Actor

Charles Hawtrey Best Film Carry On Don't Lose Your Head
Best Character Dr Stoppidge in Carry On Again Doctor
Silliest name Tonka in Carry On Up the Jungle
Films 24 - Sergeant, Nurse, Teacher, Constable, Regardless, Cabby, Jack, Spying, Cleo, Cowboy, Screaming, Don't Lose Your Head, Follow The Camel, Doctor, Up the Khyber, Again Doctor, Camping, Up the Jungle, Loving, Henry, At Your Convenience, Abroad, Matron, That's
Best Line In Carry On Don't Lose Your Head, a message arrives just before his be-heading to which the Duc replies "Put it in the basket, I'll read it later"


If you had asked Charles Hawtrey what his family history was, he would have told you that he was the son of the celebrated Sir Charles Hawtrey, the light comedy actor-manager and he would have regaled anecdotes about him. This was not true. Charles Hawtrey’s youth is a little known subject.

What we do know of him, though, is he first trod the boards in 1925 and this makes him the Carry Oner with the longest showbiz record. When he came to the Carry On stable with Carry On Sergeant, he had already made a name for himself in revues, pantomimes, stage and most notably, in films in the Will Hay comedies. Oopps

He was born in 13th November 1914 in Hounslow, London and his early years were spent in Italia Conti acting school and he was soon appearing in junior roles. One of his earliest film roles goes back to the 1930’s when he appeared in the silent film Marry Me, but his first London roles on the stage including Bluebell In Fairyland and Where the Rainbow Ends.

In the 30’s and 40’s he appeared on stage in classic plays, revues and pantomimes including The Taming Of The Shrew, but he will be remembered for this stage of his career as the elderly schoolboy sidekick in the Will Hay films like Good Morning Boys and The Goose Steps. He later on used this schoolboy image to appear in TV’s The Army Game.

Throughout the Carry Ons, he has played virtually the same role as a bespectacled, weedy, eager beaver who skips through life with a child-like unawareness. In Nurse, we see him in bed, locked into his earphones conducting to the music, laughing loudly at a comedy or weeping into his pillow, totally oblivious to the world around him. In Constable, he is a trainee policeman in virtually the same character. Cabby sees his role increased but not altered, playing the aptly named Pint Pot.

Camping see him epitomise his Carry On persona as Charlie Muggins, a lone camper who inadvertently pitches his tent on an army firing range only to Please shut the gatehave it blown away, to which he comments, "I know I shouldn’t have eaten those radishes!" This sums up his innocence and ignorance to the situations as he continues his camping journey with no tent. As Private Widdle of the 3rd Foot and Mouth Brigade in Up The Khyber, it is him alone, through his actions, who brings the wrath of the natives down on the British. Standing at the Khyber Pass gate, he is confronted by Bungdit Din and attempt to halt him with a backward-pointing gun and then proceeds to ask Bungdit Din to "wait a minute", while he corrects the gun.

Hawtrey could never by confused as a sex symbol with his camped up voice and just when you think he’s going to embark on a love affair, the script flips him over and he is fact sharing a night watching television or having a game of cards. He does sometimes escape the typecasting and he is put into an unlikely role as the lecherous Sir Roger De Lodgerly, or the Great Tonka but that is still not really changing his character because the situations and the character he is put in is for comic effect.

Out of all the drag roles that have been played in the Carry Ons he seemed most at ease and the one with whom it seemed to work best.

He died on October 27, 1988 (age 73) in Deal, Kent, England.

 

Filmography
 Chronologically (except Carry Ons)
Externally linked to IMDB

Plank, The (TV)
Zeta One
Terrornauts, The
Best of Friends (TV)
Dentist on the Job
What a Whopper!
Our House (TV)
Inn for Trouble
Please Turn Over
I Only Arsked!
Army Game, The (TV)
Timeslip
Who Done It?
As Long as They're Happy
Jumping for Joy
Man of the Moment
March Hare
Simon and Laura
Paid to Kill

Brandy for the Parson
Hammer the Toff
You're Only Young Twice
Galloping Major, The
Dark Secret
Passport to Pimlico
End of the River, The
Meet Me at Dawn
Canterbury Tale, A
Goose Steps Out, The
Let the People Sing
Ghost of St. Michael's, The
Jailbirds
Where's That Fire?
Good Morning, Boys
Sabotage
Well Done, Henry
Melody-Maker, The
Marry Me

 


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