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  • Place of birth : London
  • Date of birth : 04/06/1927



  • Palmer Geoffrey


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Geoffrey Palmer (1927)

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Geoffrey Dyson Palmer, OBE is an English actor, known for his roles in such British television sitcoms as Butterflies and As Time Goes By.


After being demobilised from the Royal Marines, Palmer drifted into theatre, joining a local amateur dramatics society because of a girlfriend. He became an assistant stage manager at the Q Theatre, by Kew Bridge, then the Grand Theatre in Croydon. He spent several years touring with a repertory company, and was an actor in theatre, coming to television and public prominence later in his career. Early television appearances included a variety of roles in Granada Television's The Army Game, two episodes of The Baron and as a property agent in Cathy Come Home, a very highly influential drama documentary shown on British TV in 1966.

Getting a major break in John Osborne's West of Suez at the Royal Court with Ralph Richardson, he then acted in major productions at the Royal Court and the Royal National Theatre and was directed by Laurence Olivier in J. B. Priestley's Eden End. Palmer found the play so boring, however, that it put him off a stage career for good. Many of his television parts were as a stuffy, middle class buffoon, and he is known for deadpan drollery. Two sitcom roles brought him major attention in the 1970s: the hapless brother-in-law of Reggie Perrin in The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin, and the phlegmatic Ben Parkinson in Carla Lane's Butterflies. He has continued to appear in productions written by Perrin creator David Nobbs, the latest being the radio comedy The Maltby Collection.

He starred opposite Judi Dench for over a decade in the BBC situation comedy As Time Goes By (1992-2005). During this time he also appeared with Dench in other productions: the James Bond film, Tomorrow Never Dies where he portrayed Admiral Roebuck, and Mrs. Brown, he played Sir Henry Ponsonby to Dench's Queen Victoria.

His distinctive voice has given him a career in advertising and television voiceovers, most notably the Audi commercials in which he popularised the phrase "Vorsprung durch Technik", and as the narrator for the BBC series, Grumpy Old Men and Grumpy Old Holidays. He narrated the audiobook version of Dickens' A Christmas Carol, released in 2005 as a podcast by Penguin Books. He narrates Little England. He regularly voices books for the blind. .

In 2007 he teamed up with Silksound Books to record The Diary of a Nobody by George Grossmith and Weedon Grossmith as an online audiobook.

In December 2007, Palmer appeared in the role of the Captain in "Voyage of the Damned," the Christmas special episode of the BBC science-fiction series Doctor Who .

In March 2009 he joined in on a sketch with the two double acts 'Armstrong and Miller' and 'Mitchell and Webb' for Comic Relief.

 personal life
Palmer was born in London, England, the son of Norah Gwendolen (née Robins) and Frederick Charles Palmer, who was a chartered surveyor. He attended Highgate School, London. Palmer lives between Great Missenden and Wendover, at Lee Common in Buckinghamshire, England. He married Sally Green in 1963 and they have a son, Charles and daughter Harriet. His son is married to actress Claire Skinner.

  • Eden End by J. B. Priestley at the Royal National Theatre

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Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Geoffrey Palmer (Schauspieler)", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.