George Cole

Last updated on the 23 June 2024 by Maeve

George Cole headshot

Mini Biography

Born: 22 April 1925, Tooting, London, England.

George Cole had a humble beginning that would soon pave the way for a remarkable career in the entertainment industry. Growing up in an economically deprived neighbourhood during the interwar period, Cole faced numerous challenges. However, his passion for acting and perseverance led him to rise above his circumstances.

George Cole and Alastair Sim in The Belles of St. Trinian's
George Cole and Alastair Sim in The Belles of St. Trinian’s

Cole’s love for performing arts emerged at a young age. He attended the Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts in London, where he polished his acting skills and developed a deep appreciation for the craft. His dedication and talent were evident from the beginning, earning him recognition amongst his peers and instructors.

George Cole’s career in the entertainment industry spanned over seven decades, during which he left an indelible mark on British television and film. He made his professional debut in 1942, at the age of 17, in the film “The Thief of Bagdad.” This early success set the stage for a long and illustrious career.

Cole’s breakthrough came in the 1950s when he portrayed the iconic character of Flash Harry in the St. Trinian’s films, a role that would become synonymous with his name. His comedic timing and ability to bring characters to life endeared him to audiences across the country. This role cemented his status as a beloved actor and opened doors to numerous opportunities.

Minder - George Cole and Dennis Waterman
Minder – George Cole and Dennis Waterman

In the 1980s, Cole captivated audiences with his portrayal of Arthur Daley in the hit television series “Minder.” Cole’s portrayal of the lovable yet morally ambiguous Arthur Daley became one of his most iconic characters, earning him critical acclaim and a dedicated following.

While George Cole’s professional life flourished, his personal life was equally eventful. In 1954, he married actress Eileen Moore, and they remained together until her passing in 2010. The couple had two children, Tara and Toby, who would go on to pursue careers in the entertainment industry themselves.

Despite his success, George Cole remained humble and down-to-earth. Known for his warm personality and quick wit, he was cherished by his colleagues and fans alike. In his later years, Cole dedicated his time to various charitable causes, demonstrating his commitment to giving back to the community that had supported him throughout his career.


Suggested viewing


Dad (1997)

Dad poster

Bftv 8.5 / IMDb 7.5

A stressed son with a mischievous father and a moody teenager tries to cope with the chaotic world of family. Despite constant mishaps and generation clashes, their love and patience bind them through everyday struggles.

Top cast: George Cole, Kevin McNally, Julia Hills, Toby Ross-Bryant.


Minder (1979)

Minder poster

Bftv 9.0 / IMDb 7.8

“Minder” : A British TV series starring George Cole as the lovable Arthur Daley, a morally ambiguous entrepreneur, and Dennis Waterman as his bodyguard, Terry McCann. The show follows their adventures in the criminal underworld of London, combining humour, drama and a unique bond between the two central characters.

Top cast: George Cole, Dennis Waterman, Gary Webster, Glynn Edwards, Peter Childs, Michael Troughton, Tony Osoba, Kate Williams.


The Green Man (1956)

The Green Man poster

Bftv 8.0 / IMDb 7.1

“The Green Man” : A British comedy film starring George Cole as William Blake, a mild-mannered vacuum cleaner salesman with a penchant for mischief. When he stumbles upon a plot to assassinate a prominent politician, Blake takes it upon himself to foil the conspiracy, leading to a series of hilarious and unpredictable events.

Top cast: Alastair Sim, George Cole, Terry-Thomas, Jill Adams, Raymond Huntley, Avril Angers, Colin Gordon, Eileen Moore.


Too Many Crooks (1959)

Too Many Crooks poster

Bftv 8.0 / IMDb 6.9

“Too Many Crooks” : A British crime comedy film featuring George Cole as “Fingers”, a bumbling criminal mastermind. Fingers hatches a plan to kidnap the wealthy Sir James and hold him for ransom, but his scheme spirals into chaos as a series of hilarious mishaps and unexpected obstacles derail his criminal ambitions.

Top cast: Terry-Thomas, George Cole, Brenda de Banzie, Bernard Bresslaw, Sid James, Joe Melia, Vera Day, Delphi Lawrence.


The Belles of St. Trinian’s (1954)
The Belles of St. Trinian's poster

Bftv 8.0 / IMDb 6.7

“The Belles of St. Trinian’s” : A British comedy film featuring George Cole as Flash Harry, a shady character in an all-girls boarding school. Chaos ensues as the mischievous students of St. Trinian’s concoct outrageous schemes, outsmarting authority figures and causing mayhem. A hilarious and rebellious tale of schoolgirl antics.

Top cast: Alastair Sim, Joyce Grenfell, George Cole, Hermione Baddeley, Betty Ann Davies, Renee Houston, Beryl Reid, Irene Handl.


George Cole full filmography @ Wikipedia
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