To install click the Add extension button. That's it.

The source code for the WIKI 2 extension is being checked by specialists of the Mozilla Foundation, Google, and Apple. You could also do it yourself at any point in time.

Kelly Slayton
Congratulations on this excellent venture… what a great idea!
Alexander Grigorievskiy
I use WIKI 2 every day and almost forgot how the original Wikipedia looks like.
What we do. Every page goes through several hundred of perfecting techniques; in live mode. Quite the same Wikipedia. Just better.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

John Thaw
John Edward Thaw

(1942-01-03)3 January 1942
Gorton, Manchester, England
Died21 February 2002(2002-02-21) (aged 60)
Years active1958–2001
(m. 1964; div. 1968)
(m. 1973)
Children3, including Abigail Thaw

John Edward Thaw, CBE (3 January 1942 – 21 February 2002) was an English actor in television, stage and cinema, best known for his starring role in the television series Inspector Morse as Detective Chief Inspector Endeavour Morse and The Sweeney as Detective Inspector Jack Regan.

YouTube Encyclopedic

  • 1/5
    11 869
    166 151
    474 599
    3 697
    406 136
  • Inspector Morse 1987 Cast THEN and NOW, The actors have aged horribly!!
  • Chief Inspector Endeavour Morse As If: 1965-2000: Tribute to John Thaw
  • Shaun Evans on the Pressures of Playing a Beloved Character like Morse | Lorraine
  • Inspector Morse's First Name | Inspector Morse, John Thaw | Bits of Pop Culture
  • ENDEAVOUR Cast Real-Life Partners & Personal Lives: Shaun Evans, Abigail Thaw, Roger Allam & more


Early life

Born in Gorton, Manchester, to John Edward ("Jack") Thaw, a tool-setter at the Fairey Aviation Company aircraft factory, later a long-distance lorry driver, and Dorothy (née Ablott).[1] Dorothy left when he was seven years old. He and his younger brother, Raymond Stuart (Ray) had a difficult childhood due to their father's long absences. Thaw grew up in Gorton and Burnage, attending the Ducie Technical High School for Boys, gaining just one O level. He entered the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) at the age of 16 (two years underage), and won the Academy's Vanburgh Award.[2][3] Ray emigrated to Australia in the mid-1960s.[4]


In 1960, Thaw made his stage début in A Shred of Evidence at the Liverpool Playhouse and was awarded a contract with the theatre. His first film role was a bit part in The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (1962) starring Tom Courtenay and he also acted on-stage opposite Sir Laurence Olivier in Semi-Detached (1962). In 1963/64, he appeared in several episodes of the BBC series Z-Cars as a detective constable. Between 1964 and 1966, he starred in two series of the ABC Weekend Television/ITV production Redcap, playing the hard-nosed military policeman Sergeant John Mann. He was also a guest star in an early episode of The Avengers. In 1967 he appeared in Bat Out of Hell and in the Granada TV/ITV series, Inheritance, alongside James Bolam and Michael Goodliffe; TV plays including The Talking Head, and episodes of series such as Budgie, where he played against type as an effeminate failed playwright with a full beard and a Welsh accent.

Thaw was only 32 when he was cast in The Sweeney (1975–1978), although many viewers thought he was older. His role as the hard-bitten, tough-talking Flying Squad detective Jack Regan established him as a major star in the United Kingdom. He followed this dramatic series with the comedy series Home to Roost (1985–1990), which co-starred Reece Dinsdale, about a divorced father whose teenage son moves back in with him after choosing as a child to live with his mother. The show ran for four series.

It was his role as Detective Chief Inspector Endeavour Morse in Inspector Morse (1987–93, with later specials until 2000), which cemented his fame. Alongside his put-upon Detective Sergeant Robert "Robbie" Lewis (Kevin Whately), Morse became a high-profile character—"a cognitive curmudgeon with his love of classical music, his drinking, his classic Jaguar and spates of melancholy".[5] According to The Guardian, "Thaw was the definitive Morse, grumpy, crossword-fixated, drunk, slightly anti-feminist, and pedantic about grammar."[6] Inspector Morse became one of the UK's most loved TV series; at its peak in the mid-'90s, ratings hit 18 million people, about one third of the British population.[7][8] He won "Most Popular Actor" at the 1999 National Television Awards and won two BAFTA awards for his role as Morse.

