TV Cream

Hall of Fame

COSSINS, James

cossinsEven where none was present on his noggin, the dogged, moustachioed and often terminally repressed characters in which James Cossins specialised always seemed to sport a virtual bowler hat, so completely did he embody old school middle-class values and hang-ups. Often these concealed a deviant side, as with his sex-seeking civil servant at the opening of Death Line, or his kleptomaniac transvestite confronted by Bette Davis in The Anniversary (‘If I didn’t do what I do, God knows what I’d do!’)

FINEST HOUR: The quietly despairing Brown in Clement-LaFrenais gangster grotesquerie Villain, a fed-up clerk mixing it with Richard Burton’s gay hood out of punctured post-war self-esteem

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