Farewell Corporal Jones - Dad’s Army actor Clive Dunn dies at the age of 92
The ranks of Walmington-on-Sea's Home Guard platoon have been further depleted by the loss of another old warrior, with the death of Clive Dunn.
The Dad's Army star died earlier this week at his home in Portugal, where he lived for 20 years, from complications stemming from an operation. His agent, Peter Charlesworth, said: "He will be a real loss to the acting profession."
The 92-year-old actor, who specialised in playing elderly men even at the beginning of his long career, was best known as Corporal Jack Jones – a bumbling Boer War veteran whose recollections of long-ago skirmishes with fearsome "fuzzy wuzzies" were guaranteed to incur the ire of his commanding officer, Captain Mainwaring.
Although Dunn played one of the oldest characters in the classic sitcom, originally broadcast between 1968 and 1977, he outlived nearly all of his co-stars, who included Arthur Lowe and John Le Mesurier. Such was the popularity of "Jonesey" the butcher that his catchphrase "Don't panic!" – normally accompanied by him jumping up and down and pointing his rifle in a state of extreme agitation – has passed into the national lexicon.
Dunn, who was also a successful stage singer, secured one of Britain's biggest novelty pop hits with "Grandad", a sentimental tune written by bassist Herbie Flowers. It gave Dunn a No 1 hit in 1971 and spawned a successful children's comedy series.
The actor's fledgling film career was interrupted by military service in the Second World War, when he served with the 4th Queen's Own Hussars, spending four years in prisoner-of-war and labour camps in Austria. He once described his Dad's Army success as payback for his time incarcerated. Returning to civilian life, Dunn employed his comic talents alongside Tony Hancock before securing the role with which he would forever be associated.
Ian Lavender, who played Private Pike in the show, said Dunn was a good friend. He said: "Out of all of us he had the most time for the fans. Everyone at one time or another would be tempted to duck into a doorway or bury their head in a paper but not Clive, he always made time for fans. He wanted everyone to have a nice time."
Music Why this music festival is still the place to spot the next big thing
Film review Michael Glatze biopic isn't about a self-hating gay man gone straight
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Germanwings crash: Police make 'significant discovery' at home of co-pilot Andreas Lubitz
- 2 Zayn Malik already working on solo material, just days after quitting One Direction
- 3 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 4 #FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
- 5 Jeremy Clarkson calls on trolls to leave producer Oisin Tymon alone: 'None of this is his fault'
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Jeremy Clarkson courted by Russian Ministry of Defence TV station to present motoring show
One Direction fans campaign to buy the band after Zayn Malik quits
Zayn Malik already working on solo material, just days after quitting One Direction
Fifty Shades of Grey movie shows first sex scene 'after 40 minutes'
Nigel Farage brands LGBT activists 'filth' and 'scum' and accuses them of scaring away his children after they invade his local pub
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Russia threatens Denmark with nuclear weapons if it tries to join Nato defence shield
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Germanwings plane crash live: Andreas Guenter Lubitz intentionally crashed flight 9525 into the Alps in act of mass murder and suicide – latest