He subsequently played liberal working-class Lancastrian barrister James Kavanagh in Kavanagh QC (1995–99, and a special in 2001). Thaw also appeared in two sitcoms—Thick as Thieves (London Weekend/ITV, 1974) with Bob Hoskins and Home to Roost (Yorkshire/ITV, 1985–90). Thaw is mainly known in America for the Morse series, as well as the BBC series A Year in Provence (1993) with Lindsay Duncan.

He appeared in a number of films for director Richard Attenborough, including Cry Freedom, where he portrayed the conservative South African justice minister Jimmy Kruger (for which he received a BAFTA nomination for Best Supporting Actor), and Chaplin alongside Robert Downey Jr.

Thaw also appeared in the TV adaptation of the Michelle Magorian book Goodnight Mister Tom (Carlton Television/ITV). It won "Most Popular Drama" at the National Television Awards, 1999.[9]

During the 1970s and 1980s, Thaw appeared in productions with the Royal Shakespeare Company and National Theatre.

He was the subject of This Is Your Life in 1981 when he was surprised by Eamonn Andrews in the foyer of the National Theatre in London.[citation needed]

Personal life

In 1964, Thaw married Sally Alexander,[10] a feminist activist and stage manager, now professor of history at Goldsmiths, University of London. They divorced four years later.[11] He met actress Sheila Hancock in 1969 on the set of So What About Love?[12] She was married to fellow actor Alexander "Alec" Ross. They became friends, but she refused to have an affair as she did not want to disrupt her daughter's life.[12] Following the death of her husband (from oesophageal cancer) in 1971, Thaw and Hancock married on 24 December 1973 in Cirencester,.[12][13] They remained together until his death in 2002 (also from oesophageal cancer).[14]

He had three daughters (all actresses): Abigail from his first marriage to Sally Alexander, Joanna from his second marriage to Sheila Hancock, and he also adopted Sheila Hancock's daughter Melanie Jane, from Hancock's first marriage to Alec Ross.[11][15] His granddaughter Molly Whitmey made a cameo in the Endeavour episode Oracle (series 7, episode 1, broadcast 1 February 2020) as the younger version of her grandmother Sally Alexander.[16]

Thaw was a committed socialist[17] and a lifelong supporter of the Labour Party.[18] He was appointed a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) in March 1993 by Queen Elizabeth II.[19] In September 2006, Thaw was voted by the general public as number 3, after David Jason and Morecambe and Wise, in a poll of TV's 50 Greatest Stars for the past 50 years.[20]

Illness and death

A heavy drinker until going teetotal in 1995,[12] and a heavy smoker from the age of 12,[15] Thaw was diagnosed with cancer of the oesophagus in June 2001.[21][22] He underwent chemotherapy in hope of overcoming the illness, and at first had appeared to respond well to the treatment. However, just before Christmas 2001 he was informed that the cancer had spread and the prognosis was terminal.[23]

He died on 21 February 2002,[15] seven weeks after his 60th birthday, the day after he signed a new contract with ITV,[24] and the day before his wife's birthday. At the time of his death he was living at his country home, near the villages of Luckington and Sherston in Wiltshire,[25] and was cremated in Westerleigh, near Yate in South Gloucestershire, in a private service.[26] A memorial service was held on 4 September 2002 at St Martin-in-the-Fields church in Trafalgar Square, attended by 800 people including Charles, Prince of Wales, Richard Attenborough, Tom Courtenay and Cherie Blair.[27]

