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Famous Like Me > Actor > J > David Jason

Profile of David Jason on Famous Like Me

Name: David Jason  
Also Know As:
Date of Birth: 2nd February 1940
Place of Birth: Edmonton, London, England, UK
Profession: Actor
From Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia
David Jason in A Touch of Frost.

Sir David Jason, OBE (born 2 February 1938 - usually misquoted as 1940 - in Edmonton, London), is a highly regarded British actor, admired equally for his dramatic work as for his comedy roles. "David Jason" is a stage name; his real name is David John White.

David was brought up in Lodge Lane North Finchley, and went to school nearby. He trained as an electrician after leaving school while negotiating his way into repertory theatre.

Early career

David Jason with Denise Coffey and (back row) future "Pythonites" Terry Jones, Michael Palin, and Eric Idle, in Do Not Adjust Your Set (ITV, 1967–69).

Jason started his career at the same time as Michael Palin in Do Not Adjust Your Set and appeared in variety shows in support of stars such as Dick Emery. He appeared, most notably, as a spoof super-hero Captain Fantastic, in Do Not Adjust Your Set. He was somewhat ahead of the Austin Powers and Johnny English film genre in an inventive TV series about an inept spy called The Secret Life of Edgar Briggs. Humphrey Barclay, who recruited David to Do Not Adjust Your Set partly to offset the rather intellectual style of Idle, Jones and Palin, admired David's masterful sense of timing. This was of course in an era when British performers such as Peter Cook, Marty Feldman, Tony Hancock, Benny Hill and Kenneth Horne were all regularly demonstrating superb timing skills to humorous effect. His eye-catching performances would also attract the attention of Ronnie Barker, who would become a mentor to Jason in the next era of his career.

Jason was recruited to play Dithers, the hundred-year old gardener to Barker and co-worker of a maid played by Josephine Tewson, in Hark At Barker, then Blanco in Porridge, a prison-based comedy also starring Barker, then junior employee Granville in Open All Hours, starring Barker as the miserly proprietor of a general store. He also took the lead role in ITV sitcom A Sharp Intake Of Breath.

In the 1970's he did some work for radio, appearing in Week Ending (regularly satirising such figures as then UK Foreign Secretary Dr David Owen), and was the original "B Ark Captain" in the sixth episode of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

Maturity and success

In 1981 he created his most enduring and popular role, that of Del Boy in Only Fools and Horses, a wide-boy who makes a dubious living in Peckham, south London, trading in shoddy and counterfeit goods with the assistance of his brother Rodney (played by Nicholas Lyndhurst) and Grandad (played by Lennard Pearce) or, latterly, Uncle Albert, played by Buster Merryfield. In this role David popularised some slang words; examples being the mild insults "dipstick" and "plonker" and the celebratory "lovely jubbly".

He soon earned acclaim for a string of serious roles, for example as Skullion in Porterhouse Blue, Detective Jack Frost in the TV series A Touch Of Frost and acted with Catherine Zeta-Jones in the rural Kentish tale The Darling Buds of May (based on the H. E. Bates novel).

He has also worked as a voice artist for Cosgrove Hall on a number of children's television productions, providing voices for Dangermouse, Count Duckula and Toad from The Wind in the Willows, as well as several other cartoon voice-overs and advertising work.

In 1993, David Jason was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE), and twelve years later, in the Queen's Birthday Honours list of 2005, he was knighted (i.e., made a Knight Bachelor) for services to acting. On the day his knighthood was announced, many British newspapers used the headline "Arise Sir Del Boy" or similar, in reference to his most famous role. Popular Radio DJ Terry Wogan was also knighted on the same day.

Jason has never married. He nursed long-time partner Myfanwy prior to her death in 1995 after a long battle with cancer and then found happiness again with current partner Gill, with whom he has a daughter who was born in 2001.

Notable work


  • Week Ending
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy


  • A Bit of a Do
  • A Sharp Intake of Breath
  • A Touch of Frost
  • All the King's Men
  • Amongst Barbarians
  • The Darling Buds of May
  • David Jason...In His Element
  • Lucky Feller
  • March in the Windy City
  • Only Fools and Horses
  • Open All Hours
  • Porridge
  • The Top Secret Life of Edgar Briggs
  • Porterhouse Blue
  • The Bullion Boys


  • Royal Flash
  • The Odd Job

This content from Wikipedia is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article David Jason