by Darren Senior
Invaders From Space
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Sam Kydd (Samuel John Kydd) b Belfast, Northern Ireland 15/2/1915 d London, England 26/3/1982
Although born in Ireland, Sam was the son of an English army officer’s son, and he moved to England as a young child. Sam was educated at Dunstable Grammar School in Bedfordshire.
During the mid-1930’s Sam worked as a MC for various big bands such as the Oscar Rabin Band. He would warm up audiences with jokes and impressions and even some tap dance routines then introduce the other singers and attractions on the bill.
By the late thirties he had joined the Territorial Army and when war broke out he was called up for active service.
During an expedition to France he was captured by the Germans and spent the rest of the war as a prisoner of war in a camp in Western Poland. Later Sam talked at length of his time as a prisoner in his autobiography called For You The War Is Over.
It was during his time as a prisoner that Sam took acting and he took command of the camp's theatrical activities - devising and staging plays. He felt so strongly about his work there that, when he was offered repatriation after three years, he turned it down to continue with his theatrical work. In recognition of his valuable services during these years, he was awarded a pair of drama masks made by the Red Cross from barbed wire.
Returning back to England Sam took up acting as a fulltime career, he became a well-known supporting character actor and was to nearly notch up three hundred film and television appearances as he continued to act right up to his death in 1982. His most notable films include The Blue Lamp, The 39 Steps, I’m All Right Jack and The Cruel Sea.
In his personal life he married ex-international table tennis champion Pinkie Barnes (1915-2012), she has played for England and won many trophies during her time. They have one son Johnathan Kydd (1956-) who is also an actor. Sam died of a respiratory ailment.
Dervis Ward b Dowlais, Wales 5/12/1923 d Ascot, England 27/3/1996
A character actor for over thirty years Dervis made his screen appearances as early as 1949, however over the next thirty years he occasionally croppe dup in film and occasionally television notching up over fifty TV and film credits to his name, often appearing in small cameo roles.
John Horsley (John L Horsley) b Westcliff –on-Sea, Essex 1920
A busy actor from the 1950’s, John has played many professional and military roles over the years and has notched up nearly two hundred films and television credits during that time. The son of a doctor he started his professional career at the Bournemouth Theatre in 1938. John’s career was halted in 1939 by the war, after being demobbed he returned to the theatre and various rep companies throughout the country.
His first screen appearance was in the 1950 film Highly Dangerous as a customs officer, this film starred Margaret Lockwood and Wilfred Hyde-White. Further small film roles continued throughout the fifties, in 1954 he was in the comedy film The Runaway Bus. In 1957 he was a regular for two years in the crime drama Shadow Squad as Supt Whitelaw.
Later in 1959 he appeared in a couple of episodes of William Tell with Conrad Phillips in the lead role, also later that year he had an uncredited appearance in the epic film Ben Hur with Charlton Heston. The following year he appeared in the war film Sink The Bismarck!, John remained busy throughout the sixties making guest appearances in Gideons Way (1964), Dixon of Dock Green (1963-66), The Avengers (1962-69), Department S (1969) and The Champions (1969).
From 1976 until 1979 he appeared as Doc Morrissey in the BBC sitcom The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perriin with Leonard Rossiter in the lead role, it is in this comedy that John is best remembered by the public, he was to reprise the character in 1996 in The Legacy of Reginald Perrin. However apart from Reginald Perrin, John remained busy appearing as a regular in the television series Leave it to Charlie (1978-80) Love Among Artists (1979) and Rings on their Fingers (1978-79).
In the eighties he remained as busy, cropping up in The Professionals (1983), Last of the Summer Wine (1983), Coronation Street (1983), CATS Eyes (1985) and Tales of The Unexpected (1988). In 1990 John was cast as Sir Ralph Shawcross in the comedy series You, Rang M’Lord and appeared in the show until 1993. His last screen appearance was in Rebecca in 1997. He was a contender for the role of Lord President Borusa in the Doctor Who serial Arc of Infinity, but the role went to Leonard Sachs. From 1948 John was married to the actress June Marshall.
Michael Brennan (Barnard O’Leary) b London 25/9/1912 d Chichester, West Sussex 29/6/1982
Like Sam Kydd as mentioned above, Michael was a prolific character actor appearing in many films often in small supporting roles. He made his screen debut as early as 1939 and would work in the industry for the next forty years making well over one hundred films and television appearances. His most notable film roles include as Nicholas Nickleby, Thunderball, The Amorous Adventures of Moll Flanders, Tom Jones, and The 39 Steps. On television, he made guest appearances on All Creatures Great and Small (which featured his wife) Mary Hignett (1915-80) who played Edna.