Comedian and actor Terry Duggan had a successful career in cabaret and variety and played numerous character roles on television. Married to the actress Anna Karen, he often appeared with her in the seventies sitcom On The Buses.
Born in Hoxton, London, on April 15, 1932, Duggan began performing as a child. He became an acrobat which later led to him becoming a stuntman in films.
With a notable gift for comedy, he turned to acting and made a name for himself as a stand-up comedian in the clubs. He was famous for his drunk act – in the great tradition of Freddie Frinton and Jimmy James – which he performed with brilliant timing. He would often enter a theatre or club through the audience, many of whom were unaware that the drunk was part of the show. He also performed the drunk act on many music hall bills.
On television he had roles in series such as Randall and Hopkirk, Please Sir!, Bob Martin, The Bill, Only Fools and Horses and Are You Being Served? He also appeared in many films including The Horror of Frankenstein, Family Life, Poor Cow and Stanley Kubrick’s 2001 A Space Odyssey.
He was also an experience pantomime performer often appearing with his wife and he was much admired by his fellow pros.
He was a long-standing member of the Grand Order of Water Rats. His funeral was attended by many leading showbiz stars including Roy Hudd who gave the address.
He had been in ill health for some time and died on May 1.
Nigel Ellacott writes: I am proud to have had Terry as a friend, and deeply indebted to him for all the fine tuning and practical advice he gave when it came to writing or performing in a routine or a scene. He would be relied on for the perfect joke or bit of comic business that was missing from a routine, and would go to great lengths to ensure that every last piece of comic potential could be extracted from a gag or even a word.
Terry, it was a huge joy to have known you, and I know that there are a huge number of people in the business who would agree with me there. Our sympathies to Anna.
Patrick Newley and Nigel Ellacott