While working on the classic Ealing comedy Hue and Cry in 1947, the actor Harry Fowler, who has died aged 85, was given sage advice by one of his co-stars, Jack Warner: "Never turn anything down … stars come and go but as a character actor, you'll work until you're 90."
Fowler took the suggestion and proved its near veracity. Between his 1942 debut as Ern in Those Kids from Town until television appearances more than 60 years later, he notched up scores of feature films and innumerable TV shows, including three years as Corporal "Flogger" Hoskins in The Army Game.
He never attained star status but created a gallery of sparky characters, including minor villains, servicemen, reporters and tradesmen enriched by an ever-present cheeky smile and an authentic cockney accent. He was Smudge or Smiley, Nipper or Knocker, Bert or 'Orace, as