Hywel Bennett

  1. Simon Ward, Young Winston, 1972.       “When I didn’t get it, I finally realised the harm I’d done myself by  making all these films like Percy.” Richard Attenborough wanted the young Welshman (who once played Ophelia on-stage), The money  men, however, were  concerned at the idea of the greatest Englishman being played by the star of the Percy comedy about the world’s first penis transplant. 
  2. Leigh Lawson, Percy’s Progress (US: It’s Not The Size That Counts), 1973.     Bennett avoided the sequel like the plague. He felt his career had been severely blighted by the first Percy about having the first transplanted penis. The US title didn’t help Lawson much, either.
  3. Bob Hoskins, Pennies From Heaven, TV, 1978.        After losing the central role of Arthur Parker, Bennett was given the lengthy cameo of Tom in Chapter Four of scenarist Dennis Potter’s BBClassic.   Bennett returned to Potter in 1996 as the killer Pig Maillion (!) – the kind of evil nightclub boss usually aimed at Hoskins – in the award-winning writer’s final twin-set, Karaoke and Cold Lazarus. Potter died before the mini-series was seen.
  4. John Fraser, Doctor Who #115: Logopolis, TV, 1981.       Age apparently, didn’t matter. The Monitor was 60 but producer John Nathan-Taylor’s usual suspects ranged from Harry Andrews at 77 to Bennett at…37!   Plus Maurice Denham, 72; Marius Goring, 69; Peter Cushing, 68; Bernard Archard, Michael Gough, 65; Nigel  Stock, 62; Geoffrey Bayldon, 57; William Lucas, 56; Frank Finley, 55; Barry Foster, Frank Windsor, 54; John Fraser, 50; Peter Wyngarde, 48. This as the episode that Brian Epstein would not let The Beatles appear in. But he OKed Top of the Pops footage of Ticket To Ride. In more than 70 screen roles, Bennett made just the one visit to the Whoverse – and that was for his TV debut as Rynian in #16: The Chase, 1965.
  5. Patrick Stewart, Lifeforce, 1984.      
  6. Michael Gothard, Lifeforce, 1984.   
  7. Nicholas Ball, Lifeforce, 1984.   
  8. Peter Firth, Lifeforce, 1984.     
  9. Nigel Havers, Burke & Wills, Australia, 1984.   B&W were the down-under equivalent of the historic US explorers Lewis and Clark. In August  1860, Irish cop Robert O’Hara Burke, an Irish cop, and English gent William John Wills, set out –  with 28 horses, 26 camels, 21 tons of equipment, 17 men and six wagons to become the first white men to cross Australia from South to North. Only one man, John King, survived…  In 1971, Nicol Williamson-Hywel Bennett were set for such a film, followed by Charlton Heston-Trevor Howard, before Aussie director Graeme Clifford got the job done with  the home-grown Jack Thompson, of course,  and  Havers. 
  10. Tom Chadbon, Doctor Who #143: The Trial of a Time Lord, TV, 1986.        As the franchise was as much on trial as Doc6 Colin Baker in the season long investigation, 16 actors were flagpoled for Merdeen... Bennett, Tom Adams, Keith Barron, Brian Blessed, Andrew Burt, Kenneth Colley, Peter Gilmore, Michael Gothard, Gareth Hunt, Paul Jerricho Clive Merrison (BBC Radio’s Sherlock Holmes), Paul Shelley, Anthony Valentine, David Warner, James Warwick.
  11. Gary Kemp,  The Krays, 1989.  The Who singer Roger Daltrey (who had already played bank rsopbber  John McVicar) was the first producer  interested in  a movie about London’s notorious twin crime lords.  To be played by Bennett as Ronnie and Gerry Sundquist as Reggie.    Director Peter Medak  used real twins – Gary and Martin Kemp of  the Spandau Ballet band –  and in 2014’s Legend, Tom Hardy played both of them.


 Birth year: Death year: Other name: Casting Calls:  11