Dinsdale Landen

Dinsdale James Landen (4 September 1932 – 29 December 2003)[1] was a British actor whom The Independent named as an "outstanding actor with the qualities of a true farceur," who became perhaps best known for his television appearances.[2][3][4]

Landen was born at Margate, Kent and educated at King's School, Rochester.[1] He made his television debut in 1959 as the adult Pip in an adaptation of Great Expectations and made his film debut in 1960, with a walk-on part in The League of Gentlemen.[5][2]

He first became well known during the 1960s when he starred in the TV series Mickey Dunne and The Mask of Janus, which was renamed The Spies in later series.[4] He also had a parallel career as a stage actor, including as Richard Dazzle in the RSC's 1970 production of London Assurance;[6] and was Olivier Award nominated for his role in James Saunders's play Bodies in the West End in 1979.[7]

His film roles include appearances in Operation Snatch (1962), A Jolly Bad Fellow (1964), Rasputin, the Mad Monk (1966), Mosquito Squadron (1969), Every Home Should Have One (1970), Young Winston (1972), Digby, the Biggest Dog in the World (1973), International Velvet (1978), Morons from Outer Space (1985)[1] and both The Buccaneers and The Steal in 1995.[2]

On radio, he appeared in the 1973 BBC Radio 4 adaptation of The Foundation Trilogy, as Dr. Watson in the 1974 adaptation of A Study in Scarlet, and as General Bel Riose and Art Gordo in the 1976 adaptation of Jim Eldridge's novel Down Payment on Death.[8][9][10] He portrayed Rupert Purvis in the 1982 production of Tom Stoppard's play The Dog It Was That Died, and played the urbane Ambassador McKenzie in BBC Radio 4 series of Flying the Flag.[11][12]

In 1977 Landen starred in his own situation comedy, Devenish, playing a Basil Fawlty-type character in a Reggie Perrin-type situation, designing board games.[13] In 1980 he starred as Barty in the television series Pig in the Middle with Liza Goddard.[14]

In 1984, Landen achieved a memorable performance as Jean-Martin Charcot in the TV series Freud.[15] In 1985, he and his wife, actress Jennifer Daniel, wrote The True Story of H.P. Sauce.[16]

In 1987 he played the lead in a BBC TV production of What the Butler Saw, playing Dr Prentice in a production also featuring Prunella Scales, Timothy West and Bryan Pringle.[17]

In 1989 he made a guest appearance in Doctor Who, playing Dr. Judson, a wheelchair-using genius, in the serial The Curse of Fenric.[18]

In 1992, Landen provided the voice of the arch villain Mr. Tod in the BBC/Fuji Television children's animated series The World of Peter Rabbit and Friends.[19]

Dinsdale Landen died at his home in South Creake, Norfolk, on 29 December 2003 after becoming ill with pneumonia. He had been diagnosed with oral cancer several years before his death, but was in remission at the time.[3][20] He was married to the actress Jennifer Daniel.[21]

Dinsdale Landen
Born4 September 1932
Margate, Kent, England
Died29 December 2003 (aged 71)
South Creake, Norfolk, England
Years active1959–1997
Spouse(s)Jennifer Daniel (1959–2003; his death)


Year Title Role Notes
1960 The League of Gentlemen Young Man in Gym Receiving Massage Uncredited
1962 The Valiant Norris
1962 Operation Snatch Capt. Wellington
1962 We Joined the Navy Bowles
1964 A Jolly Bad Fellow Fred
1966 Rasputin, the Mad Monk Peter
1969 Mosquito Squadron Wing Commander Clyde Penrose
1970 Every Home Should Have One Vicar Geoffrey Mellish
1972 Young Winston Capt. Weaver
1973 Digby, the Biggest Dog in the World Colonel Masters
1978 International Velvet Mr. Curtis
1985 Morons from Outer Space Commander Grenville Matteson
1995 The Steal Sir Wilmot


