Howard Marion-Crawford

Howard Marion-Crawford (17 January 1914 – 24 November 1969), the grandson of writer F. Marion Crawford, was an English character actor, best known for his portrayal of Dr. Watson in the 1954 television adaptation of Sherlock Holmes. In 1948, Marion-Crawford had played Holmes in a radio adaptation of "The Adventure of the Speckled Band", making him one of the few actors to portray both Holmes and Watson.

Howard Marion-Crawford is also known for his portrayal of Dr. Petrie in a series of low budget Fu Manchu films in the late 1960s, and was a regular broadcaster in BBC Radio Drama. Among his film appearances are the character of Cranford in The Man in the White Suit (1951) and a British medical officer in Lawrence of Arabia (1962). One of his last roles was as another military officer, Sir George Brown, in Tony Richardson's The Charge of the Light Brigade (1968).

He often played "blusterers", "old duffers" and upper class military types, appearing as guest performer in television programmes like The Avengers, and a role opposite Patrick McGoohan in the 1965 episode of Danger Man titled "English Lady Takes Lodgers".

Marion-Crawford was married four times. Early in World War II, he was married to Jeanne Scott-Gunn, with whom he had a single son, Harold Francis Marion-Crawford. In 1946, he married the actress Mary Wimbush, with whom he had another son, Charles.

A large man with a very distinctive booming voice, known to his friends and family as 'Boney', Howard Marion-Crawford had a lot of talent and acting came easily to him. Unfortunately, this sometimes led to him being unreliable and his later years were a struggle. Plagued by ill health later in life, he died from a mixture of alcohol and sleeping pills in 1969.

Read more about Howard Marion-Crawford:  Selected Filmography

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