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Tony Melody

Description : Anthony John "Tony" Melody (18 December 1922 – 26 June 2008) was an English television actor who appeared in a number of long running comedies and soap operas. He was a prolific character actor with more than 100 television roles.Melody was born in London, where his father was in the Royal Horse Guards, but was brought up in Yorkshire, where his parents ran the Station public house in Goole, West Riding of Yorkshire. He was brought up as a devout Roman Catholic and attended Sacred Heart Churc... Page:t

Tony Melody
BornAnthony John Melody
(1922-12-18)18 December 1922
London, England
Died26 June 2008(2008-06-26) (aged 85)
Bispham, Blackpool, Lancashire, England
Occupationactor
Years active1955–2005
Spouse(s)Margaret Little (1972–2008; second wife)

Anthony John "Tony" Melody (18 December 1922 – 26 June 2008) was an English television actor who appeared in a number of long running comedies and soap operas. He was a prolific character actor with more than 100 television roles.

Early life

Melody was born in London, where his father was in the Royal Horse Guards, but was brought up in Yorkshire, where his parents ran the Station public house in Goole, West Riding of Yorkshire. He was brought up as a devout Roman Catholic and attended Sacred Heart Church in Blackpool. During the Second World War he served in the Royal Air Force.

Career

Initially a dancer, Melody spent three years touring the Mediterranean with Ralph Reader's Gang Show, performing for British troops in various countries along with Tony Hancock and Norrie Paramor. In 1952 he spent a season performing at the Windmill Theatre in London where he appeared as a comedy singer, before returning to Yorkshire, where he performed semi-professionally in local clubs while working in a factory in Leeds during the day. In 1955 he appeared on What Makes A Star? on BBC local radio and he became a regular on regional radio, working with, among others, Jimmy Clitheroe and Harry Worth.

His acting career began in radio, appearing in the sitcom, The Clitheroe Kid which starred Jimmy Clitheroe, in 1957 as the grumpy taxi driver, Horatio Higginbottom, which he played until 1972. This was followed by the role of compère and singer with the BBC's Northern Dance Orchestra, in the 1950s radio show The Straw Hat Club.

His first television role came on 6 December 1957 when he appeared in the comedy Be Soon alongside Hilda Baker. Between 1964 and 1966 he appeared on Just Jimmy and the following year he appeared on two episodes of Coronation Street, playing two small different roles, as a coach driver and a taxi driver. Then in 1968 he made his third appearance on Coronation Street, this time as Harold Eaton, a decorator working at the Rovers Return. In 1969 he played a post office man on Parkin's Patch.

In the early 1970s he started to get regular television work with a number of minor television roles in programmes such as Steptoe and Son (as a milkman in the 1970 episode Come Dancing, which is said to be one of the most repeated episodes of that series)), Sykes, Public Eye (both in 1972, by which time Melody said, "This is the first time in years I have turned down pantomime, up home in Blackpool, because I wanted to concentrate on television, to stretch myself with such roles.")

Other appearances included Z-Cars (in 1973), Barlow at Large and Bless This House (in 1974). In 1975 he had a starring role as George Bradshaw in the short-lived comedy Rule Britannia!.

In 1979 Melody appeared in the John Schlesinger film Yanks opposite Rachel Roberts, playing the husband of the terminally ill Roberts'. The following year he appeared in Little Lord Fauntleroy as Kimsey. He also played Station Sergeant Billy Machin in the comedy series The Nesbitts Are Coming and followed that up in 1981 by appearing as Archie in the comedy series, The Incredible Mr Tanner. Between 1981 and 1983 he played Chief in six episodes of the detective series, Bergerac. On Channel 4's opening night he appeared in Walter alongside Ian McKellen in the title role.

His first appearance in Emmerdale Farm came in 1983 when he played Nicholas Martin. In 1985 he appeared in the drama series The Winning Streak and in 1986 he played Dave Sharkey in the sitcom, Jossy's Giants. In 1990 he appeared as the husband of Patricia Routledge in Missing Persons, which was a feature-length pilot for Hetty Wainthropp Investigates.

