John Gregson: 1919-1975; english actor (1919 - 1975)
peoplepill id: john-gregson-3
1 views today
1 views this week
John Gregson
1919-1975; english actor

John Gregson

John Gregson
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro 1919-1975; english actor
A.K.A. Harold Thomas Gregson
Was Actor Stage actor Film actor
From United Kingdom
Field Film, TV, Stage & Radio
Gender male
Birth 15 March 1919, Liverpool, Liverpool, Merseyside, North West England
Death 8 January 1975, Porlock Weir, West Somerset, Somerset, Somerset (aged 55 years)
Spouse: Thea Gregory
The details (from wikipedia)


John Gregson, (born Harold Thomas Gregson, (15 March 1919 – 8 January 1975) was an English actor of stage, television and film, with 40 credited film roles. He was best known for his comedy roles.

He was credited in 40 films between 1948 and 1971, and on television from 1960 until his death. He was often cast as a police inspector or as a navy or army officer, or for his comedy roles in Ealing and other British films.


Gregson was born of Irish descent, and grew up in Wavertree Liverpool where he was educated at Greenbank Road Primary School and later at St. Francis Xavier's College He left school at 16, working first for a telephone company, then for Liverpool Corporation, as the city council was then known, before the Second World War. During this time, he became interested in amateur dramatics, joining first his local Catholic church theatre group at St Anthony's Mossley Hill, Liverpool

War service

When war broke out, Gregson was called up and joined the Royal Navy as a sailor on minesweepers. At one point, his minesweeper was torpedoed and he was rescued from the sea with a knee injury.

Early postwar career

After being demobilised in 1945, he joined the Playhouse in Liverpool for a year, before going on to Perth Theatre in Perth, Scotland. Here he met his future wife, actress Ida Reddish from Nottingham, who at the time was using the stage name Thea Kronberg, later Thea Gregory and had recently arrived from the Birmingham Repertory Theatre. In 1947 they moved to London and married there. They eventually had three daughters and three sons.

One of his first appearances was in the film Saraband for Dead Lovers, a tearjerking romance starring Joan Greenwood and Stewart Granger. In the popular Scott of the Antarctic (1948) he played Tom Crean.

Gregson could also be seen in Ealing's Whisky Galore! (1949) (the first of the Ealing comedies) and Train of Events (1949), as well as The Hasty Heart (1949), Cairo Road (1950), Treasure Island (1950) and The Lavender Hill Mob (1951). Gregson had a lead role in Angels One Five (1951), a popular war film.

Gregson was promoted to leading man for The Brave Don't Cry (1952), about a mining disaster. He had the second lead in Rank's Venetian Bird (1952) and supported in The Holly and the Ivy (1952). He also had a leading role in another Ealing comedy, The Titfield Thunderbolt (1952).


Gregson became a star when cast in the comedy Genevieve (1953), also starring Kenneth More, Dinah Sheridan and Kay Kendall. It was the second most popular film of the year in Britain.

He was second billed to Glynis Johns in a prison drama, The Weak and the Wicked (1954), another hit and played the lead in a light drama, Conflict of Wings (1954). Gregson followed this with The Crowded Day (1954), a comedy; To Dorothy a Son (1954) a comedy co-starring Shelley Winters; and Three Cases of Murder (1955), an omnibus film co-starring Orson Welles.

Gregson had a big hit with a war film, Above Us the Waves (1956), playing an Australian, in support of John Mills. He did a comedy with Diana Dors, Value for Money (1956), and a drama Jacqueline (1956).

More successful was another war movie based on a true story, The Battle of the River Plate (1956) where Gregson played F. S. Bell. This film helped British exhibitors vote him the 8th biggest British film star in the country for 1956.

He followed it with True as a Turtle (1957), a comedy; Miracle in Soho (1957), a drama. That year he was the fourth biggest British star. The following year he was 8th, his last year in the top ten; his films included Rooney (1958), a comedy playing an Irish sportsman; Sea of Sand (1958), a war film; and The Captain's Table (1959) a comedy.

He supported in SOS Pacific (1960) and Hand in Hand (1960) but was top billed in Faces in the Dark (1960) and The Frightened City (1961). He has a support role in The Treasure of Monte Cristo (1961) and was one of many names in The Longest Day (1962).

Gregson's final film roles of note were in Live Now, Pay Later (1962) and Tomorrow at Ten (1962).

