Image of Peter Vaughan

Peter Vaughan

A true character actor in the best sense of the word, offbeat British thesp Peter Vaughan's hefty frame could appear intimidating or marshmallow benevolent; his beady, hollow eyes menacing or tender; his mere presence menacing or avuncular. Adept at playing both sides of the law, his characters usually possessed a strange, somewhat wary countenance that seemed to keep his audience slightly off balance. A homely sort with a bloated face, jutting chin, sliver lips and pronounced nose, this veteran has been a stalwart presence for nearly fifty years. Born Peter Olm in 1923, he began on the stage and didn't enter films until 1959, well into his thirties.Married in 1952 to rising actress Billie Whitelaw, Peter was primarily in the background at first, offering a cheapjack gallery of thugs, unsmiling cops, and foreign agents in movies. An easily unsympathetic bloke, he played unbilled policemen in his first two films, then slowly gravitated up the credits list. He appeared as the chief of police in the spy drama The Devil's Agent (1962), which also featured his wife, and then gained a bit more attention in a prime part as an offbeat insurance investigator in the programmer Smokescreen (1964), a role that propelled him into the higher ranks. Noticeably shady roles came with playing Tallulah Bankhead's seedy handyman who meets a fatal end in the Gothic horror Die! Die! My Darling! (1965) [aka Die! Die! My Darling!]; his villainous roles in the spy thrillers The Naked Runner (1967) opposite Frank Sinatra and The Man Outside (1967); a German thug in A Twist of Sand (1968); and Sgt. Walker in The Bofors Gun (1968).Divorced from Whitelaw in 1966, he later married actress Lillias Walker, who had roles in a couple of his pictures: Malachi's Cove (1973) and Intimate Reflections (1974). TV became a large source of income for Vaughan in the 1970s, particularly in his role of Grouty in Porridge (1974) on both the large and small screen, and his quirky demeanor fitted like a glove for bizarre director Terry Gilliam, who cast him as the Ogre in Time Bandits (1981) and then as Mr. Helpman in Brazil (1985). For the past few decades he has maintained a healthy balance between film (including standout roles in Zulu Dawn (1979), The Remains of the Day (1993) and The Life and Death of Peter Sellers (2004)) and TV mini-movies, both contemporary and period. He is still performing past age 90.

Read bio at Wikipedia
Apr 4, 1923 In Wem, Shropshire, England, UK
Movie/TV Credits:
First Appeared:
In the series Horizon 1964-05-02
Latest Project:
Series Game of Thrones 2011-04-17

2 nominations.

Known For
Poster of Game of Thrones
Poster of Chancer
Poster of Birds of a Feather
Silk Unknown 2011-02-22
Game of Thrones Unknown 2011-04-17
Lark Rise to Candleford Unknown 2008-01-13
Doc Martin Unknown 2004-01-01
The Jury Michael Colchester 6 episodes, 2002 2002-02-17
The 10th Kingdom Wilfred Peep 2000-02-27
Our Mutual Friend Mr. Boffin 4 episodes, 1998 1999-01-03
Our Friends in the North Felix Hutchinson 8 episodes, 1996 1999-09-30
Casualty Unknown 1998-09-28
Murder Most Horrid Unknown 1991-11-14
Chancer Thomas Franklyn / ... 17 episodes, 1990-1991 1990-03-06
Birds of a Feather Unknown 1989-10-16
Rab C. Nesbitt Unknown 1988-12-21
Lovejoy Unknown 1986-01-10
Fox Mystery Theater Bullneck 1986-04-25
The Pallisers Unknown 1975-10-01
Porridge Unknown 1974-09-05
My Partner the Ghost Unknown 1973
Thriller Unknown 1973-01-18
The Persuaders! Unknown 1971-09-18
Play for Today Unknown 1970-10-15
The Saint Unknown 1967-05-21
The Avengers Unknown 1966-03-28
Horizon Unknown 1964-05-02