Siddhesh Joshi (Editor)

Buster Merryfield

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Cause of death
Brain tumor


Actor, Bank manager

Verwood Cemetery

Years active

Buster Merryfield

Karen Merryfield

Buster Merryfield Buster Merryfield

Full Name
Harry Merryfield

27 November 1920 (age 78) (
Battersea, London, England

Known for
Iris Mountford (m. 1942–1999)

Similar People
Lennard Pearce, Nicholas Lyndhurst, David Jason, Roger Lloyd‑Pack, Kenneth MacDonald

23 June 1999 (aged 78) Poole, Dorset, England

Buster Merryfields grave a.k.a "Uncle Albert Only Fools and Horses" 1920 - 1999

Harry "Buster" Merryfield (27 November 1920 – 23 June 1999) was an English actor best known for starring as Uncle Albert in the BBC comedy Only Fools and Horses.


Buster Merryfield merryfieldbusteronlyfoolsandhorses29875ljpg

David Jason, Nicholas Lyndhurst BAFTA / BCA Award Ceremonies.

Early life

Born in Battersea, south London, England, Merryfield was from a working-class background. His father, also called Harry Merryfield, was a packer, and his mother Lily Merryfield (née Stone), was a part-time waitress. His sister Irene Merryfield died when she was eight years old. He was given the name "Buster" by his grandfather, as he weighed nine pounds at birth, and it stuck throughout his entire life, not least because he refused to divulge his real name to anyone during his lifetime and it only became open knowledge after his death.

Buster Merryfield Buster Merryfields Memorial Uncle Albert in Only Fools and Horses

He always prided himself on his fitness, following a strict fitness regime of daily press-ups and swimming sessions. In contrast to Albert's pipe-smoking and rum drinking character, Merryfield was a teetotal non-smoker his entire life. His efforts to stay fit could be traced back to his time as a child boxing star in the 1930s. He was British schoolboy champion in 1936 and Southern Command army champion in 1945. Merryfield was also a keen amateur football player and Millwall fan, regularly attending games at The Den.


Buster Merryfield Buster Merryfields grave aka Uncle Albert Only Fools and Horses

Before turning professional as an actor Merryfield was a keen amateur actor and director. His productions of John Osborne's The Entertainer, The World-My Canvas by Ruth Dixon and A View from the Bridge by Arthur Miller, for the now defunct amateur theatre group The Characters, won Best Play at the Woking Drama Festival in 1966, 1968 and 1969 respectively. He also won the Best Actor trophy for his roles in The Entertainer and The World-My Canvas.

Buster Merryfield BBC News UK Fools stars pay tribute to Buster

Merryfield finally became a professional actor at the age of 57, after working for the Westminster Bank (later the National Westminster Bank) for nearly 40 years, interrupted by his war service. In contrast to his most famous character, Merryfield spent the war in the army, where his fine physique resulted in him being made a PT and jungle warfare instructor. It was during the war that he first discovered his love of acting when he served as an entertainments officer, putting on shows for the other troops. However, upon the end of the war, married and with his wife expecting a daughter, he opted to return to his job at the bank. At Natwest he rose through the ranks, and by the time of his early retirement, in 1978, he was a bank manager at the Thames Ditton branch in Surrey.

Buster Merryfield wwwwearyslothcomGalleryActorsMtve11911198502

When he retired, Merryfield persuaded a repertory company to take him on. He performed at the Connaught theatre in Worthing in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat and Equus. Small parts on television also came his way. Merryfield appeared in Hannah in 1980, as Professor Challis in The Citadel in 1983 and as a Bishop in Strangers and Brothers in 1984.

