Clive Dunn

Clive Robert Benjamin Dunn,OBE (9 January 1920 – 6 November 2012) was an English actor, comedian, artist and author. He played the elderly Lance Corporal Jones in the BBC sitcomDad's Army.

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 Clive Dunn's Early life and education

Born in Brixton , London, Dunn was the son of actors, and the cousin of actress Gretchen Franklin . Dunn was educated at Sevenoaks School , an independent school for boys (now coeducational). After leaving school, Dunn studied at the independent Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts , in London.

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 Clive Dunn's Career

Boys Will Be Boys(1935) while still a schoolboy, andGood Morning, Boys(1937). In 1939, he was stage manager for a touring production ofThe Unseen Menace, a detective story. This was not a success as the billed star of the show, Terence De Marney , did not appear on stage and his dialogue was supplied by a gramophone recording.

The unit fought during the German invasion of Greece but surrendered after fighting a rearguard action near the Corinth canal ; Dunn was among the four hundred men taken prisoner and was to be a prisoner of war in Austria for four years. He remained in the army after the war ended and was finally demobilized in 1947.

In 1956 and 1957, Dunn appeared in both series ofThe Tony Hancock Showand the army reunion party episode ofHancock's Half Hourin 1960. In the 1960s he made many appearances with Tony Hancock , Michael Bentine , Dora Bryan and Dick Emery , among others, before winning the role of Jones inDad's Armyin 1968.

From early on in his career, his trademark character was that of a doddering old man. This first made an impression in the showBootsie and Snudge, a spinoff fromThe Army Game. Dunn played the old dogsbody Mr Johnson at a slightly seedy gentlemen's club where the characters Pte. "Bootsie" Bisley ( Alfie Bass ) and Sgt. Claude Snudge ( Bill Fraser ) found work after leaving the Army .

In 1967 he made a guest appearance in an episode ofThe Avengers, playing the proprietor of a toy shop in "Something Nasty in the Nursery".

cast when, at 48, he took on the role of the elderly butcher whose military service in earlier wars made him the most experienced member of the Walmington-on-Sea Home Guard , as well as one of the most decrepit. Jack Haig and David Jason had previously been considered for the role.His comparative youth, compared with most of the cast, meant that he was handed much of the physical comedy in the show, which many of the other cast members were no longer capable of.

, from 1979 to 1984 (he played the caretaker at a village hall, and sang the lyrics in the theme).He had previously had a number one hit single with the song " Grandad " on his 51st birthday in January 1971, accompanied by a children's choir. The song was written by bassist Herbie Flowers . He performed the song four times onTop of the Pops. The B-side of "Grandad", "I Play The Spoons", also received considerable airplay. After the cancellation ofGrandadin 1984, he effectively disappeared from the screen, retiring to Portugal.Following the success of the "Grandad" record, Dunn released several other singles .

He was the subject ofThis Is Your Lifein 1971 when he was surprised by Eamonn Andrews .

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 Clive Dunn's Personal life

in June 1959They had two daughters, Polly and Jessica.

In August 2008, he recorded a message for the programmeJonathan Ross Salutes Dad's Army, which was shown to celebrate the fortieth anniversary ofDad's Army.

EastEnders. Dunn inherited a share in her estate on her death in 2005.

He occupied himself as an artist painting portraits, landscapes and seascapes until his sight failed.

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 Clive Dunn's Death

His death, and those of Bill Pertwee in 2013 and Pamela Cundell in 2015, leaves only two surviving major cast members from Dad's Army : Ian Lavender and Frank Williams , the former of which is the only surviving cast member to have played a character in the platoon.

, said Dunn was always "great fun" to be around. "Of course he was so much younger than the part he played," he told BBC Radio Four. "It's very difficult to think of him as an old man really, but he was a wonderful person to work with – great sense of humour, always fun, a great joy really".

