Saturday, 21 September 2013

Familiar Faces: No 2
Frederick Piper
For a period of almost twenty years, if you needed a grumpy barman, policeman, café owner etc, Frederick Piper was your man. Hardly ever having more than a few minutes of screen time, his was an instantly recognisable face: one of those 'Where have I seen him before?' types. As his entry on The Internet Movie Database notes, he was a former tea merchant and "Balding, shifty-looking small part character actor".
So for reference, here's Frederick Piper:
With Robert Donat in The 39 Steps (1935)

Where There's A Will (1936)

Oh Mr Porter (1937)
As a pickpocket in The Four Just Men (1939)

49th Parallel (1941)

The Big Blockade (1942)

With Bernard Miles (left) in In Which We Serve

With Jack Lambert (left) in Nine Men (1943)
The Bells Go Down (1943)
With Robert Beatty (right) in San Demetrio London (1943)
Fiddlers Three (1944)
with Stanley Holloway (left) in Champagne Charlie (1944)
between Ralph Michael (left) and Tom Walls (right) in Johnny Frenchman (1945)
in Pink String & Sealing Wax (1945)
as Harry Fowler's dad in Hue and Cry (1947)
with Jack Warner (right) in It Always Rains on Sunday (1947)
with Raymond Huntley & Stanley Holloway in Passport to Pimlico (1949)
The Blue Lamp (1950)
as a boat owner (left) in Dunkirk (1958)
In 'Hunted' (1952)
Lease of Life (1954) with Kay Walsh
The Passionate Stranger (1957)

He also appeared in Jamaica Inn, The Loves of Joanna Godden, The Rainbow Jacket, Sabotage and numerous other film from 1933 to 1972, mainly appearing in similar roles on television through the 1960s.
And his characters had some great names: he was Zacky Penrose in Johnny Frenchman, Badger Hill in Nine Men and Dr Pepper in Pink String and Sealing Wax.
I also suspect that this is Piper in an early, uncredited role in Red Wagon (1934), lurking in the background during a lion taming scene:

The ears and the facial shape seem to fit, but I can't be certain. What do you think?

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