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Creator / Terry-Thomas

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"A page about me? I say! Jolly good show!"
"Do not always assume the other fellow has intelligence equal to yours. He may have more."

Terry-Thomas (born Thomas Terry Hoar Stevens, 10 July 1911 — 8 January 1990) was an English comedian and character actor.

He became known to a worldwide audience through his many films during the 1950s and '60s. He often portrayed disreputable members of the British upper classes, especially cads, toffs and bounders, using his distinctive voice; his costume and props tended to include a bowler, waistcoat and cigarette holder. He was also well known for the large gap between his front teeth.

His Wikipedia article is a jolly good read over his splendid life, career and legacy.

Films with pages on TV Tropes:

Tropes associated with his work:

  • Catchphrase:
    • "I say!"
    • "You're an absolute shower."
    • "Jolly good show!"
    • "Hard cheese."
    • "Splendid!"
  • Dastardly Dapper Derby: His characters were most associated with wearing Edwardian suits, including the derby hat.
  • Dastardly Whiplash: Said to be the inspiration behind the visual appearance of Wacky Races' Dick Dastardly (though the characters also borrows a lot from Jack Lemmon's Dr. Fate in The Great Race). Also obviously the inspiration for George of the Jungle villain "Tiger" Titherage (even down to the nickname: "Tiger" was the nickname of Terry-Thomas' character in A Guide for the Married Man, which came out the same year).
  • Evil Brit:
    • In addition to Dick Dastardly (see above) he is also said to be the inspiration for James "Mad Jim" Jaspers, a Psychopathic Man Child with vast reality-warping powers and the main villain in Alan Moore's run in the comic Captain Britain.
    • Averted with his World War II officer roles in some French movies of The '60s.
  • Man of Wealth and Taste: In real life as well as on screen he was apparently one for fine clothing, dining and drink; for instance, he insisted his strawberries be "bathed" in Marsala wine.
  • Preppy Name: Hyphenated - like the gap in his teeth. The names of many of his roles were also hyphenated, accenting (no pun intended) his upper-crustiness.
  • Self-Deprecating Humor: When Andrew Spicer wrote for the British Film Institute, he called Terry-Thomas "the definitive postwar cad or rotter". Terry-Thomas wrote of himself in the 1980s: "T-T with his permanent air of caddish disdain... bounder... aristocratic rogue... upper-class English twit... genuine English eccentric... one of the last real gentlemen... wet, genteel Englishman... high-bred idiot... cheeky blighter... camel-haired cad... amiable buffoon... pompous Englishman... twentieth-century dandy... stinker... king of the cads... All those descriptions added up to my image as Terry-Thomas."
  • Typecasting:
    • invoked He so defined the role of the upper-class scoundrel that most actors portraying the type today are essentially doing a parody of him.
    • He was also the most "obviously British" comically serious guy French cinema could find in the 1960s and early 1970s to play World War II officers, such as in La Grande Vadrouille and Atlantic Wall.
  • Upper-Class Twit: When he wasn't doing the scoundrel, his comedic skills sometimes led him into this role.