Richard Wattis

Richard Cameron Wattis (25 February 1912 — 1 February 1975) born in Wednesbury, Staffordshire, was an English character actor. He attended King Edward's School, Birmingham and Bromsgrove School, after which he worked for the family electrical engineering firm before becoming a professional actor. After his debut with Croydon Repertory Theatre he made many stage appearances in the West End. His first appearance in a film was A Yank at Oxford in 1938, but war service interrupted his career as an actor. Wattis served as a Second Lieutenant with the Arms Section of Special Operations Executive at Station VI during World War II. He is best known for his appearances in British comedies of the 1950s and 1960s, typically as the "Man from the Ministry" or similar character, with trademark thick-rimmed round spectacles. These included the St Trinian's films (The Belles of St Trinian's, Blue Murder at St Trinian's and The Great St Trinian's Train Robbery), as Manton Bassett, a civil servant who was the Deputy Director of Schools in the Ministry of Education, where he was often seen frowning and expressing indignation at the outrageous behaviour of other characters.


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