PETTINGELL, Frank Edmund George   [1891 - 1966]

Born in Liverpool on 1st January 1891, Frank Edmund George Pettingell had a long acting career on stage and screen which saw him appear in over 60 films and countless theatre productions. He was the son of Frank Ernest Pettingell, a photographer, and his wife Harriet Helen Beatrice. At the time of his both the family was living at 11 Queens Road L6, moving shortly after to 4 Westbourne Street L6 (both now demolished). While he was still a schoolboy the family moved to Hulme, Manchester and he later graduated from Manchester University. He served during the First World War with the King’s Liverpool Regiment.

His first stage appearance was in 1910 when he played the part of ‘the tailor’ in The Taming of the Shrew at the Winter Gardens Blackpool. His career spanned 54 years, his last role being the Bishop of York, alongside Richard Burton and Peter O’Toole in the 1964 film Becket. Other notable film credits were in The Good Companions [1933] Gaslight [1940] Kipps [1941] The Goose Steps Out [1942] and The Dock Brief [1962]. His many television credits included a 1961 appearance in Coronation Street as Mr Nugent.

Pettingell was an avid collector of books and playscripts. In 1966 the Bodleian Library in Oxford purchased his collection of 800 volumes of 19th century ‘penny dreadful’ publications. His extensive collection of over 4,400 printed and manuscript playscripts was acquired by the University of Kent from his widow in 1967.

He married Ethel Till in 1938. Pettingell died in London on 17th February 1966 aged 75.

Frank Pettingell (right) with the great comedy actor Will Hay in the 1942 film The Goose Steps Out


The Wikipedia entry is minimal but does give a list of his main film roles. His TV roles are detailed on IMDB and his theatre apearances are listed on a website run by the University of Kent. There are various video excerpts featuring Pettingell with a search on YouTube.