Rodney Bewes was an English actor, best known for his roles in the popular British sitcom “The Likely Lads” and its sequel “Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads?” He was born on November 27, 1937, in Bingley, West Yorkshire, England, to Alice and Percy Bewes.

Bewes attended Bingley Grammar School and later moved to London to study at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA). It was at RADA that he met his lifelong friend and collaborator, James Bolam. Their on-screen chemistry would later become the driving force behind “The Likely Lads” series.

Bewes began his acting career in the late 1950s, appearing in various stage productions and small roles on television. His breakthrough came in 1964 when he was cast as Bob Ferris in “The Likely Lads.” The sitcom followed the lives of two working-class friends, Bob and Terry (played by James Bolam), as they navigated the ups and downs of life in Newcastle upon Tyne. The show achieved great success and became a cultural phenomenon, resonating with the changing dynamics of British society in the 1960s. It ran for three seasons from 1964 to 1966.

Following the success of “The Likely Lads,” Bewes reprised his role as Bob Ferris in the sequel series “Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads?,” which aired from 1973 to 1974. The show explored the lives of Bob and Terry as they faced the challenges of middle age. Again, the series struck a chord with viewers and cemented Bewes’ place as one of Britain’s most beloved comedic actors.

Throughout his career, Bewes appeared in numerous films and television shows, including “Billy Liar” (1963), “Doctor Who” (1984), and “Boon” (1986). He also took on various stage roles, demonstrating his versatility as an actor.

In addition to his acting work, Bewes was an accomplished writer. He penned several books, including an autobiography titled “A Likely Lad: From the Jarrow Slums to the 21st Century.” In his memoir, he reflected on his upbringing, career, and personal life.

Bewes received several accolades throughout his career. He won the Pye Television Award for Best Performance in a Light Entertainment Program for his role in “The Likely Lads” in 1966. Despite his successes, Bewes faced challenges later in his career, including a strained relationship with his co-star James Bolam. However, he remained a prominent figure in British entertainment, continuing to work in the industry until his retirement.

Rodney Bewes passed away on November 21, 2017, at the age of 79. His contributions to British television and comedy have left a lasting impact, and he remains fondly remembered as a talented performer with an innate ability to capture the humor and complexity of everyday life. As Bewes once said, “Laughter is, I suppose, the greatest gift we can give one another.”

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