TV Cream

Hall of Fame

HOWARD, Trevor

howard‘I’ve been number two in films for donkey’s years,’ quoth the stalwart support actor’s stalwart support actor, and he was right. Not that, whatever Trev himself may have thought of this state of affairs, there’s anything wrong with that. Of course the knee-jerk thought is of the war, with taut squadron leaders and clandestine platform trysts with Celia Johnson. But then you’ve got his top turn in The Third Man, which for our money is as good as anything in the picture, although of course he didn’t get to say ‘cuckoo’ in a funny way with his eyebrows raised, so it went largely unheralded. You’ve got him ruthlessly epitomising the hypocritically morally outraged gentry in The Missionary. You’ve got him leading The Cockleshell Heroes, for God’s sake! And who else on the big screen would command the authority to keel-haul Marlon Brando?

FINEST HOUR: To be predictably unpredictable, we have to go with his sou’wester-clad, dirty-fingered, drunken indoor polo champ in Sir Henry at Rawlinson End.



  1. Glenn Aylett

    October 29, 2023 at 11:56 am

    Great actor, always best known for Brief Encounter and his numerous military roles, but Howard created a myth that he served as a paratrooper in Sicily and was decorated several times, when in reality he was thrown out of the army after 18 months for being mentally unstable and never saw combat. Also a very heavy drinker and sometimes hard to work with, but with an acting CV that lasted over 50 years and some great roles from Brief Encounter to The Offence, we can forgive Howard a lot.

  2. Sidney Balmoral James

    October 29, 2023 at 8:14 pm

    Has rare distinction of appearing in three separate films with Marlon Brando. Terribly typecast from early middle age, although he managed to elevate the endless roles as irascible, crusty officers into a sort of greatness. Another casualty of the drink of course, who like William Holden, looked very aged by the beginning of the 60s, even though only still in his forties.

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