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Stars that died 2010

Friday, June 22, 2012

John Howard Davies, English television producer and director (Fawlty Towers, The Good Life), former child actor (Oliver Twist), died from cancer he was 72.

John Howard Davies  was an English television director and producer and former child actor died from cancer he was 72..
Davies was born in Paddington, London, the son of the scriptwriter Jack Davies. His credits as a child actor include the title role at the age of nine in David Lean's production Oliver Twist (1948), followed by The Rocking Horse Winner (1949), Tom Brown's Schooldays (1951) and a few episodes of the television series William Tell (1958).


(9 March 1939 – 22 August 2011)

After school at Haileybury, further education in Grenoble, France and national service in the Navy,[2] he started working in the City, the financial centre of London, then as a carpet salesman. Ending up in Melbourne, Australia he returned to acting and met his first wife Leonie in when they both appeared in The Sound of Music.[3] Back in Britain he tried selling oil to industry in Wembley.
He is best known for his adult career as a director and producer of several highly successful British sitcoms. Davies became a BBC production assistant during 1966, being promoted to producer in 1968.[4] During this early period Davies worked on sketch shows such as The World of Beachcomber (1968), the earliest episodes of Monty Python's Flying Circus (1969) and The Goodies (1970–72). He also worked on All Gas and Gaiters (1969–70) and the 1972 series of Steptoe and Son.
He briefly left the BBC to become managing director of EMI Television Productions in 1973,[1] but soon returned to the corporation.[4] From this time came Fawlty Towers (1975). The actress the writers wished to cast as Sybil was uninterested, and casting Prunella Scales was Davies's idea. John Cleese recalled: "We realised she was doing it differently but better than the way we had envisaged it when we were writing it."[1] Davies was producer for all four series of The Good Life (1975–78).
He was the BBC's Head of Comedy during 1977-82, then head of light entertainment, before joining Thames Television in 1985. Thames was then an ITV contractor, for which Davies was head of light entertainment from 1988.[3] During the last role he was cited by the popular press as the man who sacked comedian Benny Hill when the company decided not to renew his contract[5] after a connection lasting 20 years. He told Hill's biographer Mark Lewisohn, "It's very dangerous to have a show on ITV that doesn't appeal to women, because they hold the purse strings, in a sense."[3]
During this period he worked on No Job for a Lady (1990–92) and Mr. Bean (1990), returning to the BBC later in the 1990s.[6]
He died from cancer[7] on 22 August at his home in Blewbury, Oxfordshire, with his third wife Linda,[1] whom he married in 2005, son William and daughter Georgina at his bedside.
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