Later career

His film career faded after ten good years [1952–1962]'. He was one of many leading men and women of the 1950s (the others including Kenneth More, Richard Todd, Patrick Holt, Michael Craig, Sylvia Syms and Muriel Pavlow) who struggled to maintain their status as leads beyond the early 1960s. From 1963 onwards, Gregson never played another leading film role.

Gregson also worked on TV. In Ivor Brown's BBC TV play William's Other Anne he played William Shakespeare revisiting his first girlfriend Anne Whateley.

TV work became increasingly important to him from the mid-60s. He starred as Commander George Gideon in the 26 episodes of the series Gideon's Way (1965–66) (known as Gideon C.I.D. in America).

He also appeared in The Saint with Roger Moore and a popular comedy adventure series with Shirley MacLaine, Shirley's World. He took over from Kenneth More in long-running TV adverts for coffee on British television.

He appeared in It's the Geography That Counts, the last play at the St James's Theatre before its closure in 1957.


John Gregson died before retirement and suddenly from a heart attack near Porlock Weir, Somerset, aged 55, whilst on holiday, walking on the path to St. Beuno's Church, Culbone. He left a widow, Thea Gregory, and six children.

His final television role was in the Southern Television serial Dangerous Knowledge, which was broadcast posthumously in 1976. His body was interred at Sunbury Cemetery, Sunbury-on-Thames, Surrey near his family home at Creek House, Chertsey Road, Shepperton.

Complete filmography

  • London Belongs to Me (1948) - (uncredited)
  • Saraband for Dead Lovers (1948) - (uncredited)
  • Scott of the Antarctic (1948) - P.O. T. Crean R.N.
  • Whisky Galore! (1949) - Sammy MacCodrun
  • Train of Events (1949) - Malcolm Murray-Bruce (segment "The Composer")
  • The Hasty Heart (1949) - Raw recruit in jungle (uncredited)
  • Cairo Road (1950) - Coast Guardsman
  • Treasure Island (1950) - Redruth
  • The Lavender Hill Mob (1951) - Farrow
  • Angels One Five (1952) - Pilot Officer 'Septic' Baird
  • The Brave Don't Cry (1952) - John Cameron
  • Venetian Bird (1952) - Renzo Uccello
  • The Holly and the Ivy (1952) - David Paterson
  • The Titfield Thunderbolt (1953) - Gordon
  • Captain Brassbound's Conversion (1953 TV movie) - Captain Brassbound
  • Genevieve (1953) - Alan McKim
  • The Weak and the Wicked (1954) - Dr. Michael Hale
  • Conflict of Wings (1954) - Cpl. Bill Morris
  • The Crowded Day (1954) - Leslie
  • To Dorothy a Son (1954) - Tony Rapallo
  • Three Cases of Murder (1955) - Edgar Curtain ("You Killed Elizabeth" segment)
  • Above Us the Waves (1955) - Lt Alec Duffy
  • Value for Money (1955) - Chayley Broadbent
  • Jacqueline (1956) - Mike McNeil
  • The Battle of the River Plate (1956) - Captain Bell - H.M.S. Exeter
  • True as a Turtle (1957) - Tony Hudson
  • Miracle in Soho (1957) - Michael Morgan
  • Rooney (1958) - James Ignatius Rooney
  • Sea of Sand (1958) - Capt. Williams
  • The Captain's Table (1959) - Capt. Albert Ebbs
  • SOS Pacific (1959) - Jack Bennett
  • Hand in Hand (1960) - Father Timothy
  • Faces in the Dark (1960) - Richard Hammond
  • The Frightened City (1961) - Det. Insp. Sayers
  • The Treasure of Monte Cristo (1961) - Renato
  • The Longest Day (1962) - British Padre
  • Live Now, Pay Later (1962) - Callendar
  • Tomorrow at Ten (1962) - Detective Chief Inspector Parnell
  • The Night of the Generals (1967) - Colonel Sandauer
  • Hans Brinker (1969 TV movie) - Mijnheer Brinker
  • Speaking of Murder (1971 TV movie) - Charles Ashton
  • Fright (1971) - Dr. Cordell

Box office rankings

For several years British exhibitors listed Gregson as one of the most popular local stars at the box office.

  • 1956 – 9th most popular British star
  • 1957 – 4th most popular British star (7th overall)
  • 1958 – 8th
The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
Search trend
comments so far.
From our partners
Reference sources
Sections John Gregson

arrow-left arrow-right instagram whatsapp myspace quora soundcloud spotify tumblr vk website youtube pandora tunein iheart itunes