Alfie Bass
Alfie Bass

Alfie Bass

  • English
  • Actor
The Lavender Hill Mob. Shorty (Alfie Bass). Copyright: STUDIOCANAL

Alfie Bass was an English actor who appeared in dozens of radio, television and film productions throughout his lengthy career. He is best known for playing Pte Montague 'Excused Boots' Bisley in The Army Game and Bootsie And Snudge, and for appearing in several film comedies including The Lavender Hill Mob.

Year Production Role
1979 Are You Being Served? - Series 7
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  1. E1 - The Junior
  2. E2 - Strong Stuff This Insurance
  3. E3 - The Apartment
  4. E4 - Mrs. Slocombe, Senior Person
  5. E5 - The Hero
  6. E6 - Anything You Can Do
  7. E7 - The Agent
  8. Special - The Punch And Judy Affair
Mr Harry Goldberg
1978 Revenge Of The Pink Panther Fernet
1977 Lord Tramp
  1. E2 - Episode Two
Piccadilly Perce
1977 A Roof Over My Head - Series 1
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  1. E3 - The Sitting Tenant
  2. E4 - Learn To Dread One Day At A Time
  3. E5 - Not Cricket
  4. E6 - Another Fine Mess
Flamewell
1977 Come Play With Me Kelly
1977 Mr Big - Series 1
  1. E4 - The Hit Man
Clement Clark
1976 The Howerd Confessions
  1. E5 - Episode Five
Chalky White
1975 Till Death Us Do Part - Series 7
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  1. E1 - Moving In With Min
  2. E2 - Min The Housekeeper
  3. E3 - Drunk In Charge Of A Bicycle
  4. E4 - Window
  5. E5 - Golf
  6. E6 - Unemployed
Bert Reed
1974 Till Death Us Do Part - Series 6
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  1. E2 - Phone Call To Else
  2. E3 - Marital Bliss
  3. E4 - Wedgie Ben
  4. E5 - The Wake
  5. E6 - Christmas Club Books
  6. E7 - The Letter
Bert Reed
1974 Bootsie And Snudge - Series 4
View episodes
  1. E1 - Two In A Million
  2. E3 - Up The Downstairs
  3. E5 - As Good As A Rest
'Excused Boots' Bisley
1973 The Goodies - Series 4
  1. E1 - Episode One
  2. Special - The Goodies And The Beanstalk
Ensemble Actor
1973 Men Of Affairs
  1. E5 - Episode Five
Burglar
1973 Black And Blue
  1. E5 - Soap Opera In Stockwell
Sylv
1972 Brothers In Law - Series 3
  1. E10 - What Do You Do?
Arritzivin Bashlaq
1971 The Magnificent Seven Deadly Sins Mr. Spooner
1967 Vacant Lot
View episodes
  1. E1 - Episode One
  2. E2 - The Great Pay Snatch
  3. E3 - Hats Off For The Gov'nor
  4. E4 - Partnership Bid
  5. E5 - Room For Improvement
  6. E6 - The Golfers
  7. E7 - Criminal Negligence
Alf Grimble
1966 Doctor In Clover Fleming
1966 Cooperama
  1. E4 - Episode Four
Ensemble Actor
1966 The Sandwich Man Yachtsman
1966 Alfie Harry Clamacraft
1965 Me And My Big Mouth Alfie Smith
1965 Help! Doorman
1964 Foreign Affairs
View episodes
  1. E2 - Episode Two
  2. E3 - Episode Three
  3. E5 - Episode Five
  4. E8 - Episode Eight
'Bootsie' Bisley
1960 Bootsie And Snudge - Series 1
View episodes
  1. E2 - Bootsie's Punctured Romance
  2. E3 - Snudge's School Friend
  3. E7 - Of Mouse And Man
  4. E9 - Cordon Bleu
  5. E13 - Bath Night
  6. E14 - Johnson's Retirement
  7. E25 - Snudge's Date
  8. E29 - The Moth Hunt
  9. E30 - The Cemetery
  10. E31 - Old Comrades
  11. E32 - How To Win Friends
  12. E33 - Days Fishing
  13. E35 - The Concert Pianist
  14. E39 - The Holiday
'Excused Boots' Bisley
1960 The Millionairess Fish Curer
1959 The Army Game - Series 3
View episodes
  1. E1 - Snudge And Jimmy O'Goblin
  2. E2 - The Take-Over Bid
  3. E3 - Enter A Dark Stranger
  4. E4 - Snudge's Budgie
  5. E5 - Where There's Smoke
  6. E6 - The Camera Never Lies
  7. E7 - When The Poppies Bloom Again
  8. E8 - Miracle In Hut 29
  9. E9 - Night Train To Itchwick
Pte Montague 'Excused Boots' Bisley
1958 I Only Arsked! Excused Boots Bisley
1956 A Touch Of The Sun Mr. May
1956 Jumping For Joy Blagg
1956 Sailor Beware Organist
1954 Make Me An Offer! Fred 'Frames'
1953 Top Of The Form Arty Jones
1952 Treasure Hunt Seamus
1952 Made In Heaven Bert Jenkins
1952 Brandy For The Parson Dallyn
1951 The Galloping Major Newsboy
1951 The Lavender Hill Mob Shorty
1947 Holiday Camp Redcoat
1945 Johnny Frenchman Corporal

Non-comedy TV and film credits may be found here:
Alfie Bass on IMDb

Born
Monday 10th April 1916
Died
Wednesday 15th July 1987 (aged 71)
Nationality
English

Born Abraham Basalinsky in Bethnal Green, London, Alfie Bass was the youngest in a Jewish family with ten children. He left primary school at the age of 14 and worked as a tailor's apprentice, a messenger boy, and a shop-window display fitter, before finding his calling on the stage.

Bass's career kicked off at the Unity Theatre, London in the late 1930s. Here he featured in Plant In The Sun alongside Paul Robeson and as the pantomime King in Babes In The Wood. Upon the outbreak of World War II, Bass signed up to join the Middlesex Regiment as a despatch rider, but even during the conflict he involved himself in concert parties, going so far as to participate in documentaries for the Army Film Unit. Other stage work included an adaptation of Gogol's short story "The Bespoke Overcoat", transposed to the East End of London and, in its film version by Jack Clayton in 1956, the winner of the Oscar for best short.

In television Bass is perhaps best known for playing Private Montague 'Excused Boots' Bisley, in The Army Game (1957-1961), as well as its sequel Bootsie And Snudge (1960-1963), working at a Gentleman's Club with Bill Fraser as 'Claude Snudge' and Clive Dunn as 'Henry Beerbohm Johnson'. He revived this career for another spin-off, Foreign Affairs, in 1964.

In the 1970s and 1980s he became a mainstay on British television, appearing regularly in the TV sitcoms Till Death Us Do Part, as Bert Reed, and Are You Bieing Served? as Mr. Goldberg. As in the Mr Goldberg role, he often emphasised his Jewish background in on-screen characterisations. He also guest-starred in two episode of the British comedy television series The Goodies.

In film, Bass is known for several appearances in wartime documentaries, following his own experience of martial dispute, but he also built up a distinguished comedy career, starring in The Lavender Hill Mob, Made In Heaven, Jumping For Joy, and Holiday Camp, among several others. Later roles included Clouseau's seafaring informant in Revenge Of The Pink Panther and a leading role in the 1997 sex comedy Come Play With Me.

An actor supremely comfortable in either drama or comedy, in 1970 he was a subject of the television programme This If Your Life, where he was surprised by Eamonn Andrews.

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