Merryfield joined Only Fools and Horses in January 1985, as the former seafaring Albert Gladstone Trotter, known as Uncle Albert, who was Grandad Trotter's globetrotting long-lost younger brother, and who was known for Uncle Albert's catchphrase of "During the war..." The character took over the role of senior citizen member of the Trotter family from Lennard Pearce, who played Grandad, after Pearce died unexpectedly in December 1984. Coincidentally, nine months earlier, in March 1984, Merryfield appeared in two episodes of a Shroud for a Nightingale alongside Lennard Pearce. He did much work for various charities, notably the Royal National Lifeboat Institution. He wrote his autobiography, During the War and Other Encounters, in 1996.

In December 1997, he fell over at the British Comedy Awards while walking to the stage to collect an award for David Jason for his part in Only Fools and Horses. Despite cutting his forehead, he continued on and collected the award. Merryfield appeared in pantomime at Christmas 1997 and 1998.


Buster Merryfield died in Poole General Hospital on 23 June 1999, as a result of a brain tumour. He was survived by his wife Iris, whom he married in June 1942, his daughter, Karen and two grandchildren. His body was buried in Verwood, Dorset. Iris died in 2002 from natural causes and was buried alongside him.

Appeared in

  • Only Fools and Horses
  • Shroud for a Nightingale
  • Strangers and Brothers
  • The Citadel
  • The Entertainer
  • Filmography

