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Basil Clarke

Sydney-based actor, broadcaster and writer Basil Clarke died on December 2004 at the age of 91.

Born in London in 1913, he was brought up in Aberdeen and at the age of 11 went to live in New Zealand. There he went into journalism, practising also in Melbourne and Sydney. Back in New Zealand he went into broadcasting, writing radio documentaries and plays that mainly dealt with the history of New Zealand, some of which were purchased by the BBC. He then began acting in radio plays and repertory theatre.

He finally left broadcasting in 1956 and toured with the New Zealand Players in The Mousetrap and Ustinov’s Romanoff and Juliet. He then went to England to embark upon a theatrical career there and soon was acting with the Leatherhead Repertory Company and on TV. He toured Japan and Australia with the Royal Shakespeare Theatre.

In the late seventies he settled in Sydney and worked with the Nimrod, Sydney Theatre Company and Marion Street Theatre Company. He also played small parts in several Australian films. He became well-known to the general public with his playing the role of Young Mr Bone in an Aussie version of Are You Being Served? with the late June Bronhill in the Mrs Slocombe role.

He last stage role was in the touring production of A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to the Forum at the age of 85. He became a familiar face in TV commercial ads.

He is survived by his wife, four children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren

Raymond Stanley