TV Cream

Hall of Fame

COLE, George

coleAnyone who learns their trade off Alastair Sim is doing something right. It’s tempting to see George Cole’s as a career of two halves – his juvenile, gauche early roles followed by the middle-aged wiseacres, but they’re more like two ends of a continuous life. (Compare and contrast Arthur Daley and St Trinian’s Flash harry for something approaching proof for this spurious conjecture.) He foiled spies in Cottage to Let, held up a bank for an inheritance in Laughter in paradise, and he was Alastair Sim Jr in Scrooge. A nice little earner indeed.

FINEST HOUR: Heralding the first knockings of Daleydom as Fingers, incompetent head of an even more hopeless criminal gang in joyous Rank comedy Too Many Crooks.



  1. Adrian

    September 1, 2009 at 4:49 pm

    Remember the Leeds ‘Liquid Gold’ adverts he did in the 80s as well?

  2. Emma fudge

    December 20, 2009 at 11:32 am

    Does anyone else see the likeness of alastair sim, in George cole? I think it’s quite bizarre

  3. Glenn Aylett

    October 21, 2021 at 7:09 pm

    He was in The Vampire Lovers as well, a role very far removed from Flash Harry and Arthur Daley. Watching this a few months ago, though, where he takes on a lesbian vampire with Peter Cushing, and you still think what Arthur would make of all this? Probably be out selling some cheapo crosses to the locals.

  4. Sidney Balmoral James

    October 23, 2021 at 10:15 am

    I always thought Cole was resistible when a young man – he’s incredibly annoying for example in the Green Man – and I never entirely warmed to him as Flash Harry, but once he hit middle age, he became a superb character actor. The Green Man is a fine example from that class of films which are strong concepts (Alastair Sim as a hit man!) but a let-down in terms of execution – does however include the peerless moment when Sim smiles warmly to the dreadful string trio, and then stops immediately on turning away (is this the first example of this on film?)

    • THX 1139

      October 23, 2021 at 2:59 pm

      I love The Green Man! Really funny. Always get it mixed up in my mind with Green for Danger, though (probably a better regarded film).

  5. Droogie

    October 24, 2021 at 2:08 am

    Bizarrely, Rex Harrison was a recent topic on here and what a douche of a person he was. I remember a BBC documentary from years back celebrating George Cole and interviewing him about his career. Cole played a scene opposite Rex Harrison in Cleopatra, and described what a shitebag Harrison was to him on set. It was bizarre to see an old school actor talk negatively about a fellow thespian, as actors never did that back then. But obviously Rex was some weird kind of monster.

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