  1. ^ a b c Barker, Dennis (31 December 2003). "Dinsdale Landen". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2 September 2016.
  2. ^ a b c "Dinsdale Landen". bfi.org.uk. Retrieved 22 September 2017.
  3. ^ a b "Google Groups". Google.
  4. ^ a b "Dinsdale Landen". aveleyman.com. Retrieved 22 September 2017.
  5. ^ "Great Expectations Part 8 (1959)". bfi.org.uk. Retrieved 22 September 2017.
  6. ^ "Production of London Assurance". theatricalia.com.
  7. ^ "Olivier Winners 1979". olivierawards.com. Retrieved 22 September 2017.
  8. ^ "BBC Radio 3: Isaac Asimov's The Foundation Trilogy : SFFaudio". sffaudio.com.
  9. ^ "A Study in Scarlet, Sherlock Holmes – BBC Radio 4 Extra". BBC.
  10. ^ "Family Announcements, Dinsdale Landen – Funeral Directors and services – Family Announcements Announcements". family-announcements.co.uk.
  11. ^ Hutchins, Michael H. "A Tom Stoppard Bibliography: Plays for Radio". sondheimguide.com.
  12. ^ "End of Term, Series 4, Flying the Flag – BBC Radio 4 Extra". BBC.
  13. ^ "Devenish (1977)". bfi.org.uk. Retrieved 22 September 2017.
  14. ^ Guide, British Comedy. "Pig in the Middle". British Comedy Guide. Retrieved 22 September 2017.
  15. ^ "Freud Part 2 The Hypnotist (1984)". bfi.org.uk. Retrieved 22 September 2017.
  16. ^ "The True Story of H P Sauce". abebooks.co.uk. Retrieved 22 September 2017.
  17. ^ "What the Butler Saw (1987)". bfi.org.uk. Retrieved 22 September 2017.
  18. ^ "BBC – Doctor Who Classic Episode Guide – The Curse of Fenric – Details". BBC. Retrieved 2 September 2016.
  19. ^ DataBase, The Big Cartoon. "The Tale of Mr. Tod (TVC London, Frederick Warne & Co., BBC...)". Big Cartoon DataBase (BCDB). Retrieved 22 September 2017.
  20. ^ "Dinsdale Landen obituary". The Stage. 13 January 2004. Retrieved 22 September 2017.
  21. ^ "Dinsdale Landen, actor". The Scotsman. Retrieved 22 September 2017.

External links

1932 in British television

This is a list of events related to British television in 1932.

A Jolly Bad Fellow

A Jolly Bad Fellow is a 1964 British film directed by Don Chaffey. It stars Leo McKern and Janet Munro.

Blatchington Mill School and Sixth Form College

Blatchington Mill School is a coeducational secondary school and sixth form college in Hove, Brighton and Hove for 11 to 19-year-olds.

Deaths in December 2003

The following is a list of notable deaths in December 2003.

Entries for each day are listed alphabetically by surname. A typical entry lists information in the following sequence:

Name, age, country of citizenship at birth, subsequent country of citizenship (if applicable), reason for notability, cause of death (if known), and reference.

Digby, the Biggest Dog in the World

Digby, the Biggest Dog in the World is the title character of a British children's fantasy-adventure comedy film released in 1973 starring Jim Dale, and directed by Joseph McGrath. A large supporting cast of British movie stalwarts includes Spike Milligan, Angela Douglas, Norman Rossington, Milo O'Shea, Dinsdale Landen and Victor Spinetti. The production included composer Edwin Astley and cinematographer Harry Waxman. The film was based on the novel The Biggest Dog in the World by Ted Key.The film starred Fernville Lord Digby in the title role. Digby was then the reigning Dulux Old English Sheepdog; the company using the breed since 1961 in their advertisements that led to the breed's popularity around the world.

Flying the Flag

Flying the Flag was a BBC radio sitcom set in a British embassy in the Eastern Bloc during the Cold War. It ran for four series, aired from 1987 to 1992, which have been repeated numerous times.