Television, film and stage performances

Television series

Year Title Role Notes
1961 The Younger Generation Customer / Max / Edward / Charlie / Peter / Denny / Martin
1963–1965 Edgar Wallace Mysteries Alan Roper / David Jones "Five to One" / "Dead Man's Chest"
1963 Z Cars Detective Constable Elliot
1964–1966 Redcap Sergeant John Mann 2 series
1966 Bat Out of Hell (TV series) Mark Paxton Five episodes
1967 Inheritance Will Oldroyd
1969 Strange Report Inspector Jenner Episode: "Revenge - When a Man Hates"
1972 The Frighteners Wood Episode: "Old Comrades"
1974 Thick As Thieves Stan
The Capone Investment Tom
1975–1978 The Sweeney Det. Insp. Jack Regan 4 series & 2 films
1984 Mitch Mitch
1985–1990 Home to Roost Henry Willows 4 series
1987–2000 Inspector Morse Detective Chief Inspector Endeavour Morse 33 television films
1991 Stanley and the Women Stanley Duke
1992 A Year in Provence Peter Mayle
1995–2001 Kavanagh QC James Kavanagh, Q.C. 6 series
1999 Plastic Man Joe McConnell
1999 The Second World War in Colour Narrator
2000 Monsignor Renard Monsignor Augustine Renard
2001 The Glass Jim Proctor (final TV role)

Television films and plays

Year Title Roles
1961 Serjeant Musgrave's Dance
1962 Nil Carborundum[28][29] ACI Neville Harrison
1963 The Lads
1964 I Can Walk Where I Like, Can't I?
1964 The Other Man
1966 The Making of Jericho
1974 Regan
1977 Sweeney!
1978 Dinner at the Sporting Club
1980 Drake's Venture Francis Drake
1984 Killer Waiting Major Peter Hastings
1984 The Life and Death of King John Hubert de Burgh
1985 We'll Support You Ever More Geoff Hollins
1986 Stainheads
1987 "The Sign of Four" (full-length episode of The Return of Sherlock Holmes Jonathan Small
1989 Bomber Harris Sir Arthur 'Bomber' Harris
1993 The Mystery of Morse
1994 The Absence of War
1996 Into the Blue Harry Barnett
1998 Goodnight Mister Tom Tom Oakley
1999 The Waiting Time Joshua Mantle
2000 The Last Morse
2000 Inspector Morse: Rest in Peace Inspector Morse
2001 Hidden Treasure / Buried Treasure Harry (final film role)

Guest appearances

Date Show title Episode title
28 May 1962 Probation Officer
15 August 1963 ITV Television Playhouse "The Lads"
18 September 1963 Z-Cars "A La Carte"
25 September 1963 Z-Cars "Light the Blue Paper"
2 October 1963 Z-Cars "A Quiet Night"
16 October 1963 Z-Cars "Hide – And Go Seek"
14 March 1964 The Avengers "Esprit De Corps"
12 October 1965 A Poor Gentleman
19 October 1965 A Poor Gentleman
31 October 1965 The Edgar Wallace Mystery Theatre "Dead Man's Chest"
29 September 1967 Inheritance "Murder"
1 December 1967 Inheritance "A Man of His Time"
25 March 1969 The Borderers "Dispossessed"
28 June 1969 ITV Saturday Night Theatre "The Haunting"
30 August 1969 ITV Saturday Night Theatre "The Talking Head"
11 October 1969 ITV Saturday Night Theatre In Another Country
9 November 1969 Strange Report "Report 2475: Revenge – When a Man Hates"
20 September 1970 Play of the Month "Macbeth"
12 December 1970 Happy Ever After "Don't Walk Away"
25 June 1971 Budgie "Sunset Mansions or Whatever Happened to Janey Baib?"
5 October 1971 Armchair Theatre "Competition"
14 December 1971 Suspicion "I'll Go Along With That"
24 December 1971 The Onedin Line "Mutiny"
9 April 1972 Pretenders "The Paymaster"
21 July 1972 The Frighteners "Old Comrades"
29 August 1972 Armchair Theatre "What Became of Me?"
6 September 1972 ITV Playhouse "Refuge for a Hero"
30 September 1972 The Adventures of Black Beauty "The Hostage"
4 March 1973 The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes "The Sensible Action of Lieutenant Horst"
26 April 1973 Menace "Tom"
16 May 1973 BBC Play of the Month "Caucasian Chalk Circle"
20 May 1973 ITV Saturday Night Theatre "Passengers"
28 December 1973 The Protectors "Mauro Carpiano"
25 December 1976 The Morecambe & Wise Show "1976 Christmas Show"
5 January 1977 This Is Your Life "Sheila Hancock"
26 November 1978 The South Bank Show
18 March 1981 This Is Your Life "John Thaw"
4 December 1982 Saturday Night Thriller "Where is Betty Buchus?"
1987 Sherlock Holmes "The Sign of Four

