Click on a name below to take you to that page
I met Philip Franks after I had seen him in a fabulous performance of Our Man in Havana at the Nottingham Playhouse in October 2009. It is not hard to see why he is widely regarded as a marvellous stage actor!
He signed my programme and also a 10x8 photograph. "I've still got that shirt," he remarked when he saw the photo!
Philip Franks was born in London in 1956, the son of Robert Franks, an RAF pilot. He went to school in Hertfordshire and then graduated from Oxford University. He has a fantastic stage presence, as anyone
who has seen his performances will agree. His early acting experience was in repertory, and on the London 'Fringe', before joining the Royal Shakespeare Comp
Company and playing leading roles like Bertram in All's Well That Ends Well (directed by Trevor Nunn) in 1983 and the title role in Hamlet (directed by Roger Michell) in 1987. He went on to play Algernon in Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest at the Old Vic in 1995.
Philip Franks & Roger Allam in
The Importance of Being Earnest
His more recent West End roles have included Ivan in Art (2002) at the Whitehall Theatre; Lloyd in Noises Off (2003) at the Ambassadors Theatre and Osborne in Journey's End (2004) at the Comedy Theatre.
Theatregoers outside London have had good opportunities to see Philip on stage. In 2003, he played Alan Turing, the master WW2 codebreaker at Bletchley Park, in Breaking the Code at Northampton's Theatre Royal, whilst at Nottingham's Theatre Royal he played Dr Watson in The Hound of the Baskervilles in 2007.
Philip Franks & Paul Bradley in
Philip Franks as Alan Turing in
Breaking the Code
Philip Franks as Lieutenent Osborne in
Philip Franks & Peter Egan in
The Hound of the Baskervilles
In Our Man in Havana, a stage adaptation of Graham Greene's novel, Philip plays a variety of different characters. The production at the Nottingham Playhouse in 2009 began a tour that took in theatres at Woking, Brighton, Richmond-upon-Thames & Malvern.
Simon Shepherd, Philip Franks & Beth Cordingly
in Our Man in Havana
in Our Man in Havana
Simon Shepherd & Philip Franks
A super memento! With Philip Franks, Norman Pace & Simon Shepherd
after the performance of Our Man in Havana at the Playhouse
Since 1993, Philip has directed over twenty plays (more
than he has acted in!) including Kafka’s Dick (1998) and The Kiss of the Spiderwoman (1999) both at Nottingham Playhouse; Private Lives (1999) and The Heiress (2000) at the National Theatre; Nicholas Nickleby (2006); The Cherry Orchard (2008) and Separate Tables (2009) at Chichester.
It is for his TV work that Philip Franks is recognisable to most people. An early success was as Richard Carstone in the BBC production of Dicken's Bleak House (1985), but fame came to Philip with a vengeance when The Darling Buds of May, a series based on five novels by H. E. Bates, waC
Philip Franks & Catherine Zeta-Jones in
The Darling Buds of May
The Darling Buds of May
Philip Franks as 'Charley' Charlton in
Philip's next major TV role was as
was produced by Yorkshire Television in 1991. Philip plays Cedric 'Charley' Charlton, a tax inspector who arrives in the first episode to help Pop
Pop Larkin to filll in his tax returns. He instantly falls in love with Mariette (played by Catherine Zeta-Jones), marries her and ends up as part of the family!
Philip Franks as Tom Pinch in Martin Chuzzlewit
Philip Franks, Derek Fowlds & William Simons in Heartbeat
Philip Franks as Sgt Craddock in Heartbeat
the bald-headed Tom Pinch in Charles Dickens' Martin Chuzzlewit (1994), a BBC production in 6 episodes, with a cast of fine actors including John Mills and Paul Scofield. Pinch is kind and honest (rare qualities in a Dickens character!) and, as Mr Pecksniff's personal assistant, is one of the story's main characters.
Philip's other instantly recognisable character is Sgt. Raymond Craddock in 80 episodes of the Yorkshire TV series Heartbeat from 1998-2002. Craddock is a pompous We
Welshman and real stickler for things being just right! Noted for his sarcasm, Craddock was not much liked by his PCs!
Philip Franks' other TV appearances include Midsomer Murders (2003); Strange (2003); Casualty (2005) and Foyle's War (2006), but so far this very busy actor/director has not been seen on the big-screen.
Philip Franks & Mark Wilcox in Foyle's War
Philip Franks as.....
....Quentin Roka in Midsomer Murders
....Captain Halliday in Foyle's War
Philip has been a regular on the words & numbers game-show Countdown, appearing in 176 editions between 1992 and 2006. He applied to be a contestant on the show before he became famous, but ended up as a popular contributor to the game's 'Dictionary Corner' with lexicographer Susie Dent.
Philip Franks has signed this photograph for me
Susie Dent & Philip Franks in the 'dictionary corner' of Countdown
Philip's familiar voice is regularly heard on BBC Radio 4, often as a character in a radio play, and he has also recorded five audio books of Margerie Allingham's crime novels.
Philip Franks has signed my programme for Our Man in Havana which I saw at Nottingham Playhouse