ROSSINGTON, Norman Arthur  [1928-1999]

Mine was very much a Wavertree family and when Norman Rossington came to national prominence in the TV comedy The Army Game it was definitely a case of local lad comes good. I remember speculation that the surname of one of the characters in the comedy, Private Bisley played by Alfie Bass, derived in some way from Bisley Street which was close to Rossington’s own home in Wellington Road. Doubtful, but you never know.

Rossington’s father, Arthur, was a publican and home for the young Norman was The Railway Inn at 78 Wellington Road L15. He attended Sefton Park Elementary School and Liverpool Technical College, leaving school at 14 and leading a somewhat aimless life with a variety of jobs, together with a spell in the RAF for his national service. The change in direction came when he, along with friend and future actor Kenneth Cope, took up amateur dramatics at the David Lewis Theatre. Rossington subsequently went on to train at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. His big break in The Army Game came in 1957 and he made various film appearances including several in the Carry On. Whilst his parts were predominantly light or comic he did have a significant serious  role in the 1960 classic Saturday Night and Sunday Morning playing alongside Albert Finney. Over the years he would have minor parts in some major screen productions such as The Longest Day  and Lawrence of Arabia. He appeared in the Beatles’ A Hard Day’s Night and his role in Double Trouble [1967] meant that he became the only actor to have appeared in films with both the Beatles and Elvis Presley.

He died in Manchester on 29th May 1999, aged 70, his last screen appearances having been in Heartbeat and Sharpe’s Regiment.

The Railway Inn, 78 Wellington Road L15

Norman Rossington's childhood home.


The Wikipedia entry gives basic information as does IMDB. Also worth a look are the obituaries in the Guardian and Independent