John le Mesurier

John le Mesurier was married three times. He began an affair with Hattie Jacques while still married to his first wife, theatre director June Melville, who had become an alcoholic. He married Jacques soon after becoming divorced from Melville. Jacques began an affair with her driver John Schofield in 1962, and subsequently moved him into the family home. The following year Le Mesurier met the actress Joan Malin; he moved in with her, and allowed Jacques to divorce him on the grounds of his own infidelity. They married in 1966, but within months Malin had begun an affair with the comedian Tony Hancock. She moved in with Hancock, but suffered verbal and physical abuse from him; she returned to Le Mesurier after making a failed suicide attempt.

Le Mesurier suffered his own problems with alcohol, and was ordered to stop drinking in 1977. He died in 1983, aged 71, slipping into a coma after uttering the famous last words: "It's all been rather lovely." His ashes were buried in Ramsgate, Kent; the epitaph reads: "John Le Mesurier ... Much loved actor ... Resting".

Dad's Army, which gave John Le Mesurier his most famous role, was filmed between 1968 and 1977.

© Haydn Thompson 2017