James Cossins

James Cossins
Born James Cossins
(1933-12-04)4 December 1933
Beckenham, Kent, England, UK
Died 12 February 1997(1997-02-12) (aged 63)
Hampshire, England, UK
Years active 1962-1994

James Cossins (4 December 1933 12 February 1997) was an English character actor. Born in Beckenham, Kent, he became widely recognised as the abrupt, bewildered Mr Walt in the Fawlty Towers episode "The Hotel Inspectors"[1] and as Mr Watson the frustrated Public Relations training course instructor in an episode of Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em.[2]

Early life

He was born in Beckenham and educated at the City of London School. After serving in the Royal Air Force, he trained at RADA where he won the silver medal in 1952.


He first appeared in repertory theatre[3] and at the Nottingham Playhouse. He played a wide range of characters throughout his colourful and extensive career on television and stage, often portraying blustering, pompous, crusty and cantankerous characters. He appeared in more than forty films,[4] including The Anniversary (recreating his West End stage role), and The Lost Continent (both 1968), Gandhi (1982), and The Man with the Golden Gun (1974). On the small screen, he appeared as a guest in a variety of shows, including The Likely Lads and Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads?, Minder, Bergerac, The Sweeney, Shadows, All Creatures Great and Small, Citizen Smith, Just William, The Good Life, L for Lester, Neville Dennis in Callan "Rules of the Game" (1972), Z-Cars, and as the regular character Bruce Westrop (in 1979) in Emmerdale Farm. He also played Major Bagstock in Dombey and Son (1983), and appeared in the first series of All in Good Faith in 1985. He played a magistrate in episodes of four different British sitcoms, Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads?, The Good Life, Citizen Smith and Minder.

His later appearances were limited by ill health and he lived in semi-retirement in Surrey, with his beloved dog Oscar. Cossins died from heart disease at the age of 63, in 1997.[5]

Selected filmography


  1. "The Hotel Inspectors". Thefawltytowersguide.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-03-07.
  2. Guide Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em Episodes at Comedy guide Retrieved 2015-08-14
  3. Eddie Pedder (1985). Who's Who on Television, 3rd Edition. Michael Joseph. ISBN 0-907965-31-8.
  4. "James Cossins". Britmovie.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-03-07.
  5. https://www.google.com/search?q=james+cossins+photos&client=gmail&rls=gm&tbm=isch&source=iu&imgil=ZioOk86kb_nI5M%253A%253Bhttps%25

External links

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