He made a second appearance in Emmerdale in 1998 this time as the farmer, Jed Outhwaite. In 2002 he made a fourth appearance on Coronation Street, this time as the MC at a ballroom dance competition in Blackpool, which the characters of Norris Cole and Vera Duckworth were entered.

He appeared in the television drama film Shipman in 2002, as Alfie, a patient who survived the real-life homicidal doctor, who was played by James Bolam. and also appeared in the drama, A Good Thief as Alfie as well as a television advertising campaign for McDonald's. His last television appearance was in 2003 on Last of the Summer Wine.

Personal life

Melody's first marriage was dissolved, he had two children with his first wife. He met his second wife, Maggie when they were both performing in pantomime in Skegness. They made their home in Bispham,Blackpool which was her home town, where he spent the rest of his life. Melody would say about living in Bispham, "Other actors can have London. I don't like it there, can't stand the trains, the noise, the hassle. Home is here." Offscreen Melody was a shy unassuming man, who rarely gave interviews and who shunned the "show business scene".

Melody had four children, three sons and one daughter from his first marriage.

Death

Melody died in a nursing home from cancer after a short illness on 26 June 2008, aged 85. His funeral was held at Carleton Crematorium, Carleton, Lancashire on 3 July.

Filmography

Television

YearTitleRole
1957Be Soon
1964Just JimmyJim Moreton
1965Coronation StreetCoach driver
1965Coronation StreetTaxi driver
1968Coronation StreetHarold Eaton
1969Parkin's PatchPost Office Man
1970Steptoe and SonMilkman
1970ITV Saturday Night TheatreJack Scott
1971Some Matters of Little Consequence
1972Home and AwayGodrey
1972Play for TodayOfficial Receiver
1972SykesMilkman
1972New Scotland YardCharles Change
1972Love StoryStan Truscott
1973Z-CarsBrazendale
1973HadleighWalter Unwin
1974Barlow at LargeRoger Tober
1974JusticeCharlie Thompson
1974Marked PersonalSteve Morris
1974Bless This HouseOwen
1974Play for TodayDetective
1975Sadie, it's cold outsideBob
1975The Main ChanceSammy Dayton
1975Rule BritanniaGeorge Bradshaw
1975Down the GateLen Peacock
1978George and MildredErnest Groves
1979Turtle's ProgressColour Sergeant Arnold
1980The Nesbitts Are ComingStation Sergeant Billy Machin
1980Juliet BravoRodney Maskill
1980Little Lord FauntleroyKimsey
1980Play for TodayHarry
1981The Incredible Mr TannerArchie
1981–1983BergeracChief
1982The Chinese DetectiveMr Morris
1982WalterMr Hingley
1983Crown Court
1983Let Their Be LoveSteven
1983Emmerdale FarmNicholas Martin
1983Last of the Summer WineLandlord
1985The Winning StreakMatt Hutton
1986Jossy's GiantsDave Sharkey
1988The Nature of the BeastChunder
1989All Creatures Great and SmallMr Skipton
1989BoonMr Brown
1990Missing PersonsRobert Wainthropp
1990Stay LuckyUncle Horace
1991Plaza PatrolPainter
1992Moon and SonBill Atley
1992Rumpole of the BaileySaggers
1994CasualtyBrian Miller
1995HeartbeatWalter Openshaw
1996Dalziel and PascoeHarold Lapping
1998EmmerdaleJed Outhwaite
1999Where the Heart IsHughie Burridge
2000Coronation StreetMC
2002A Good ThiefAlfie
2003Last of the Summer WineLandlord

Film

YearTitleRole
1977The Stick UpTall Cop
1979YanksJim Moreton
1980Little Lord FauntleroyKimsey
1985Mr. LoveFerris
1985Invitation to the WeddingVine
1985Turtle DiaryGarage Attendant with Bucket
1987PretoriusHuizinga
2002ShipmanLen Fallows
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