British Actor Frank Thornton Dies at 92

British Actor Frank Thornton Dies 92

Thesp was known as Captain Peacock in 'Are You Being Served'?

British actor Frank Thornton — best known as Captain Peacock in the long-running television comedy “Are You Being Served?” —died in his sleep March 16 in London. He was 92.

The actor is best remembered by British audiences for his comic role in the innuendo-laden hit sitcom, which ran from the 1970s to 1985. He played a mustachioed, pompous floor manager who oversaw his fellow shop workers in a department store.

Born in Dulwich, south London, Thornton had worked in insurance after leaving school but took evening classes to become an actor.

He soon took up stage acting and played in London’s West End, before serving in the Royal Air Force during World War II. In the 1950s, while still doing theater, he began to branch into television comedy. He appeared on “The Benny Hill Show” and other comedy programs, and also took a small role in the movie “Carry On Screaming.”

In the 1970s — with the success of “Are You Being Served?” — Thornton became a household name in Britain.

“He was a great friend and consummate performer who was the glue who really held ‘Are You Being Served?’ together,” said the show’s co-creator, Jeremy Lloyd. “He will continue to give people enjoyment.”

Later Thornton also became known for his part in another long-running television comedy series, “Last of the Summer Wine.”

He has made appearances in dozens of movies, including “No Sex Please, We’re British” and more recently “Gosford Park.”

Thornton is survived by his wife Beryl, daughter Jane, and three grandchildren.

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  1. Keith Denney says:

    Very talented comic he will be missed!

  2. Thomas Mcdonald Dana says:

    Part of the glue that held the great “are you being served” together. He was always “free” , with the rest of the company, to give us the best. Ad multos annos. (He Will make them laugh in heaven!

  3. I’ve always preferred British comedy. And Mr. Thornton was only one in a remarkable cast of characters. I still watch it on PBS every week even though I pretty much know the dialogue of every show by now.

  4. too_bz says:

    Thanks for the laughs and memories Frank! Big fan of “Are You Being Served?” growing up. Still have very fond memories of the series. RIP!

  5. Bill Lancaster says:

    I just finished watching an episode of Are You Being Served, I so enjoyed that show when I was younger and still do.

  6. Robert J. says:

    I became an avid fan of Last of the Summer Wine in the last couple of years. Watching Frank Thornton, Peter Sallis, Brian Murphy, and the rest see-saw and hee-haw back and forth became a highlight of my Saturday night. I will truly miss Truly of Scotland Yard, though he was not a public figure. He was a decided friend and bringer of “kicks and giggles” to my life. May God continue to keep Mr. Thornton around for a friend in heaven. Hopefully, we’ll all see him there! I salute you, Frank Thornton, I mean, Truly of the Yard!

  7. Wangamba Gachao says:

    Truly of the yard. May you rest in peace and God bless you. My family will truly miss you. You were part of the family. Incredible. R.I.P

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