Theatrical films

Year Title Roles
1962 Smashing Day Stan
1962 The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner Bosworth (uncredited)
1963 Five To One Alan Roper
1965 Dead Man's Chest
1968 The Bofors Gun Featherstone
1970 Praise Marx and Pass the Ammunition Dom
1970 The Last Grenade Terry Mitchell
1972 Dr. Phibes Rises Again Shavers
1977 Sweeney! Detective Inspector Jack Regan
1978 Sweeney 2 Detective Inspector Jack Regan
1981 Killing Heat Dick Turner
1987 Cry Freedom Jimmy Kruger
1988 Business As Usual Kieran Flynn
1992 Chaplin Fred Karno
1996 Masculine Mescaline The Man
1998 Goodnight Mister Tom Tom


Year Title
1958 Cymbeline
1958 As You Like It
1958 The Cherry Orchard
1958 Pillars of Society
1958 The Taming of the Shrew
1958 A Winter's Tale
1958 The Lady's Not For Burning
1958 Twelfth Night
1958 Macbeth
1959 Hobson's Choice
1959 Paradise Lost
1959 Antigone
1959 Alcestis
1959 Faust
1959 The Knight of the Burning Pestle
1960 A Shred of Evidence
1960 The Wind and the Rain
1960 Staircase
1961 The Fires Raisers
1961 Chips With Everything
1961 Two into One
1962 Women Beware Women
1962 Semi-Detached
1964 The Father
1967 Around The World in 80 Days
1967 Little Malcolm And His Struggle Against The Eunuchs
1969 So What About Love?
1970 Random Happenings in the Hebrides
1971 The Lady from the Sea
1972 Chinamen
1972 The New Quixote
1972 Black And Silver
1972 The Two of Us
1973 Collaborators
1976 Absurd Person Singular
1977 The Two of Us
1978 Night and Day
1982 Serjeant Musgrave's Dance
1983 Twelfth Night
1983 The Time of Your Life
1983 Henry VIII
1984 Pygmalion
1986 Two into One
1988 All My Sons
1993 The Absence of War by David Hare
2001 Peter Pan

Honours and awards

Year Award Category Work Result
1977 Evening Standard British Film Award Best Actor "Sweeney!" Won
1988 British Academy Award Best Actor in a Supporting Role "Cry Freedom" Nominated
1990 British Academy Award Best Actor "Inspector Morse" Won
1991 British Academy Award Best Actor "Inspector Morse" Nominated
1992 British Academy Award Best Actor "Inspector Morse" Nominated
1993 British Academy Award Best Actor "Inspector Morse" Won
1994 CBE Won
1995 Aftonbladet TV Prize, Sweden Best Foreign TV Personality – Male (Bästa utländska man) Won
1998 National Television Award Most Popular Actor "Inspector Morse" Won
1998 Special Recognition Award Most Popular Actor "Inspector Morse" Won
1999 National Television Award Most Popular Actor "Goodnight, Mister Tom" Won
2000 National Television Award Most Popular Actor "Monsignor Renard" Nominated
2001 National Television Award Most Popular Actor "Inspector Morse" and Academy Fellowship Won
2002 National Television Award Most Popular Actor "Buried Treasure" Nominated

A memorial bench is dedicated to Thaw within the grounds of St Paul's Covent Garden.[30]


