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Moore Marriott

Moore Marriott
Moore Marriott examines photographs of himself as 'Old Harbottle'
Born George Thomas Moore Marriott
(1885-09-14)14 September 1885
West Drayton, Middlesex, England
Died 11 December 1949(1949-12-11) (aged 64)
Bognor Regis, Sussex, England
Occupation Comedy actor
Years active 1912–1949

Moore Marriott (14 September 1885[1] – 11 December 1949[2]) was an English character actor most notable for a series of films he made with Will Hay. His first appearance with Hay was in Hay's 1935 film Dandy Dick, but he was a major star in Hay's films from 1936 to 1940, and while he starred with Hay during this period he played a character called "Harbottle" that was based on a character Marriott usually played. His character Harbottle was originally created by Hay when he used the character in his "The fourth form at St. Michael's" sketches in the 1920s.


Marriott came from a theatrical family and had made his stage debut at the age of five. He had originally intended to train as an architect, but instead he went into films.[3] Rather like Clive Dunn, David Jason and Wilfrid Brambell later, he became typecast as playing old men when he was still relatively young. He had a special set of artificial teeth which he would put in to play his 'old man' characters. He had no teeth in real life and took four different sets of false teeth with him to achieve variety in his characters.

Although he made a huge number of film appearances since 1908, today he is probably best known as old "Harbottle" in a number of comedy films he made with Will Hay and Graham Moffatt, including Oh, Mr Porter! and Ask a Policeman. During the filming of Hay's film Dandy Dick (1935), Marriott played an uncredited stableboy. During the filming of Dandy Dick, Marriott said to Hay he thought he should be a stuntman to him in his old-man character. His first role as a stuntman using this character was in Hay's film Windbag the Sailor (1936) along with Graham Moffatt.

Following the dissolution of the Will Hay/Graham Moffatt/Moore Marriott partnership, he went on to make films with the comedian Arthur Askey and the Crazy Gang, where he continued to play his famous 'Harbottle'-type character. One example was I Thank You, which also starred Kathleen Harrison and Richard Murdoch as well as several other faces who became famous in later years.

His other film appearances included Millions Like Us (1943) and Green for Danger (1946).

His cause of death was cardiac syncope, acute pulmonary oedema and chronic myocardiac degeneration caused by earlier pneumonia. At the time of his death he was keeping a grocer's store in Bognor Regis.[3] He was cremated at Golders Green Crematorium, where his ashes were also interred.[4]

File:Moore legend.jpg
The Moore legend

Partial filmography


  1. ^ GRO Register of Births: DEC 1885 3a 23 UXBRIDGE – George Thomas M. Marriott
  2. ^ GRO Register of Deaths: DEC 1949 5h 530 CHICHESTER – George T. M. Marriott
  3. ^ a b [1] Moore Marriott on the Will Hay Tribute Site
  4. ^ [2] Moore Marriott on Find A Grave website

External links

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