Patrick, Dear Patrick, the Debonair Doyen of the Sitcom

Daily Mail (London), May 24, 1996 | Go to article overview

Patrick, Dear Patrick, the Debonair Doyen of the Sitcom


Byline: MONICA PORTER

PATRICK CARGILL, the debonair actor best known for his role in the television comedy Father, Dear Father, died from a brain tumour yesterday aged 77.

Although famous for his portrayals of sophisticated seducers and long-suffering fathers, Cargill was a solitary man - a bachelor whose devotion was reserved for his pets and luxury cars.

A quintessentially English charmer, he made his name in a string of Sixties and Seventies TV comedy series, starting with Top Secret.

His greatest success came in ITV's Father, Dear Father, as a man bringing up two wayward teenage daughters on his own.

It ran for five years and was seen in 35 countries. Afterwards he played a six-times-married romeo in another sitcom, The Many Wives of Patrick.

When asked how he could carry off playing fathers and husbands when he had been neither, he replied: `You don't need to kill someone in order to play a murderer.'

Fellow comic actor Derek Nimmo said last night: `Patrick was one of an almost extinct breed - an actor who was always a gentleman.'

Born in London the son of an Indian Army major, Cargill went to Haileybury School, Hertford, then to Sandhurst from where he was posted to India as a lieutenant.

Almost immediately the young officer realised it was a mistake, saved the [pounds sterling]75 needed to buy his way out of the Army and returned to England with only ten shillings in his pocket and dreams of a theatre career.

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