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Brian George Wilde was born on 13th June 1927 in Ashton-under-Lyne and died on 20th March 2008. He had formal training as an actor at RADA and made his credited feature film debut in 1957. He appeared in a diverse variety of film and television roles throughout the 1960s and early 1970s including Hancock in 1963, The Avengers and The Man in Room 17.
During this period when he was a relative "unknown", he appeared in Coronation Street in the role of Sam Ross in an episode in June 1964. His first major comedy role was in Room at the Bottom two years after this appearance and four years later in 1970 he had the major role of Bloody Delilah, the depot boss, in The Dustbinmen, made by Granada Television, scripted by Jack Rosenthal and starring Graham Haberfield. One year later his ability to play sinister roles came to the fore when he played sadistic Richard Topcliffe, the Queen's official torturer in an episode of Elizabeth R with Glenda Jackson.
In 1973 he had a career changing role in a single episode of a seven-episode comedy anthology starring Ronnie Barker - Seven of One - in which he played a prison officer escorting Barker's character of Norman Stanley Fletcher. The episode was deemed worthy of a series and over the next few years Wilde became a household name as the well-meaning but nervous Mr Barraclough in Porridge. In 1976 a totally different but equally successful role came along when he replaced the late Michael Bates in the world's longest-running comedy series Last of the Summer Wine, playing Foggy Dewhurst from 1976 to 1985 and a second run in the role from 1990 to 1997.