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Bill Wallis

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Bill Wallis
Bill Wallis
Born 1936
First appearance The Archbishop
Last appearance General Hospital
Series Blackadder Goes Forth
Episode count 3

Bill Wallis (born 1936 in Farnham, Surrey, England) is a British character actor and comedian who has appeared in numerous radio and television roles, as well as in the theatre.

He attended Farnham Grammar School from 1948 to 1955. He gained a State Scholarship and went to Cambridge University where he met Peter Cook. When Cook and the team took Beyond the Fringe to Broadway, Wallis took over the roles played by Alan Bennett.

Some of his most frequent appearances have been on BBC Radio 4 for The Afternoon Play and the Classic Serial, but he was also in the cast of the long-running sketch show Week Ending, and in the first episode of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, originating the roles of Mr. Prosser and Prostetnic Vogon Jeltz. He reprised the latter in the second episode and in one episode of the second series.

Wallis has appeared in a number of television programmes including Chelmsford 123, Doctor at Large (1971), ITV's production of The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13¾, the first series of Blackadder (drunken knight), Blackadder II (Ploppy the Jailer), Blackadder Goes Forth (Agent Brigadier Smith), Just Good Friends (A J Styles) and Yes, Prime Minister. He also appeared briefly in the first episode of ITV's Midsomer Murders, apparently driving a Morgan sports car. In fact this was pushed by other cast members, as he does not hold a driving licence. He appeared in Not Only... But Also with Peter Cook and Dudley Moore, alongside comedy stalwarts John Wells and Joe Melia, singing the comic song "Alan a' Dale," which students of the absurdist strand of British humour such as Monty Python will recognise. He appeared in the original London cast of the unsuccessful Andrew Lloyd Webber/Alan Ayckbourn musical Jeeves in 1975. He presented and narrated a semi-dramatised documentary titled "A Pleasant Terror" on the life and works of M. R. James, broadcast by ITV in December 1995.

His film appearances include The Other Boleyn Girl (2008), Keep the Aspidistra Flying (1997) and Splitting Heirs (1993).

He has two children by his first wife, Jean Spalding, a noted cellist.

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