Roy Hudd in 2005
|Died||15 March 2020 (aged 83)|
|Occupation||Actor, radio personality, playwright, author|
Ann Lambert(1 child)
(m. 1961; div. 1983)
(m. 1988; his death 2020)
Hudd was born in Croydon on 16 May 1936 to Evalina "Evie" (née Barham) and Harry Hudd. His father was a carpenter who left the family shortly after the Second World War, and his mother, who had a history of mental health problems, committed suicide by gassing herself when Hudd was 10 years old. Hudd was primarily brought up by his grandmother, and attended Tavistock Secondary Modern School in Croydon and Croydon Secondary Technical School. After completing his national service in the Royal Air Force, he studied commercial art at the Regent Street Polytechnic. He then worked as a messenger for an advertising agency, a window dresser and a commercial artist working under Harry Beck.
He made his professional debut as a comedian at the Streatham Hill Theatre on 27 October 1957, in a show in aid of the Sir Philip Game Boys' Club, of which he had been a member. Initially he worked with Eddy Kay, a friend from Croydon who had also been a member of the boys' club, the two billing themselves as "the peculiar pair". In 1958 they joined as Redcoats at Butlin's Clacton working alongside Cliff Richard and Dave Allen.
Although Hudd and Kay had made a brief appearance as 'discoveries' on the BBC's In Town Tonight in 1958, Hudd made his solo debut on radio in 1959 on Workers' Playtime. He remains best known for the BBC Radio 2 satirical series The News Huddlines, which ran from 1975 to 2001. His other radio credits include playing Max Quordlepleen, the host at The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, in the original radio series of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (1978), Crowned Hudds (1994–95), The Newly Discovered Casebook of Sherlock Holmes (1999–2000) and Like They've Never Been Gone (1999–2002).
Hudd broke into television in the mid-1960s in sketch series such as The Illustrated Weekly Hudd and The Roy Hudd Show. His acting roles include the Dennis Potter series Lipstick on Your Collar, for which he received critical praise, and Karaoke. In the mid 1990s he appeared in two series of Common As Muck, a drama about a group of refuse collectors, alongside Edward Woodward. In 2000 Hudd appeared as neighbour Mr. Smedley in one episode of One Foot in the Grave. From 2002 to 2003, he appeared as the undertaker Archie Shuttleworth in the ITV soap opera Coronation Street and subsequently returned for guest appearances in 2006 and 2010; the character died offscreen in December 2018. He also starred in the ITV drama 'The Quest', alongside Sir David Jason and Hywel Bennett, from 2002–2004. In 2007 he appeared in episodes of New Tricks, Casualty (and again in July 2019) and The Last Detective. In 2010 he appeared in BBC dramas Missing and Ashes to Ashes.
In 2012 he appeared in an episode of the BBC drama Call the Midwife. In 2014 he appeared in episodes of Midsomer Murders, Law & Order: UK and Holby City. In December 2015, Hudd played Bud Flanagan in the BBC drama We're Doomed! The Dad's Army Story, about the creation of the titular long-running sitcom. In 2016 he appeared in an episode of Benidorm. In 2017 he appeared in the ITV series Broadchurch.
Hudd appeared in many pantomime and variety performances. In 1977 he starred as Fagin in the West End revival of Lionel Bart's musical Oliver! at the Albery Theatre and in 1982 he played Bud Flanagan in Underneath the Arches at the Prince of Wales Theatre, for which he won a Society of West End Theatre Award. In 2000 he starred in a musical version of Hard Times at the Theatre Royal Haymarket. In 2008 he played the part of the Wizard in a production of The Wizard of Oz at London's Royal Festival Hall. In 2019 he toured the UK in a production of Oscar Wilde's play A Woman of No Importance alongside Liza Goddard and Isla Blair.
Hudd wrote several books on music hall, re-recorded music hall records, and appeared in the music hall revival show The Good Old Days. He was seen by broadcasters as an authority on the subject and was the longstanding President of the British Music Hall Society. His CD, Mirth, Magic and Melodrama consists of a collection of classic monologues from the music hall days, including The Pig and The Lion and Albert, first recorded by Stanley Holloway. For Celebrity Mastermind, broadcast in January 2014, Hudd answered questions on the specialist subject of music hall comedian Dan Leno.
He was an authority on the comedian Max Miller and was known for his impersonation of Miller. He appeared as his hero in the Big Finish Productions Doctor Who audio play Pier Pressure in 2006. He was President of the Max Miller Appreciation Society.
Hudd had a long association with the Bristol Hospital Broadcasting Service, where he was considered an honorary member. In 1994 he officially opened their current studios in the Bristol Royal Infirmary. He was also a past King Rat of the show business charity the Grand Order of Water Rats.
In addition to this, he was the first Honorary President of Sandwell Hospital Radio in West Bromwich for a period of ten years, visiting the studios, members and patients whenever he was appearing in the West Midlands.
On 16 March 2020 Hudd's agent announced his death on 15 March, aged 83, following a "short illness".
|1968||The Blood Beast Terror||Smiler|
|1971||Up Pompeii||Nero's M.C.|
|The Magnificent Seven Deadly Sins||Fisherman||(segment "Avarice")|
|1972||Up the Chastity Belt||Nick the Pick|
|The Alf Garnett Saga||Milkman|
|1973||An Acre of Seats in a Garden of Dreams||Narrator|
|1999||A Kind of Hush||Chef|
|2000||Purely Belter||Mr Sewell|
|2005||Jack, the Last Victim||Sir Geoffrey|
|2014||Robot Overlords||Morse Code Martin|||
|2018||Patrick||Eric the Caretaker|
Hudd was awarded an OBE in the 2004 New Year Honours List. In 1983 (1982 season), he was awarded the Society of West End Theatre Award as Best Actor in a Musical for his role in Underneath the Arches, as Bud Flanagan.
Hudd wrote numerous books from 1971 onwards:
Mr Roy Hudd, actor and broadcaster, 77