    Only Fools and Horses: Only Fools Cutaway (TV Short) as
    Uncle Albert Trotter
    Only Fools and Horses (TV Series) as
    Uncle Albert Trotter
    - Time on Our Hands (1996) - Uncle Albert Trotter
    - Modern Men (1996) - Uncle Albert Trotter
    - Heroes and Villains (1996) - Uncle Albert Trotter
    - Fatal Extraction (1993) - Uncle Albert Trotter
    - Mother Nature's Son (1992) - Uncle Albert Trotter
    - Miami Twice (1991) - Uncle Albert Trotter
    - Miami Twice: The American Dream (1991) - Uncle Albert Trotter
    - Three Men, a Woman, and a Baby (1991) - Uncle Albert Trotter
    - He Ain't Heavy, He's My Uncle (1991) - Uncle Albert Trotter
    - The Class of '62 (1991) - Uncle Albert Trotter
    - Stage Fright (1991) - Uncle Albert Trotter
    - The Chance of a Lunchtime (1991) - Uncle Albert Trotter
    - The Sky's the Limit (1990) - Uncle Albert Trotter
    - Rodney Come Home (1990) - Uncle Albert Trotter
    - The Jolly Boys' Outing (1989) - Uncle Albert Trotter
    - Little Problems (1989) - Uncle Albert Trotter
    - Sickness & Wealth (1989) - Uncle Albert Trotter
    - The Unlucky Winner Is- (1989) - Uncle Albert Trotter
    - Chain Gang (1989) - Uncle Albert Trotter
    - Danger UXD (1989) - Uncle Albert Trotter
    - Yuppy Love (1989) - Uncle Albert Trotter
    - Dates (1988) - Uncle Albert Trotter
    - The Frog's Legacy (1987) - Uncle Albert Trotter
    - A Royal Flush (1986) - Uncle Albert Trotter
    - Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? (1986) - Uncle Albert Trotter
    - Video Nasty (1986) - Uncle Albert Trotter
    - Tea for Three (1986) - Uncle Albert Trotter
    - The Longest Night (1986) - Uncle Albert Trotter
    - The Miracle of Peckham (1986) - Uncle Albert Trotter
    - From Prussia with Love (1986) - Uncle Albert Trotter
    - To Hull and Back (1985) - Uncle Albert Trotter
    - As One Door Closes (1985) - Uncle Albert Trotter
    - Watching the Girls Go By (1985) - Uncle Albert Trotter
    - Sleeping Dogs Lie (1985) - Uncle Albert Trotter
    - It's Only Rock and Roll (1985) - Uncle Albert Trotter
    - Hole in One (1985) - Uncle Albert Trotter
    - Strained Relations (1985) - Uncle Albert Trotter
    Noel's House Party (TV Series) as
    The Old Soldier
    - Episode #1.14 (1992) - The Old Soldier
    Love Song (TV Movie) as
    Sir Joshua Stokes
    Shroud for a Nightingale (TV Mini Series) as
    Sir Miles Honeyman
    - Episode #1.3 (1984) - Sir Miles Honeyman
    - Episode #1.2 (1984) - Sir Miles Honeyman
    Strangers and Brothers (TV Series) as
    - Episode #1.1 (1984) - Bishop
    The Citadel (TV Mini Series) as
    Professor Challis
    - Part 6 (1983) - Professor Challis
    - Part 4 (1983) - Professor Challis
    Hannah (TV Series) as
    Uncle Jim
    - Episode #1.3 (1980) - Uncle Jim
    Only Fools and Horses (TV Series) (performer - 2 episodes)
    - The Sky's the Limit (1990) - (performer: "Step Back in Time" - uncredited)
    - Tea for Three (1986) - (performer: "Hey There" - uncredited)
    Only Fools and Horses (TV Series) (this programme is dedicated to the memory of - 1 episode)
    - If They Could See Us Now-..! (2001) - (this programme is dedicated to the memory of: 1920-1999)
    Telly Addicts (TV Series) as
    - Episode #13.0 (1997) - Self
    An Audience with Ronnie Corbett (TV Special) as
    Self - Audience Member (uncredited)
    Surprise! Surprise! (TV Series) as
    - Episode #14.8 (1997) - Self
    - Episode #8.2 (1991) - Self
    Big Break (TV Series) as
    Father Christmas
    - Christmas Panto (1995) - Father Christmas
    That's Showbusiness (TV Series) as
    Self - Panelist
    - Episode #7.14 (1995) - Self - Panelist
    The Hypnotic World of Paul McKenna (TV Series) as
    - Episode #2.1 (1994) - Self
    Noel's House Party (TV Series) as
    - Episode #3.16 (1994) - Self
    Family Fortunes (TV Series) as
    Self - Guest
    - Episode #11.5 (1991) - Self - Guest
    Comic Relief (TV Special) as
    Third Wave (TV Series documentary) as
    - Change of Direction (1991) - Self
    The Paul Daniels Magic Show (TV Series) as
    Uncle Albert Trotter
    - Episode #11.7 (1990) - Uncle Albert Trotter
    Blankety Blank (TV Series) as
    - Episode #13.2 (1989) - Self
    Comic Relief (TV Special) as
    The Royal Variety Show (TV Special) as
    Uncle Albert Trotter
    Archive Footage
    What We Were Watching (TV Series documentary) as
    Uncle Albert Trotter / Father Christmas
    - Christmas 1991 (2021) - Uncle Albert Trotter (uncredited)
    - Christmas 1995 (2020) - Father Christmas (uncredited)
    Sir David Jason at 80: A Lovely Jubbly Celebration (TV Movie) as
    Uncle Albert Trotter
    David Jason: My Life on Screen (TV Mini Series documentary) as
    Uncle Albert Trotter
    - Episode #1.2 (2017) - Uncle Albert Trotter
    50 Greatest Comedy Catchphrases (TV Movie documentary) as
    Uncle Albert Trotter (uncredited)
    The Comedy Christmas (TV Movie documentary) as
    Uncle Albert Trotter (uncredited)
    Comedy Connections (TV Series documentary) as
    Uncle Albert Trotter
    - It Ain't Half Hot, Mum (2007) - Uncle Albert Trotter (uncredited)
    The Best of the Royal Variety (TV Series) as
    Uncle Albert Trotter
    - The Comedians (2006) - Uncle Albert Trotter
    More Great Comedy Moments (Video) as
    Uncle Albert Trotter (uncredited)
    Only Fools and Horses (TV Series) as
    Uncle Albert Trotter
    - If They Could See Us Now-..! (2001) - Uncle Albert Trotter


    Buster Merryfield Wikipedia