British Actor Frank Thornton Dies at 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.

More TV

  • France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris catches the

    France vs Croatia World Cup Live Stream: How to Watch

    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 […]

  • Who Is America Review

    TV Review: Sacha Baron Cohen's 'Who Is America?'

    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 […]

  • Ricky Martin Versace American Crime Story

    Ricky Martin Signs With Maverick Management

    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 […]

  • Harry Kane of England celebrates scoring

    Belgium vs England World Cup Live Stream: How to Watch

    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 […]

  • The Crown Season 2

    Storming the Emmys: Netflix, Amazon and Hulu Edge Out Networks

    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 […]

  • Sacha Baron Cohen

    Sacha Baron Cohen's 'Who Is America?' Interviewee List Grows

    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 […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content