Terry-Thomas (born Thomas Terry Hoar Stevens, July 10, 1911 — January 8, 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.
Films with pages on TV Tropes:
- The Naked Truth (1957): Lord Henry Mayley
- Blue Murder at St. Trinian's (1957): Captain Romney Carlton-Ricketts
- It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963): Lt. Col. J. Algernon Hawthorne
- The Mouse on the Moon (1963): Maurice Spender
- Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines (1965): Sir Percy Ware-Armitage
- In Monte Carlo or Bust (1969, a.k.a. Those Daring Young Men in Their Jaunty Jalopies), he plays Sir Percy's equally devious son, Sir Cuthbert Ware-Armitage.
- Strange Bedfellows (1965): Mortician
- La Grande Vadrouille (1966, a.k.a. Don't Look Now... We're Being Shot At!): Sir Reginald Brook
- The Daydreamer (1966): The First Tailor
- Danger: Diabolik (1968): Minister of Finance
- Atlantic Wall (1970): Commander Perry
- The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971): Dr. Longstreet
- The sequel, Dr. Phibes Rises Again (1972), in a cameo
- Vault of Horror (1973): Arthur Critchit
- Robin Hood (1973): Sir Hiss
- The Last Remake of Beau Geste (1977): Warden
Tropes associated with his work:
- "I say!"
- "You're an absolute shower."
- "Jolly good show!"
- "Hard cheese."
- 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. 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.
- Good Smoking, Evil Smoking: Of the evil variety, of course.
- Handsome Lech: He was this both on- and off-screen, apparently.
- I Am Very British: Quite possibly the trope codifier; most people that pretend a RP accent these days are basically doing an impression of him.
- 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.
- Smoking Is Cool: Often smoked using a cigarette holder.
- Stiff Upper Lip: As a con artist, he could be cool as a cucumber.
- Stock British Phrases: He used many of the upper-class sort, and probably codified several.
- Typecasting: He so defined the role of the upper-class scoundrel that most actors portraying the type today are essentially doing a parody of him.
- Upper-Class Twit: When he wasn't doing the scoundrel, his comedic skills sometimes led him into this role.