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George Cole (born April 22, 1925 in Tooting, London, England) is a British actor.
He began appearing in films in the early 1940s, and his career was only briefly interrupted by service in the Royal Air Force from 1944 to 1947. He became familiar to audiences in British comedy films in the 1950s, but later became a respected character actor on television.
He attributes his acting career to the great British comedy stage and film actor Alastair Sim who became his mentor, and with whom Cole appears from his earliest days. It has been rumoured that Sim was really his father, but it is not clear that there is any evidence for this.
George Cole is best known for his roles as "Flash Harry" in the St Trinian's films (two of which star Sim) and as Arthur Daley in the TV series Minder, and the lead character on An Independent Man.
He also starred as Brian Hook in the BBC Comedy Dad in the late 1990s alongside Kevin McNally, who played his son, Alan Hook. There were 13 episodes of the show, spanning two series and a Christmas special. Each episode title punned on the word 'Dad' (eg: Dadmestic; Dadcipline; Habadadery; Dadaholic; Transcendadtal; Dadmocracy; Reprodadtion), although the Christmas special broke with this tradition, taking the title 'Nemesis'.
He played Henry Root in the TV series Root Into Europe.
He is able to hide his London accent when playing upper-class characters, such as Sir Giles Lynchwood in the TV adaptation of Tom Sharpe's novel Blott on the Landscape. Recently he was announced to play the leading role in Kevin Tate's "The Story of Carl Veart" a new 6 part ITV Series.
He was married firstly to Eileen Moore, an actress. He subsequently married Penny Morrell, in 1964, with whom he has two children.
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