Anniversary Post: Bernard Fox

Bernard Fox

On this day, 11 May, in 1927, Welsh actor Bernard Fox was born. Clearly, I’m struggling today if I’m highlighting him. Just the same, I loved him. He was a brilliant comedic actor.

I know him primarily from two television series where he had recurring roles: Hogan’s Heroes and Bewitched.

Hogan’s Heroes

On Hogan’s Heroes, he played Colonel Crittendon, the wonderfully useless British officer with far more ethics than any reasonable person would have. That show is such a great encapsulation of American arrogance.

World War II was really just the America show with some help from the British and French. And the Russians? They were somewhere around but never clearly an ally (in the form of the other great recurring character, Nita Talbot’s Marya). And another part of that was a sneering disrespect for British officers — an opinion a lot of British people probably shared.

As far as I can tell, Crittendon was the creation of the great comedy writer Richard Powell. He also seems to have created Marya. He was the only one on the show that wrote character-based stories. Sadly, both characters got only about one episode per season.


On Bewitched, Fox played Dr Bombay, a literal witch doctor. He had the same haughty personality of Crittendon but he was no buffoon. He was more a lady’s man, living the life and generally not pleased to be called in for emergencies.

To a large extent, Bernard Fox was typecast. That’s to be expected when you work in American and you have that kind of accent. But he was in a variety of movies through his career.

Some things I remember him for are the “House — With a Ghost” episode of Night Gallery, the third story in The House Of The Dead about insufferable detective characters, and The Mummy, one of Fox’s last roles.

He died at the age of 89 in Los Angeles.

Bernard Fox by CBS Television via Wikipedia in the public domain.

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