  1. ^ "The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. 2004. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/76933. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  2. ^ ""Inspector remorse; Thaw's pain over lost childhood.." The Free Library. 1998 Scottish Daily Record & Sunday". The Free Library. Retrieved 27 November 2023.
  3. ^ "John Thaw - Obituary". The Scotsman. 25 February 2002. Retrieved 27 November 2023.
  4. ^ Dibben, Kay (10 March 2002), "Mother's rejection that haunted my brother John Thaw – Brisbane man tells of family heartache", The Sunday Mail
  5. ^ "John Thaw: Forever Morse". BBC News. 21 February 2002. Retrieved 7 May 2021.
  6. ^ "No one else should play Inspector Morse, says his creator Colin Dexter". The Guardian. 25 March 2014. Retrieved 7 May 2021.
  7. ^ McCann, Jaymi (22 October 2017). "Inspector Morse's legacy: John Thaw's daughter makes Endeavour appearance". Retrieved 11 July 2022.
  8. ^ "Great Britain population mid-year estimate – Office for National Statistics". Retrieved 11 July 2022.
  9. ^ Goodnight Mister Tom synopsis Archived 24 November 2010 at the Wayback Machine. ITV. Retrieved 20 February 2010.
  10. ^ Shut It!
  11. ^ a b McGowan, Bob; Avery, Catherine (22 September 2002). "Mystery of John Thaw fortune". Express on Sunday.
  12. ^ a b c d Driscoll, Margarette (19 December 2004). "The Morse Saga – Interview". The Sunday Times.
  13. ^ Lee, David (22 February 2002). "Friends' tribute to Morse star Thaw". The Scotsman.
  14. ^ Guinness, Daphne (11 November 2004). "Morse: More Sad, More Angry Than You Ever Knew". The Sydney Morning Herald.
  15. ^ a b c "John Thaw – Obituary". The Times. 23 February 2002.
  16. ^ "It's a family affair: John Thaw's daughter Abigail stars in Endeavour's new series 7 with daughter Molly playing her mother Sally..." Ox In A Box. 4 February 2020.
  17. ^ "John Thaw: Forever Morse". BBC News. 21 February 2002.
  18. ^ Sengupta, Kim (5 September 2002). "Prince and Cherie Booth at Thaw memorial". The Independent. London. Archived from the original on 13 June 2022.
  19. ^ "No Mystery Here". The Buffalo News. 19 March 1993.
  20. ^ "Who dares WINS, Rodders! – David Greatest TV Star for 50 Years". News of the World. 10 September 2006.
  21. ^ "John Thaw Has Throat Cancer". London Evening Standard. 19 June 2001.
  22. ^ "John Thaw Pledges Comeback as He Reveals Cancer Battle". The Guardian. 20 June 2001.
  23. ^ "Thaw's Cancer Setback". Herald Sun. 6 January 2002.
  24. ^ "Thaw signed new contract". Wales on Sunday. 7 April 2002. Archived from the original on 24 June 2022. Retrieved 12 June 2022 – via The Free Library.
  25. ^ "Sold Down the River". Western Daily Press. 19 April 2006.
  26. ^ Cowling, James (27 February 2002). "Actor Thaw Remembered for 'Generosity and Kindness'". Gloucestershire and Wiltshire Counties Publications.
  27. ^ "Charles joins Thaw memorial". BBC News. 4 September 2002.
  28. ^ "Nil Carborundum". British Universities Film and Video Council: Learning On Screen. Retrieved 12 May 2024.
  29. ^ "Nil Carborundum". BBC Programme Index. Retrieved 12 May 2024.
  30. ^ "London's Famous Bench Dedications". 21 October 2016. Archived from the original on 6 March 2018. Retrieved 12 October 2018.


  • Hancock, Sheila (2004). The Two of Us: My Life with John Thaw. London: Bloomsbury. ISBN 978-0-7475-7020-2
  • John Thaw: The Biography. Stafford Hildred and Tim Ewbank. London: Andre Deutsch. ISBN 0-233-99475-0

External links

This page was last edited on 16 May 2024, at 15:08
Basis of this page is in Wikipedia. Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 Unported License. Non-text media are available under their specified licenses. Wikipedia® is a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. WIKI 2 is an independent company and has no affiliation with Wikimedia Foundation.