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 Clive Dunn's Filmography


1980 The Fiendish Plot of Dr. Fu Manchu Keeper of the Keys - London Tower
1971 Dad's Army L.Cpl. Jack Jones
1969 The Magic Christian Sommelier
1969 Crooks and Coronets Basil
1967 Just like a Woman Graff von Fischer
1967 The Mini-Affair Tyson
1965 You Must Be Joking Doorman
1963 The Mouse on the Moon Bandleader
1963 She'll Have to Go Chemist
1962 The Fast Lady Old Gentleman in Burning House
1961 What a Whopper Mr. Slate
1957 Treasure Island Ben Gunn
1949 Boys in Brown Holdup Man uncredited
1938 A Yank at Oxford Minor Role uncredited
1937 Good Morning, Boys Minor Role uncredited
1935 Boys Will Be Boys Schoolboy watching rugby uncredited

Television roles[]

1960–63 Bootsie and Snudge Henry Johnson
1968–77 Dad's Army Lance-Corporal Jack Jones
1970–71 Here Come the Double Deckers! Hodge
1974–75 My Old Man Sam Cobbett
1979–84 Grandad Charlie Quick


  • "Grandad" / "I Play the Spoons", Columbia, 1970 (reached No. 1 in the UK in January 1971)
  • "My Lady (Nana)" / "Tissue Paper & Comb", Columbia, 1971
  • "Wonderful Lilly" / "Pretty Little Song", Columbia, 1972
  • "Let's Take A Walk" / "Tell Us", Columbia, 1972
  • "Our Song" / "She's Gone", EMI, 1973
  • "Grandad" / "My Lady (Nana)" (reissue), EMI, 1973
  • "My Old Man" / "My Own Special Girl", EMI, 1974
  • "Holding On" / "My Beautiful England", Reprise, 1976
  • "Goodnight Ruby" / "Thank You and Goodnight", Decca, 1977
  • "Thinking of You This Christmas" / "'Arry 'Arry 'Arry", Sky Records, 1978
  • "There Ain't Much Change From A Pound These Days" / "After All These Years" (withJohn Le Mesurier), KA Records, 1982.
  • "Grandad" (reissue) / "There's No-One Quite Like Grandma", EMI, 1988.


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 Clive Dunn's References

  1. Dennis Barker. "Clive Dunn obituary". the Guardian. Retrieved 2016-01-11. 
  2. "Don't panic, Arthur!". iccoventry. Retrieved 26 January 2006. 
  3. GRO Register of Births: MAR 1920 1d 1060 LAMBETH – Robert B. Dunn, mmn = Franklin
  4. Clive Dunn. Telegraph (7 November 2012). Retrieved on 4 February 2013.
  5. "Clive Dunn Obituary". BBC News. 8 November 2012. 
  6. Video on YouTube[dead link]
  7. Graham McCann "Dad's Army, The Story of a Classic Television Show" ISBN 1-84115-309-5
  8. "Clive Dunn; Grandad episode part 1". Retrieved 4 February 2013. 
  9. Permission to Speak, Sir? Saga magazine (February 1992) accessed 15 February 2007
  10. GRO Register of Marriages: SEP 1951 5c 2884 KENSINGTON – Robert B. Dunn = Patricia Kenyon
  11. "Researcha". Retrieved 3 August 2011. [dead link]
  12. GRO Register of Marriages: JUN 1959 9c 1654 STRATFORD – Robert B. Dunn = Priscilla M. Pughe-Morgan.
  13. EastEnder Ethel leaves £200,000 to elderly, Daily Mail, accessed 3 March 2007
  14. Haynes, Jonathan (7 November 2012). "Dad's Army actor Clive Dunn dies". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 7 November 2012. 
  15. "The Passing Away of Clive Dunn by Lifestyle Uncut". Retrieved 8 November 2012. 
  16. "BBC News – Clive Dunn, Dad's Army actor, dies aged 92". 8 November 2012. Retrieved 7 November 2012. 
  17. "Permission to speak : an autobiography / Clive Dunn.". British Library. Retrieved 4 February 2013. 
  18. "Permission to laugh : my favourite funny stories / Clive Dunn ; illustrations by Jessica Dunn". British Library. Retrieved 4 February 2013. 

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