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'Dad's Army's Clive Dunn, 1920-2012: Obituary

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Clive Robert Benjamin Dunn was born in Covent Garden, London on January 9, 1920 from a family of theatrics - he was the cousin of Gretchen Franklin, Ethel Skinner in EastEnders.

As a child, Dunn's life was almost cut short when he had a supernumerary nipple removed. After training at the Italia Conti School, he appeared alongside comedy legend Will Hay in Boys Will Be Boys and Good Morning, Boys during the 1930s.

His career was temporarily interrupted by the outbreak of the Second World War, during the course of which he spent four years in Austria as a prisoner of war after being called up as a 20-year-old.

Photo gallery - Clive Dunn's life and career:
Upon returning to the UK, Dunn spent a few years in music halls, before making his television break in The Tony Hancock Show and later Hancock's Half Hour, where he met future long-term co-star John Le Mesurier.

In 1959, Dunn married actress Priscilla Pughe-Morgan, with whom he would later raise two daughters. Priscilla, Jessica and Polly survive the legend, who died today at the age of 92.

During the 1960s, he first began to land the bumbling old man roles for which he will most fondly be remembered, in shows such as ITV's Bootsie and Snudge, a gentlemen's club spinoff to The Army Game.

Then in 1968, Jimmy Perry and David Croft cast Dunn in sitcom Dad's Army as elderly butcher and Walmington-on-Sea's most senior Home Guard member Lance Corporal Jack Jones - it was recently revealed that Dunn won the role ahead of Sir David Jason.

Regular meltdowns ("Don't panic!"), ridiculously bad ideas ("Permission to speak, sir!"), mix-ups ("We shouldn't turn the engine on with the door closed sir, the gases will build up and we'll all get sophisticated!") and a never-ending desire to bring out his bayonet ("They don't like it up 'em!") made Jones one of Dad's Army's most popular characters, with Dunn's physical performance creating some of the show's most off-the-wall moments.



48 at the time, Dunn was the third youngest cast member despite playing the eldest character. Off screen, the left-wing Dunn clashed with the show's lead Arthur Lowe (Mainwaring) over politics, but was generally a much-loved member of the cast for nine years. A year before Dad's Army ended, Dunn was awarded an OBE by the Queen for his services to drama.

As well as acting, he topped the charts in 1970 with 'Grandad', mixing his singing ability with his well-established old man alter ego. In 1982, Dunn collaborated for the last time with friend Le Mesurier in comedy song, 'Not Much Change'.

Meanwhile, he was cast in slapstick children's series, Grandad, the namesake of his number one single. Playing a caretaker in a village hall, the show's cancellation in 1984 marked the end of Dunn's 50-year acting career.

After Grandad, Dunn retired to Portugal for the last 28 years of his life, enjoying his long-time hobby painting portraits, landscapes and seascapes - although he did return to his role of Corporal Jones for one last time in a 1993 edition of Noel's House Party...



How will you remember Clive Dunn? Leave your memories of the Dad's Army legend below

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