Monday, 5 March 2012

My Memories Of Philip Madoc 1934 - 2012

Philip Madoc at Cardiff New Theatre
It's always sad to hear of the passing of favourite actors and I was particularly saddened today to hear of the death of Welsh actor Philip Madoc.

Born in Merthyr Tydfil in 1934, Philip had a lengthy career on stage, television, film and radio since the early 60s. Among his credits was King Lear, Last Of The Mohicans, The Life And Times Of David Lloyd George, A Mind To Kill, the Cadfael series on radio, several appearances in Doctor Who, Porridge and of course the U Boat Captain in Dad's Army.

Rachel and I had the good fortune to briefly meet Philip Madoc in 1998 when he attended a Dad's Army Appreciation Society event at the Oval Cricket Ground in London.

I particularly recall Philip been overjoyed at finding we had travelled all the way from Carmarthen in Wales to attend the event and chatting with Rachel for several minutes about Wales.

I next saw Philip Madoc at the recording session of Jonathan Ross Salutes Dad's Army in 2008 and again a year later at Cardiff New Theatre when he performed his one man show Dylan Thomas and Friends - An Evening with Philip Madoc.

Promotional flyer for mid 90s S4C
film series starring Philip Madoc
The latter event was interesting as Philip began the evening reciting the opening moments of Dylan Thomas' Under Milk Wood. His deep Welsh voice resounded across the acoustics of Cardiff New Theatre and it was truly a moment to savour.

He recalled working alongside many great actors, his recent appearance at The Globe Theatre in Lear, his regret at losing out to Derek Jacobi at playing Cadfael on television and honour at been complimented by David Lloyd George's daughter on his likeness to her own papa whom he recreated for The Life and times of David Lloyd George in 1981.

Philip is of course forever associated with that classic Dad's Army "Don't Tell Him Pike" moment. The cameo U Boat Captain he played so well on TV and was invited back to recreate him for radio two years later. Every word he utters in German is perfect, while he steals the show from Arthur Lowe when he threatens to take down Mainwaring's name for insulting his glorious leader.

There are also Philip Madoc's wonderful Doctor Who roles. He plays a Dalek informant in the Peter Cushing 1966 movie Daleks Invasion Earth 2150 AD and two years later made his Doctor Who TV series debut in The Krotons  the first of four roles in the series. For his finest Doctor Who moments check out his appearance as The War Chief in 1969's The War Games, a role he should really have been allowed to reprise and Solon in 1975's The Brain of Morbius

More recently he lent his voice to the BBC Wales documentary series Welsh Greats. Quite aptly, Philip Madoc was a Welsh Great himself and he has left us with a fabulous collection of appearances to enjoy forever.

Further Reading:

1 comment:

  1. A lovely post about a great actor. I have memories about first seeing him in The Last of the Mohicans back in the early 70s.



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