Actor

Peter Butterworth Best Film Carry On Don't Lose Your Head
Best Character Mr Fiddler in Carry On Camping
Silliest name Citizen Bidet in Carry On Don't Lose Your Head
Films 17 - Cowboy, Screaming, Don't Lose Your Head, Follow That Camel, Doctor, Up The Khyber, Again Doctor, Camping, Loving, Henry, Abroad, Girls, Dick, Behind, England, That's, Emmannuelle
Best Line In Carry On Again Doctor 

 

Peter Butterworth came to the Carry Ons as Doc in Cowboy in 1965. With his sensitive mobile face and jittery manner, he soon became a mainstay in the series.

Most of the Carry On performers started early in life with show business but Peter Butterworth was a late starter. Born in Bramhall, Cheshire on 4th February 1919 he was pushed towards a naval career but with the onset of WWII he joined Fleet Air Arm but was shot down by the Germans. He became a prisoner of war and was stationed at the same camp as Talbot Rothwell and became very friendly with him, and was persuaded to take part in a camp concert. The aim of this concert was to make as much noise as possible as they were being used to drown out the noise of escaping prisoners

He had never performed in public before and was absolutely terrified, but he sung a duet with Rothwell called The Letter Edged In Black, followed by some comic repartee which, according to his own account, provoked enough boos and hisses to have the desired effect of drowning out the escape party. Something that made him become determined to enter show business was a treasured photograph of the concert party line-up.

Tolly (Talbot Rothwell) gave him every help and encouragement and after the war, during a summer show at Scarborough, introduced him to the impressionist Janet Brown, whom he later married.

His face was well-known on TV in childrenís programmes and in his shows with Ted Ray, Hugh Lloyd and Frankie Howerd. He has also appeared on stage in farces, revues and pantomimes and amongst his better films are The Prince And The Pauper and A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum.

With the Carry Ons, we saw some of his better character acting and he rarely played bombastic or loud people, his characters tended towards the quiet and subtly potty. He was often cast as somebody elseís stooge. In Screaming, as Detective Constable Slowbotham, he is the fall guy for his incompetent thick headed superior, Detective Sergeant Bung (Harry H Corbett) or as Citizen Bidet in Donít Lose Your Head, he has to stand by in helpless exasperation as his senior secret service officer, Citizen Camembert (Kenneth Williams) bungles all their chances. Peterís particular form of laid back eccentricity comes into its own in Camping as Joshua Fiddler, the shifty campsite manager, who cons Sid James out of most of his cash. In Behind, in a role that is virtually the same as Campingís, the scruffy, apparently furtive handyman, has a touching quality when Daphne (Joan Sims) claims him as her long lost husband. He is only on the screen for three minutes in Again Doctor but he has possibly the funniest scene in any of the Carry Ons, as you will see from the quote at the top of this page.

Another good Carry On performance is his uncharacteristically flamboyant role in Abroad. As Pepe the manager of an unfinished hotel, who greets his unexpected guests in the guise of the builder, the porter, the receptionist and telephone operator he spends the first half of the film furiously trying to placate and accommodate them and the last half desperately trying to save the building from a flood, and whilst all this is going on, put up with his nagging wife (Hattie Jacques).

He died on 16th January 1979 just before his 60th birthday when he was due on the stage in Coventry to appear in a pantomime. "A thoroughly nice bloke and a dear friend", said Peter Rogers.

 

Filmography
 Chronologically (except Carry Ons)
Externally linked to IMDB

First Great Train Robbery, The
Afternoon Off (TV)
Odd Man Out (TV)
What's Up Nurse!
Ritz, The
Robin and Marian
Class by Himself, A (TV)
Bless This House
Kindly Leave the Kerb (TV)
Catweazle (TV)
Prudence and the Pill
Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, A
Amorous Adventures of Moll Flanders, The
Home of Your Own, A
Never Mention Murder
Doctor in Distress
Horse Without a Head, The
Rescue Squad, The
Kill or Cure
She'll Have to Go
Live Now - Pay Later

Prince and the Pauper, The
Day the Earth Caught Fire, The
Fate Takes a Hand
Murder, She Said
Escort for Hire
Those Kids (TV)
Blow Your Own Trumpet
tom thumb
Fun at St. Fanny's
Gay Dog, The
Will Any Gentleman?
Penny Princess
Saturday Island
Mr. Drake's Duck
Appointment with Venus
Old Mother Riley's Jungle Treasure
Body Said No!, The
Miss Pilgrim's Progress
Night and the City
Adventures of Jane, The
Murder at the Windmill
William at the Circus

 


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