Arthur Brough

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Arthur Brough
Arthur Brough
As Mr. Grainger in Are You Being Served?
Birthday/Birthplace Frederick Arthur Baker
(1905-02-26)26 February 1905
Petersfield, Hampshire, England
Deceased 28 May 1978(1978-05-28)
Folkestone, Kent, England
Active Years 1926–1978
Wife/Husband Elizabeth Addyman (1929–1978) (her death)
Kid(s) Joanna Hutton

Arthur Brough (February 26, 1905 – May 28, 1978) was a British actor.

Arthur_Brough’s Biography

Theatrical career

His real name was Frederick Arthur Baker , and he was born in Petersfield, England. In his beginnings he wanted to be a teacher, but the lack of work made him interested in the theater. After participating in amateur performances, Brough studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in the mid-1920s. Once graduated, he joined a Shakespearean theater group in which he met his future wife, actress Elizabeth Addyman. Once married, they used the dowry to rent the Leas Pavilion, a repertoire theater in Folkestone, Kent. They had a daughter, Joanna.

Brough directed the company (“The Arthur Brough Players”), performed at the performances and, once established the new repertoire, dedicated himself to the formation of new companies in Bradford, Bristol, Blackpool, Keighley, Leeds, Lincoln, Oxford and Southampton, among other places. With the beginning of the Second World War he enlisted in the Royal British Navy, in which he served until the end of the contest. In his credit, he has participated in the evacuation of Dunkirk in 1940.

Post-war period

Once demobilized he resumed his acting career by reopening the Folkestone repertoire. Many notable actors began their careers with the Arthur Brough Players, including Peter Barkworth, who acted in 1948 in The Guinea Pig, Eric Lander, in 1949 star of the television series No Hiding Place, Polly James, Anne Stallybrass, Andrew Jack, Sydney Sturgess (who married Barry Morse), and Trevor Bannister.


With the advent of television, Brough predicted the eclipse of repertoire theater as a viable form of entertainment. In the 1960s he began to look for roles, making small interpretations in the cinema and on TV.

One of his first performances outside the theatrical environment was in the film The Green Man, with Alastair Sim. He played a small role with Jayne Mansfield in the 1960 film The Challenge, and worked as a guest artist on television shows such as Up and Down, Dad’s Army, Z-Cars, The Persuaders and Jason King. However, he did not leave the theater, and continued working in productions such as Half a Sixpence (1967).

Are You Being Served?

In 1972 Brough was selected to play Ernest Grainger on the BBC sitcom Are You Being Served ?, written by Jeremy Lloyd and David Croft. In the series he played a department store clerk, along with actors John Inman and Trevor Bannister. The show became very popular, and reached an audience of 22 million viewers in 1979, broadcasting until 1985.

After finishing the fifth season of the show (1977), Arthur Brough’s wife, Elizabeth, passed away, and the emotionally devastated Brough announced that he was withdrawing from the performance. Although David Croft and Jeremy Lloyd contacted him to explain that they had his participation, the actor died six weeks after the death of his wife, in 1978, in Folkestone. Croft decided that the role of Brough was not taken by any other actor, so in Are You Being Served? a new character emerged, that of Mr. Tebbs, played by James Hayter. Brough was cremated, and his ashes deposited at the Golders Green Crematorium in London.

More Facts about Arthur Brough

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