Michael George Ripper
27 January 1913
|Died||28 June 2000 (aged 87)|
|Alma mater||Central School of Speech and Drama|
Michael George Ripper (27 January 1913 – 28 June 2000) was an English character actor.
He began his film career in quota quickies in the 1930s and until the late 1950s was virtually unknown; he was seldom credited. Along with Michael Gough he played one of the two murderers in Laurence Olivier's film version of Richard III (1955). Ripper became a mainstay in Hammer Film Productions playing supporting character roles: coachmen, peasants, tavern keepers, pirates and sidekicks. Appearing in more of the company's films than any other performer, these included The Camp on Blood Island (1958), The Revenge of Frankenstein (1958), The Mummy (1959), The Brides of Dracula (1960), Captain Clegg (1962), The Scarlet Blade (1963), The Reptile (1966), The Plague of the Zombies (1966) and The Mummy's Shroud (1967).
Some of his parts were little better than glorified bits (as in The Curse of the Werewolf), but his penultimate role for Hammer Films was a significant supporting part as a landlord in Scars of Dracula in 1970. (His last Hammer role was as a railway worker in the atypical comedy That's Your Funeral two years later.)
He is also well remembered for his role as a jockey/horse trainer in The Belles of St. Trinian's and the liftman in the next three of the St. Trinian's comedies, and on television for his role as Thomas the chauffeur in the BBC comedy Butterflies (1978–83) and as Burke, one of the two criminals in the youth television series Freewheelers (1968–71). His other TV roles include Mr Shepherd, Aunt Sally's owner, in Worzel Gummidge, a judge in "Voice in The Night", a 1958 episode of The Adventures of William Tell, Phunkey in The Pickwick Papers (1985) and the Drones Porter in Jeeves and Wooster (1990–91). Michael also starred in George and Mildred, Series 1 Episode 5, Your Money or Your Life, as George's Uncle Fred.