Terence Longdon: Actor whose credits included 'Garry Halliday', the 'Carry On' films and 'Ben-Hur'

Between 1959 and 1962 the hero of Saturday-evening television was Terence Longdon as the eponymous Garry Halliday, ace commercial-airline pilot, international man of mystery and the BBC's answer to Patrick McGoohan's Danger Man.

Halliday was the sort of chap who was never fazed either by caddish smugglers or his arch-enemy "The Voice". That the series enjoyed 50 episodes is a testament to Longdon's talent for light comedy which also made him a stalwart of the nascent Carry On team in their black-and-white era.

Terence Longdon was born Hubert Tuelly Longdon in Newark, Nottinghamshire, in 1922 and educatedat Minster Grammar School in Southwell. After serving as a Fleet AirArm officer during the Second World War, Longdon studied at Rada between 1946 and 1948. On graduation, he joined the Shakespeare Memorial Company, playing Prince Hal to Anthony Quayle's Falstaff in Henry IV Part I. In 1954 he toured the US with the Old Vic Company, appearing as Lysander in A Midsummer Night's Dream.

Longdon then became a contracted artist for the Rank Organisation, but from Simon and Laura (1955) to Doctor at Large (1957), Pinewood seemingly required little more of him than to don either a tweed sports coat or a long white coat and utter the word "gosh" a great deal. A later cameo in Carry On Constable as a faintly sinister confidence trickster strongly hinted at a knack for playing smoothly menacing villains that Rank had failed to exploit. He also appeared in 1958's Another Time, Another Place, a film that uniquely combined the talents of Lana Turner, Sean Connery and Sid James.

Longdon's two best-remembered cinema roles both date from the late 1950s, albeit at opposite ends of the budget spectrum. On hearing that Ben-Hur was being shot in Italy, Longdon casually loaded his golf clubs into his car and drove from London to Rome, where his enterprise was rewarded with part of Drusus. And in 1958 Longdon was cast as an amiable, if incredibly over-age, aristocratic National Service recruit in the very inexpensive Carry On Sergeant. The film was such a vast commercial success that a second Carry On was put into production later that year; Carry On Nurse gave Longdon more scope to display his talent for deadpan comedy, as a recuperating journalist who sardonically comments on the actions of Kenneth Williams and Co.

Longdon made four Carry Ons in total, leaving after 1961's Regardless, an especially weak entry in the series which was still a work of art as compared with What a Whopper (1961), an alleged comedy in which Longdon assisted Adam Faith in his pursuit of the Loch Ness monster. The Carry Ons would not find such an ideal straight man/romantic lead until Jim Dale joined the team several years later, but by now Longdon was a TV icon in Garry Halliday, joshing with his co-pilot Terence Alexander and fighting trilby-hatted villainy. It was the actor's favourite role but sadly only one episode survives in the BBC archives.

After the end of Garry Halliday, Longdon's television career mainly took the form of guest appearances.In 1983 he played Wilf Stockwell, one of Elsie Tanner's many old flamesin Coronation Street, and he actedas an extremely po-faced foil to Victoria Wood on two separate occasions. Longdon's last starring film rolewas in the 1963 B-film Clash ByNight, in which his efforts to thwart the demented arsonist Peter Sallis were handicapped by being handcuffed to Harry Fowler. One of his final cinematic appearances was in The Sea Wolves, a Second World War-era drama set in Goa.

From the mid-1960s onwards, Longdon mainly concentrated on his stage career, starring opposite Kenneth More in William Douglas-Home's The Secretary Bird and, in 1990, taking the title role in Julius Caesar for the Compass Theatre Group. Longdon's velvety tones were used for many voice-overs and he was working until 11 weeks before his death.

Hubert Tuelly Longdon (Terence Longdon), actor: born Newark, Nottinghamshire 14 May 1922; married 1953 Barbara Jefford (divorced 1960), 2004 Gillian Conyers; died 23 April 2011.

Suggested Topics
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film Ridley Scott reveals truth behind casting decisions of Exodus
News
people
Sport
footballArsenal 2 Borussia Dortmund 0: And they can still top the group
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment
An unseen image of Kurt Cobain at home featured in the film 'Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck'
filmThe singers widow and former bandmates have approved project
News
Andy Murray with his girlfriend of nine years, Kim Sears who he has got engaged to
peopleWimbledon champion announces engagement to girlfriend Kim Sears
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden and Edwina Currie are joining the I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! camp
tv
News
Albert Camus (left) and Jean-Paul Sartre fell out in 1952 and did not speak again before Camus’s death
people
Arts and Entertainment
Roisin, James and Sanjay in the boardroom
tvReview: This week's failing project manager had to go
News
Ed Miliband visiting the Holocaust museum in Jerusalem. The Labour leader has spoken more openly of his heritage recently
newsAttacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But are the barbs more sinister?
Arts and Entertainment
'Felfie' (2014) by Alison Jackson
photographyNew exhibition shows how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
Life and Style
fashion
News
i100
Life and Style
Fright night: the board game dates back to at least 1890
life
Environment
The vaquita is being killed by fishermen trying to catch the totoaba fish, which is prized in China
environmentJust 97 of the 'world's cutest' sea mammals remain
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Argyll Scott International: Senior Business Analyst- Insurance

Negotiable: Argyll Scott International: Senior Business Analyst - Insurance ...

Recruitment Genius: Property Manager

£25000 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This independent, growing Sales...

Recruitment Genius: Graphic Designer

£16000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Multi-skilled graphic designer ...

Austen Lloyd: Court of Protection Solicitor

£30000 - £50000 per annum + EXCELLENT: Austen Lloyd: Court of Protection Solic...

Day In a Page

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game
There's a Good Girl exhibition: How female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising

In pictures: There's a Good Girl exhibition

The new exhibition reveals how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover - from advent calendars to doll's houses

UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover

It worked with cupcakes, doughnuts and macarons so no wonder someone decided to revamp the humble biscuit
Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

It's no surprise that the building game born in Sweden in 2009 and now played by millions, has imitators keen to construct their own mega money-spinner
The King's School is way ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology

Staying connected: The King's School

The school in Cambridgeshire is ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology. Richard Garner discovers how teachers and pupils stay connected
Christmas 2014: 23 best women's perfumes

Festively fragrant: the best women's perfumes

Give a loved one a luxe fragrance this year or treat yourself to a sensual pick-me-up
Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition

Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund

The Ox celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition
Billy Joe Saunders vs Chris Eubank Jnr: When two worlds collide

When two worlds collide

Traveller Billy Joe Saunders did not have a pampered public-school upbringing - unlike Saturday’s opponent Chris Eubank Jnr
Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?