• 22 September 1915
  •  Hayfield, Derbyshire, England, UK

Arthur Lowe


Lowe, rotund and professionally indefatigable, rightly gained acclaim as an accomplished comedy character actor; fondly remembered as the irascible "Captain Mainwaring" in the Home Guard comedy series Dad's Army (1968-1977), and as Coronation Street (1960)'s "Leonard Swindley". The only child of a Derbyshire railworker, Lowe gained valuable experience by organising shows for a British army field entertainment unit, in the Middle East, during World War Two, before commencing his professional acting career, at the age of 30, in 1945, upon joining the "Manchester Repertory Theatre Company". In between endless tours for repertory and in major stage performances, Lowe utilised his character actor status - which writers identify as being aided by his bald head - in bit-parts for films including: the inspired "Ealing" black comedy Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949) and The Green Man (1956). Later, whilst gathering fame - with the reputedly observational realist soap opera Coronation Street (1960) - he cemented a professional relationship with maverick film director Lindsay Anderson; using left-wing sensibilities for some of his films: including If.... (1968) and several characters in the avant-garde O Lucky Man! (1973) (the latter earning Lowe an SFTA Award, for best supporting performance). As his son, and biographer, Stephen Lowe, intimated, finances governed and perpetuated his career, in the final stages of his life, in the 1970s; appearing in over 100, and possibly very lucrative, television advertisements and, not surprisingly, a surfeit of comedies including the sit-com Potter (1979) (1979-1983), the ribald film No Sex Please: We're British (1973) and to rave reviews for his stage performance as "Stephano", in "The Tempest" (1974), at the "National Theatre". Although Lowe received excellent notices for straight roles and appearances in plays such as John Osborne's "Inadmissible Evidence" (1963) at the "Royal Court", Dad's Army (1968) assured Lowe enduring appeal, as his character acting skills seamlessly compliment the show's comfortable sit-com structure.


Movie Name Release Date
Εάν… – If…. (1968) May 21, 1969