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Glynn Edwards
Glynn Edwards (actor).jpg
John Glynn Edwards

(1931-02-02)2 February 1931
Died23 May 2018(2018-05-23) (aged 87)
Edinburgh, Scotland
EducationRoyal Central School of Speech and Drama
Theatre Workshop
Years activeMid 1950s–1994
(m. 1956; div. 1969)

Christine Pilgrim
(m. 1969, divorced)

Valerie Edwards

Glynn Edwards (2 February 1931 – 23 May 2018) was a British television and cinema character actor, who came to national prominence for his portrayal of the barman Dave Harris in the 1970s–1990s British television comedy-drama Minder.[1]

Early life

Edwards was born in Penang, Peninsular Malaysia, on 2 February 1931 as John Glynn Edwards.[2] His father, who spent little time on him, was a rubber planter at the time of his birth and died later in 1946.[3] His mother died shortly after his birth and he was raised first by his grandparents in Southsea, Hampshire, and then by his father and stepmother, who ran a pub in Salisbury, Wiltshire.[2][4]

He received his early formal education at Clayesmore School in Dorset.[5] In his childhood he read Arthur Ransome's adventure novel Swallows and Amazons, which gave him a life-long passion for river-boating, which began with sailing expeditions along the River Avon in his tenth year.[6]

As a teenager he was an amateur actor, before going to Trinidad where he worked first as a sugar farmer, but having decided that his father's life of plantation farming wasn't for him, he found employment as assistant stage manager and compere of calypso shows for tourists. After returning to England he spent a year at the Royal Central School of Speech & Drama in London, and was then hired as a stage manager at the King’s Theatre in Gainsborough, Lincolnshire.[2]


Edwards trained professionally as an actor with Joan Littlewood's Theatre Workshop, appearing in its productions of The Good Soldier Švejk and two plays by Brendan Behan, The Quare Fellow and The Hostage, all of which transferred from the Theatre Royal Stratford East to the West End. He also appeared in that company's production of Lionel Bart's musical version of Frank Norman's play Fings Ain't Wot They Used T'Be, opposite Miriam Karlin and Barbara Windsor.[2]

In 1964 he appeared in the role of Corporal William Allen, V.C. in Cy Endfield's cinema film Zulu, having opted for the part over another offer of a role in Joan Littlewood's stage show Oh! What a Lovely War. He later said: "I earned 10 times as much money from (later in his career) advertising Bran Flakes as I did from the movie Zulu."[2]

From the 1970s to the 1990s, he played the role of Dave Harris, the part-owner and barman of the Winchester Club in ten series of the ITV hit drama Minder.[3]

He also appeared in bit parts in numerous British television shows in the 1970s and '80s, including Callan, The Professionals, Public Eye, Spindoe, Steptoe and Son, Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em, Dixon of Dock Green, Man About the House, Softly, Softly and The Saint.[1]

He was a regular in two series of the ITV legal drama The Main Chance (1972, 1975).[2][7] He played supporting roles in the cinema films Robbery (1967), and the criminal underworld film Get Carter (1971).[8]

During his career Edwards played a number of sinister characters, particularly that of 'Mr Dix', a schoolteacher in the early-1970s sitcom Please Sir!, and a menacing gamekeeper in ITV's Thriller (1973),[2] and was often cast either as policemen or criminals.[9]

In 1985, he appeared in the rock music band Marillion's music video for its single release "Heart of Lothian", in which he played a barman,[10] and starred in a popular TV commercial for McVitie's rich tea biscuits as "Jacko", saying, "Yeah, I'll make a statement. A drink's too wet without one!"[2][11]

Personal life

His first wife was the actress Yootha Joyce, who also trained at Joan Littlewood's Theatre Workshop. They were married from 1956 to 1969.[3] After their divorce, he married the former Benny Hill Show performer Christine Pilgrim,[2] the marriage producing a son, Thomas (b. 1972).[12] From the 1980s, he was married to Valerie Edwards.[3]

Edwards retained a life-long interest in river-boating, owning several vessels, and during the nineteen eighties and nineties he resided on a 40ft-long canal boat converted into a houseboat, named 'Winchester' after the fictional private members' bar that he had run in the Minder television series, which was permanently moored on the South bank of the River Thames at Thames Ditton and Surbiton, where he could often be seen in the summer swimming in the river to cool off on hot days.[13]

After the end of the Minder series in 1994 he retired from acting in his mid-sixties,[4] and in his final years divided his time between living in Spain and Scotland.[14]


Edwards died at his home in Edinburgh, Scotland, on 23 May 2018 at the age of 87.[15][2][5]



Year Title Role Notes
1957 The Heart Within 1st Constable[16]
1962 A Prize of Arms Boone[17][18] Uncredited
1963 Sparrows Can't Sing Charlie's friend[19] Uncredited
The Hi-Jackers Bluey[16]
1964 Zulu Corporal William Allen[19]
Smokescreen Inspector Wright[16]
1965 The Ipcress File Police station sergeant[19]
1967 Robbery Squad chief[19]
1968 The Blood Beast Terror Sgt. Allan[16]
The Bofors Gun Sergeant-Major West[19]
1970 Fragment of Fear CID Superintendent[19]
1971 Get Carter Albert Swift[19]
1972 Under Milk Wood Mr Cherry Owen[19]
Burke & Hare Hare[16]
All Coppers Are... Jock[20]
1973 Shaft in Africa Vanden[16]
1974 11 Harrowhouse First Guard[16] Credited as Glyn Edwards
1977 The Stick Up First Roadblock Policeman[19]
1978 The Playbirds Chief Superintendent Holbourne[19]
1979 Confessions from the David Galaxy Affair Chief Inspector Evans[19]
1980 Rising Damp Cooper[19]
1983 Red Monarch Vlasek[19] TV movie
1987 Out of Order Barman[19]
1988 The Seventh Sign Newscaster #1[16]