Jennifer Daniel

Jennifer Daniel (born Jennifer Williams; 23 May 1936 – 16 August 2017) was a Welsh actress. Her film appearances included assorted roles in the Edgar Wallace Mysteries film series, Gideon's Way and the Hammer horror films The Kiss of the Vampire (1963) and The Reptile (1966).She played Mrs. Linton in the 1992 film Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights. Her television credits include ITV Play of the Week, Barlow, General Hospital, Rumpole of the Bailey and The Collectors.

London Assurance

London Assurance (originally titled Out of Town) is a five-act comedy by Dion Boucicault. It was the second play that he wrote but his first to be produced. Its first production was by Charles Matthews and Madame Vestris's company and ran from 4 March 1841 at the Theatre Royal, Covent Garden. It was Boucicault's first major success.

Michael Rudman

Michael Rudman (born 14 February 1939) is an American theatre director.

Mickey Dunn

Mickey Dunn may refer to:

Mickey Dunn, a character played by Roger Daltrey in one episode of the American TV series CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (season 7)

Mickey Dunne, the lead character in the eponymous 1967 British TV series played by Dinsdale Landen

Mosquito Squadron

Mosquito Squadron is a 1969 British war film made by Oakmont Productions, directed by Boris Sagal and starring David McCallum. The raid echoes Operation Jericho, a co-ordinated RAF/Maquis raid which freed French prisoners from Amiens jail in which the Mosquito took part.

Rasputin the Mad Monk

Rasputin, the Mad Monk is a 1966 Hammer film directed by Don Sharp and starring Christopher Lee as Grigori Rasputin, the Russian peasant-mystic who gained great influence with the Tsars prior to the Russian Revolution. It also features Barbara Shelley, Francis Matthews, Suzan Farmer, Richard Pasco, Dinsdale Landen and Renée Asherson. The story is largely fictionalized, although some of the events leading up to Rasputin's assassination are very loosely based on Prince Yusupov's account of the story. For legal reasons, the character of Yusupov was replaced by Ivan (Matthews). Yusupov was still alive when the film was released, dying on 27 September 1967.

The emphasis is on Rasputin's terrifying powers both to work magic and to seduce women.

The Glittering Prizes

The Glittering Prizes is a British television drama about the changing lives of a group of Cambridge students, starting in 1952 and following them through to middle age in the 1970s. It was first broadcast on BBC2 in 1976.

The Mask of Janus

The Mask of Janus is a British television series produced by the BBC in 1965, and starred Dinsdale Landen as counter espionage agent Richard Cadell.

The series was set in the fictional European country of Amalia and dealt with the political interests of the British, American and Communist espionage communities within. Eschewing the action formula of its ITV contemporaries (e.g. Danger Man and the early seasons of The Avengers), the series dealt with more politically oriented plots such as defections to the west, awakening "sleeper" agents and the leaking of official secrets. As of 2009, seven of the original episodes of this programme are still missing from BBC archives.

A spin-off series called The Spies, also starring Landen, followed in 1966.

The Spies (TV series)

The Spies is a British television series produced by the BBC in 1966. The main stars were Dinsdale Landen and Simon Oates as counter espionage agents Richard Cadell and Anthony Kelly, together with Peter Arne as Russian agent Copic.

A spin-off or rebranding of the previous 1965 series The Mask of Janus, The Spies was a more conventional espionage thriller series than its predecessor, being more explicitly concerned with the actual operations of British secret service agents stationed in the fictional European country Amalia. The series can be viewed as being a BBC attempt to match the popularity of the ITV action show Danger Man.

Most of this show was wiped (probably in the 1970s) by the BBC; only one episode is known to exist according to www.lostshows.com.

Theatre Night

Theatre Night is the umbrella title under which adaptations of classic and contemporary stage plays were usually broadcast on BBC 2 between 15 September 1985 and 21 July 1990.

Thriller (UK TV series)

Thriller is a British television series, originally broadcast in the UK from 1973 to 1976. It is an anthology series: each episode has a self-contained story and its own cast. As the title suggests, each story is a thriller of some variety, from tales of the supernatural to down-to-earth whodunits.

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.