The actor George Cole, best known for playing the role of Arthur Daley in the TV series Minder, died on 5 August 2015 following a brief illness. He was 90.
In a TV and film career spanning seven decades, he became a household name playing cockney wideboys in the Flash Harry in the early St Trinian’s films to the role of a crooked car dealer Daley in Minder.
Cole attributed his success to his mentor, the actor Alastair Sim, who guided his early career and was a lifelong influence. He stayed with the Sims until he was 27, and eventually he got an oppurtunity to star in a succession of stage shows and films including 1951’s A Christmas Carol.
Cole was a familiar face on screen in many British comedies, including Too Many Crooks (1959). He played Flavius in the 1963 epic play Cleopatra, opposite Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton and Rex Harrison.
Cole began acting in the early 1940s, appearing with Lawrence Olivier in The Demi-Paradise. He joined the war effort in 1944 by joining the Royal Air Force, before resuming his acting career.