Arthur Lowe (22 September 1915 – 15 April 1982) was an English actor. His career spanned over thirty years, including starring roles in numerous theatre and television productions. He is best known for playing Captain George Mainwaring in the British sitcom Dad's Army from 1968 until 1977. He was nominated for seven BAFTAs and became one of the most recognised faces on television.
Lowe began his working life shortly before the Second World War (1939–1945) and he featured in many theatrical performances. It was not until he landed the part of Leonard Swindley in the British television soap Coronation Street that he became a household name. He played the character until 1966, while continuing film work. In 1968 he took up his most famous role, in Dad's Army, written by David Croft and Jimmy Perry. His success as this character led to considerable television and theatrical work, which put pressure on his health. Lowe's final years were dominated by alcoholism and illness and he died on 15 April 1982, aged 66.
Arthur Lowe was born in Hayfield, Derbyshire, the only child of Arthur (1888–1971) and his wife Mary Annie Ford (1885–1981). His father worked for a railway company and was in charge of moving theatrical touring companies around Northern England and the Midlands, using special trains. Arthur Jr. went to Chapel Street Junior School in Chapel Street, Levenshulme, Manchester. His original intention was to join the Merchant Navy but this was thwarted by his poor eyesight. Working at an aircraft factory, he joined the British Army on the eve of the Second World War but not before experiencing his first brush with acting, by working as a stage hand at the Manchester Palace of Varieties. Lowe served in the Middle East with the Duke of Lancaster's Own Yeomanry and took part in shows put on for the troops. At the war's end, he was discharged from the army, having served as a radar technician, with the rank of Sergeant Major...
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