Philip Madoc
Madoc (left) with Arthur Lowe in Dad's Army
Philip Arvon Jones[1]

(1934-07-05)5 July 1934
Died5 March 2012(2012-03-05) (aged 77)
Northwood, London, England
Alma materRoyal Academy of Dramatic Art
Years active1962–2012
(m. 1961; div. 1981)
Diane Harmer
(m. 1987; div. 2010)

Philip Madoc (born Philip Arvon Jones; 5 July 1934 – 5 March 2012)[2] was a Welsh actor. He performed many stage, television, radio and film roles, and was recognised for having a "rich, sonorous voice" and often playing villains and officers.[3] On television, he starred as David Lloyd George in The Life and Times of David Lloyd George (1981) and DCI Noel Bain in the detective series A Mind to Kill (1994–2002). His guest roles included multiple appearances in the cult series The Avengers (1962–68) and Doctor Who (1968–1979), as well as playing the U-boat captain in the Dad's Army episode "The Deadly Attachment" (1973). He was also known to be an accomplished linguist.

Early life

Madoc was born near Merthyr Tydfil and attended Cyfarthfa Castle Grammar School, where he was a member of the cricket and rugby teams,[4] and displayed talent as a linguist. He then studied languages at University College Cardiff and the University of Vienna. He eventually spoke seven languages, including Russian and Swedish, and had a working knowledge of Huron Indian, Hindi and Mandarin. He worked as an interpreter, but became disenchanted with having to translate for politicians: "I did dry-as-dust jobs like political interpreting. You get to despise politicians when you have to translate the rubbish they spout."[5] He then switched to acting and won a place at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA).

Acting career

The two things people will remember him for will be playing Lloyd-George and 'Don't tell him, Pike' from Dad's Army. How splendid to be remembered for something so serious and something so funny.

 —Wyn Calvin on Madoc's legacy.[6]

Madoc acted on stage with the Welsh Theatre Company playing Thomas Cromwell in a 1962 tour of A Man for All Seasons before joining the Royal Shakespeare Company, playing the roles of Iago, Othello and Dr Faust.[1] As a television actor he first gained widespread recognition in two serials, first as the relentless SS Officer Lutzig in the Second World War serial Manhunt (1969), and then as the vicious Huron warrior Magua in a serialisation of The Last of the Mohicans (1971).

According to The Daily Telegraph, BBC News and The Times,[7][6][8] Madoc is especially remembered for his role in "The Deadly Attachment", an episode of the comedy Dad's Army in which he played a U-boat captain held prisoner by the Walmington-on-Sea platoon of the Home Guard. He asks Pike for his name so he can be added to his "list" for the day of reckoning after the war is won, prompting Captain Mainwaring's famous line "Don't tell him, Pike!" Madoc also played a German villain in the TV series Fortunes of War, directed by James Cellan Jones.

He also appeared in five episodes of the TV series The Avengers between 1963 and 1969 ("The Decapod", "Six Hands Across a Table", "Death of a Batman", "The Correct Way to Kill", "My Wildest Dream").

In 1977 he appeared as Dr Evans in the television adaptation of Andrea Newman's book Another Bouquet (the sequel to A Bouquet of Barbed Wire). In 1978 he played a corrupt and lecherous priest, Vicar Davyd, in the BBC Wales serial Hawkmoor.

Madoc starred in the detective series A Mind to Kill as DCI Noel Bain. This series was made simultaneously in Welsh and English from 1994 to 2002. He appeared in episodes of the BBC sitcoms The Good Life and Porridge ("Disturbing The Peace"), and in a controversial episode of The Goodies ("South Africa"), which satirised apartheid. He took the lead role in the BBC Wales drama The Life and Times of David Lloyd George.

Films in which Madoc appeared included Operation Crossbow (1965), The Quiller Memorandum (1966), Berserk! (1967), Doppelgänger (1969), Hell Boats (1970), Dr. Jekyll and Sister Hyde (1971), Soft Beds, Hard Battles (1974) and Operation Daybreak (1975). His later film performances included Leon Trotsky in Zina (1985), and Jimmy Murphy in the football movie Best (2000).

Madoc presented an educational 1960s BBC television series, Komm mit! Wir sprechen Deutsch: German by television.

Science-fiction roles

Madoc is well known to fans of Doctor Who for multiple appearances relating to the series, almost always playing villains. He acted a small role in the second Peter Cushing film, Daleks' Invasion Earth 2150 A.D. (1966), and was later cast in the television series itself four times. He appeared in two Second Doctor serials, The Krotons (1968) as Eelek and The War Games (1969) as the War Lord. He appeared in two Fourth Doctor serials, The Brain of Morbius (1976) as Solon and The Power of Kroll (1978–79) as Fenner. He recorded DVD commentaries for The Krotons, The War Games and The Brain of Morbius and was interviewed about his roles in Doctor Who in the short film "Philip Madoc - a Villain for All Seasons", which appeared as an extra on the DVD for The Power of Kroll. He revealed in the interview that he regretted taking the final role (The Power of Kroll) because it was a less interesting character. In 2003, he guest-starred in the Big Finish Doctor Who audio adventure Master, and returned to Big Finish in the 2008 Sixth Doctor story Return of the Krotons. He voiced the War King in the Faction Paradox audio series.

