897-06-25) Chester, England
Died October 20, 1952, London, United Kingdom
Spouse Shirly Deuchars (m. 1926–1952)
Education Royal Academy of Dramatic Art
Movies The Lady Vanishes, Whisky Galore!, Night Train to Munich, It's Not Cricket, Young and Innocent
Similar People Sidney Gilliat, Frank Launder, Alexander Mackendrick, Anthony Asquith, Henry Cornelius
Arthur Basil Radford (25 June 1897, Chester – 20 October 1952, Westminster, London) was an English character actor who featured in many British films of the 1930s and 1940s. He trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and made his first stage appearance in July 1924. He is probably best-remembered for his appearances alongside Naunton Wayne as two cricket-obsessed Englishmen in several films from 1938 to 1949.
Radford was born in the city of Chester in Cheshire, England on 25 June 1897.
First World War
He was a commissioned officer in the British Army's South Staffordshire Regiment in the First World War, in 1918 transferring into the Royal Air Force, ending the war as a subaltern when he was demobilised in 1920. Radford possessed a crescent-shaped scar on his right facial cheek from a wound sustained during his time in the trenches, depending on the lighting and camera angle it was sometimes barely perceptible, but at other times quite prominent, as can be seen in the films The Way to the Stars and Chance of a Lifetime.
The two first appeared as their characters Charters and Caldicott in Alfred Hitchcock's 1938 thriller The Lady Vanishes. They were popular enough to reprise their roles in Night Train to Munich, which was again scripted by Frank Launder and Sidney Gilliat.
They appeared together in several other 1940s films, including Crook's Tour (1941), Millions Like Us (1943), Dead of Night (1945), Quartet (1948), It's Not Cricket (1949), Stop Press Girl (1949), and Passport to Pimlico (1949).
Apart from his long-running partnership with Naunton Wayne, Radford made many other memorable film appearances in character roles. His other films included Young and Innocent (also for Hitchcock) (1937), The Way to the Stars (1945), The Captive Heart (1946), The Winslow Boy (1948) and Whisky Galore! (1949).
Radford's health began seriously to fail in the summer of 1951, forcing him to take a long break from acting. He died of a heart attack on 20 October 1952, while rehearsing for a radio show with Naunton Wayne in London.
In 1926 he married Shirley Deuchars. They had one son.
* Charters and Caldicott films