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Elphick, Michael (1946-2002)


Main image of Elphick, Michael (1946-2002)

Prominent, burly character actor of screen and TV, usually cast as rough diamonds, with stress often on rough rather than diamond. He is now probably best known for such TV roles as the hero's scruffy father at odds with the heroine's genteel mother in Three Up, Two Down (BBC, 1985-89), ex-fireman Boon (ITV, 1986) and a gruffly devoted Barkis in David Copperfield (BBC, 1999).

Films began with Where's Jack? (d. James Clavell, 1969) and Hamlet (d. Tony Richardson, 1969) and there has been a steady trickle since, including a Supporting Actor BAFTA nomination for Gorky Park (US, d. Michael Apted, 1983), and a droll turn as a yokel in Withnail and I (d. Bruce Robinson, 1986), as well as assorted policemen and thugs.

Brian McFarlane, Encyclopedia of British Film

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Selected credits

Thumbnail image of Elephant Man, The (1980)Elephant Man, The (1980)

Moving drama starring John Hurt as a grotesquely deformed man

Thumbnail image of Little Dorrit (1987)Little Dorrit (1987)

Ambitious two-film adaptation of one of Dickens' greatest works

Thumbnail image of Withnail and I (1986)Withnail and I (1986)

Low-rent but side-splittingly funny period comedy that grew its own cult

Thumbnail image of Auf Wiedersehen, Pet (1983-86)Auf Wiedersehen, Pet (1983-86)

A gang of building workers leave Newcastle to find work in Germany

Thumbnail image of Bill, The (1984-2010)Bill, The (1984-2010)

Police drama series set in London

Thumbnail image of Blue Remembered Hills (1979)Blue Remembered Hills (1979)

Dennis Potter recreates a 1940s West Country childhood, using adult actors

Thumbnail image of Crown Court (1972-84)Crown Court (1972-84)

Long-running afternoon court room drama series with a real-life jury

Thumbnail image of Knowledge, The (1979)Knowledge, The (1979)

Classic Jack Rosenthal play about four would-be London cabbies

Thumbnail image of Private Schulz (1981)Private Schulz (1981)

WWII comedy drama about a reluctant SS soldier with big dreams

Thumbnail image of Smiley's People (1982)Smiley's People (1982)

The sequel to 'Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy', again starring Alec Guinness

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