He appeared twice in the drama series UFO, once as the partner of Ed Straker's estranged wife (in A question of priorities) and once as the captain of a British warship under attack by the aliens (in Destruction). In the pilot episode of Space: 1999 (1975) he had a brief appearance as Commander Anton Gorski, who was replaced by Commander John Koenig for the remainder of the series. In addition to his minor role of Anton Gorski, his likeness later appeared in the comic book adaptation of the Space 1999 saga, where his character's previously minor role was expanded upon. He also made a guest appearance in Survivors.

Other roles

Madoc's voice can be heard reading Bible quotations on a variant of the VoCo alarm clock. He also starred as Ellis Peters's medieval detective Brother Cadfael in the BBC Radio 4 adaptations of Monk's Hood,[9] The Virgin in the Ice[10] and Dead Man's Ransom.[11][12] He recorded a 12-CD audiobook of selections from Edward Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.

In 2001 Madoc voiced the role of "Prospero" for the BBC Radio 3 production of The Tempest. Madoc read the 2011 audiobook retranslation Dr Zhivago.[citation needed] The Welsh actor voiced Gwydion in Y Mabinogi (Otherworld) (2003), featuring Daniel Evans, Jenny Livsey and Matthew Rhys.[13]

In 2007 Madoc appeared as "Y Llywydd" (The President) in the S4C gangster series Y Pris, in which he spoke in his native Welsh. He was the narrator for the Discovery Channel documentary series Egypt Uncovered.

Selected theatre performances

Personal life

Philip Madoc's first marriage, to the actress Ruth Madoc, lasted for twenty years. They had a son and a daughter, and divorced in 1981. Madoc's second marriage, which also ended in divorce, was to Diane Harmer.[5]

He was patron of Best Theatre Arts, a theatre school in St Albans[14] and president of the London Welsh Male Voice Choir .[15]

Madoc was a keen supporter of Welsh nationalism and a long-standing member of Plaid Cymru.[1]

Madoc was a fan of boxing, and especially of boxer David Pearce, and was one of the 2,500 people who attended his funeral.[16]

It was stated in January 2012 that Madoc had been diagnosed with cancer. He died, aged 77, on 5 March 2012 at the Michael Sobell Hospice in Northwood, north-west London.[2] He was cremated at the West Hertfordshire Crematorium in Watford.[17]


Year Title Role Notes
1961 On the Fiddle Soldier at Black Rock Uncredited
1965 Operation Crossbow German Police Officer Uncredited
1965 A High Wind in Jamaica Guardia Civile
1965 The Spy Who Came in from the Cold Young German Officer Uncredited
1966 Daleks' Invasion Earth 2150 A.D. Brockley
1966 The Quiller Memorandum Oktober's Man
1967 Berserk! Lazlo
1968 Deadfall Bank Manager Uncredited
1969 The Assassination Bureau Officer Uncredited
1969 Doppelgänger Dr. Pontini
1969 The Spy Killer Gar
1970 Hell Boats 'E' Boat Captain
1971 Dr. Jekyll and Sister Hyde Byker
1973 Bequest to the Nation French captain Uncredited
1974 Soft Beds, Hard Battles Field Marshal Weber
1975 Operation Daybreak Heydrich's interpreter
1982 Ennals Point Jack Tustin - Lifeboat coxain
1985 Zina Leon Trotsky
1991 A Mind to Kill Detective Inspector Noel Bain
2000 Best Jimmy Murphy
2003 Den of Lions Grandpa Marcus
2003 Y Mabinogi Gwydion Voice


  1. ^ a b c Meic Stephens. "Philip Madoc: Actor Forever Remembered as the U-Boat Captain in Dad's Army", The Independent, 7 March 2012
  2. ^ a b "Actor Philip Madoc dies aged 77". BBC News. 5 March 2012. Retrieved 5 March 2012.
  3. ^ Coveney, Michael (5 March 2012). "Philip Madoc obituary". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 June 2020.
  4. ^ "Cyfartha School Photographs 1950-51 at". Retrieved 5 March 2012.
  5. ^ a b "Actor Philip Madoc Obituary". The Daily Telegraph. London. 5 March 2012. Retrieved 5 March 2012.
  6. ^ a b "Philip Madoc of Lloyd George and Dad's Army fame dies". BBC News. 6 March 2012. Retrieved 31 December 2019.
  7. ^ "Philip Madoc". The Daily Telegraph. 5 March 2012. Retrieved 31 December 2019.
  8. ^ "Philip Madoc". The Times. 8 March 2012. Retrieved 31 December 2019.
  9. ^ "Review of Monk's Hood". BBC Radio Crimes audio book. Littlehampton Gazette. 24 September 2009. Retrieved 18 April 2013.
  10. ^ The Virgin in the Ice. BBC Radio Crimes audiobook. ASIN 1408469731.
  11. ^ Dead Man's Ransom. ISBN 0563388625. ((cite book)): |work= ignored (help)
  12. ^ "Dead Man's Ransom". BBC Radio Crimes audio book. 5 May 2011. Retrieved 18 April 2013.
  13. ^ Minovitz, Ethan (6 March 2012). "Welsh Television Actor Philip Madoc Dies at 77". Big Cartoon News. Archived from the original on 3 December 2012. Retrieved 6 March 2012.
  14. ^ "Home". Best Theatre Arts. Retrieved 1 August 2023.
  15. ^ "London Welsh Male Voice Choir". Archived from the original on 26 March 2012. Retrieved 6 March 2012.
  16. ^ Lewis, Ron (31 July 2023). "Forgotten British champion David Pearce gets the statue he always deserved". The Times. ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved 1 August 2023.
  17. ^ "Memorial Service Lined Up for Actor Philip Madoc", 15 March 2013 Wales Online