13 July, 2008

Rupert Davies

Rupert Davies was a British actor. He remains best known for playing the title role in the BBC's 1960s television adaptation of the Maigret novels written by Georges Simenon. The TV-Title in Germany: Kommissar Maigret.

Davies was born in Liverpool. After serving in the British Merchant Navy, during the Second World War he served as a second lieutenant observer with the Fleet Air Arm. Having been shot down over the Dutch coast, Davies was taken prisoner in 1942 and interned in the famous Stalag Luft III POW camp. He made three attempts to escape. All failed. It was during his captivity that he began to take part in theatre performances, entertaining his fellow prisoners.

After the war Davies became a staple of British television appearing in numerous plays and series, including Quatermass II, Ivanhoe, Emergency Ward 10, Danger Man and The Champions. He also provided the voice of "Professor Ian McClaine" in the Gerry Anderson series Joe 90.

In 1964 he became the first person to be awarded Pipe Smoker of the Year.

Davies also played supporting roles in many films, appearing briefly as George Smiley in The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (1965). He also appeared in several horror films in the late 1960s, including Witchfinder General (1968) and Dracula Has Risen from the Grave (1968), as well as such international blockbusters as Waterloo (1970) and Zeppelin (1971).

He died of cancer in London in 1976, leaving a wife and two sons, and is buried at Pistyll Cemetery Nefyn in North Wales.

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