Obituary – Bill Kerr (1922 – 2014)

Bill Kerr in Ghost Squad (1961)
Bill Kerr in Ghost Squad (1961)

Australian actor Bill Kerr has died at the age of 92.

Kerr was born in Cape Town in June 1922 and was raised in Australia. A radio star in his own country he moved to Britain in 1947 in search of new career opportunities.  During the four decades or so he was resident in the UK he notched up numerous credits on film, television and radio.

He appeared in films such as The Dam Busters and The Wrong Arm of the Law and television series like Ghost Squad, No Hiding Place, Compact and Dixon of Dock Green.  Another notable guest appearance on British television during the 1960’s was as Giles Kent in the Doctor Who story The Enemy of the World.  Five episodes of this six part story were lost until 2013 and Kerr’s performance is one of the highlights of an impressive serial.

For many people though, he will always be best remembered as a comic foil for Tony Hancock across six radio series of Hancock’s Half Hour.

L-R - Sid James, Tony Hancock and Bill Kerr
L-R – Sid James, Tony Hancock and Bill Kerr

Although Kerr never crossed over to the television version of HHH, he did appear with Sid James in the first series of Citizen James.  This series, like HHH, was written by Galton and Simpson and it’s quite possible to imagine that the Sid and Bill from this series are the same characters that appeared in HHH.

Kerr returned to Australia in the late 1970’s and continued to work, appearing in films such as Gallipoli and television series like Anzacs with his last recorded credit coming in Southern Cross in 2004.

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