Year Title Role Notes
1963–1976 Dixon of Dock Green Various[2][21] 10 episodes
1963 The Human Jungle Albert Stokes[1] Episode: The Two Edged Sword
1964 Z-Cars Mr Cooper / Mr Aldiss[2][21] 2 episodes
1965–1969 The Newcomers George Harbottle[3][21] many episodes
1966 King of the River Jack Elliot[1][21] Episode: Foreign Invasion
1967–1968 The Saint Leander / Igor[2][21] 2 episodes
1968–1969 Journey to the Unknown Brown[1][21] Episode: Stranger in the Family
1969 The Avengers Blackie[1][21] Episode: The Interrogators
1970 Steptoe and Son George[1][21] Episode Steptoe and Son – and Son!
1971 Public Eye Alf Bain[1][21] Episode: Who Wants To Be Told Bad News?
1971 Bless This House Motor-cycle Policeman[1][21] Episode: For Whom the Bells Toll
1971 Please Sir! Mr Dix[21] 2 Episodes
1972–1978 Crown Court Various[21] 5 episodes
1975–1976 Man About The House Chrissy's father[21] 2 episodes
1977–1978 The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin Mr. Pelham[1][21] 3 episodes
1977–1979 The Paper Lads Jack Crawford[4] 14 episodes
1978 Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em Mr Lewis[2][21] 3 episodes
1979 The Professionals Alfred Cole[2][21] Episode: Servant of Two Masters
1979–1994 Minder Dave Harris[16][21] 95 episodes, (final appearance)
1982 Legacy of Murder Henchman[21][22]
1983 Jack of Diamonds Reg[21][23] (comedy thriller with Dick Emery)[24]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Glynn Edwards". BFI. Retrieved 8 June 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o "Glynn Edwards obituary". The Guardian. Guardian News and Media Ltd. Retrieved 7 June 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d e "Raising a glass to Minder – and endless repeats". The Scotsman. 30 December 2004. Retrieved 5 June 2018.
  4. ^ a b c Pearce, Tilly. "Minder actor Glynn Edwards dies aged 87". Metro. Associated Newspapers Ltd. Retrieved 7 June 2018.
  5. ^ a b "Glynn Edwards, played Dave the barman in 'Minder' – obituary". 5 June 2018. Retrieved 5 June 2018.
  6. ^ 'Blimey Arthur, Look what Dave's done to the Winchester', article on Glynn Edwards, 'T.V. Times', 25 February – 2 March 1984.
  7. ^ "BFI Screenonline: Main Chance, The (1969–75) Credits".
  8. ^ "Glynn Edwards profile". 2 February 1931. Archived from the original on 16 July 2012. Retrieved 25 March 2014.
  9. ^ Best of British magazine (July 2018 issue; page 15)
  10. ^ Marillion – Heart of Lothian 1985 Music Video HD. Mark Jennings. Retrieved 7 June 2016.
  11. ^ Glynn Edwards in Rich Tea advert. Retrieved 7 June 2018.
  12. ^ 'Blimey Arthur, Look what Dave's done to the Winchester', article on Glynn Edwards, 'T.V. Times', 25 February – 2 March 1984.
  13. ^ 'Blimey Arthur, Look what Dave's done to the Winchester', article on Glynn Edwards, 'T.V. Times', 25 February – 2 March 1984.
  14. ^ Kindon, Frances. "Minder actor Glynn Edward dies aged 87 at his home in Scotland". Daily Record. Scottish Daily Record and Sunday Mail Ltd. Retrieved 7 June 2018.
  15. ^ Glynn Edwards obituary, 'Evening Standard', 7 June 2018.
  16. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Glynn Edwards List of Movies and TV Shows". TV Guide. Retrieved 7 June 2018.
  17. ^ "A Prize of Arms". BFI. Retrieved 7 June 2018.
  18. ^ "A Prize of Arms (1962)". Memorable TV. Retrieved 7 June 2018.
  19. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "Filmography for Glynn Edwards". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved 7 June 2018.
  20. ^ "All Coppers Are (1973)". BFI.
  21. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s "Glynn Edwards". Memorable TV. Retrieved 7 June 2018.
  22. ^ "Emery Presents: Legacy Of Murder, Episode 4 – Bang, Bang You're Dead". British Comedy Guide. Retrieved 7 June 2018.
  23. ^ Walker, Craig (21 June 2011). On the Buses: The Complete Story. p. 31. ISBN 9781908382849. Retrieved 7 June 2018.
  24. ^ "Jack Of Diamonds (BBC-1 1982, Dick Emery, Tony Selby) - Memorable TV". Retrieved 8 June 2018.

External links

This page was last edited on 15 October 2021, at 15:11
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