Eric Barker (Eric Barker)

Eric Barker

Actor. He is best remembered for his roles in the popular British “Carry On” films. Born Eric Leslie Barker in Thornton Heath, Surrey, England he was raised in Croydon, Surrey, the youngest of three children of a paper merchant. After completing his education at Whitgift School in Croydon, he joined his father’s paper merchant’s company but soon left to devote his full time to writing. His first novel, “The Watch Hunt,” was published when he was eighteen, and continued writing short stories and plays and made appearances in some of his plays. He soon began writing and performing lyric revues and sketches for the stage and radio. He gained his start in show business during World War II, when he was part of the armed forces radio show “Merry Go Round,” which he helped to write. After the war the show continued as “The Waterlogged Spa,” with him and his wife, actress Pearl Hackney. His “Steady Barker” catchphrase and verbal stumbling over words beginning with the letter ‘h’ became well known to British audiences. He then began starring in other radio shows, where he achieved a sizeable following due to his versatility at doing voices. In the 1950s he moved into television and films, with his own show, “The Eric Barker Half-Hour,” a black-and-white comedy sketch show on the British Broadcasting System (BBC), running from 1951 to 1953. Its success led to him to write his autobiography “Steady Barker” in 1956. In 1958 he received a British Academy of Film and Television Arts award as “Most Promising Newcomer” for his role as a barrister’s clerk in the 1957 film “Brothers in Law,” that led to his appearance in 30 films over the next 20 years, including ” Dentist in the Chair” (1960), “Dentist on the Job” (1961), “Ferry Cross the Mersey” (1965), “Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines’ (1965), three in the St Trinian’s comedy film series with “Blue Murder at St. Trinian’s” (1957), “The Pure Hell of St. Trinian’s” (1960), “The Great St. Trinian’s Train Robbery’ (1966), and four in the classic “Carry On” British comedy film series, starting with “Carry On Sergeant” (1958), “Carry On Constable” (1960), “Carry On Spying” (1964), and “Carry On Emmannuelle” (1978). He usually played variations of the busybody sticking his nose in everyone’s business, or as some authority figure, with “Carry On Constable” being a good example. He also wrote and published a number of novels, with “Sea Breezes” in the early 1930s under the pen name of Christopher Bentley and “Day Gone By” under his own name in 1933, as well as “Golden Gimmick” in 1958. He also had big success appearing on many BBC television series, such as “Something in the City,” “Cluff,” “Danger Island,” “Father Dear Father,” and “The Chiffy Kid.” He died in Canterbury, Kent, England at the age of 78. (bio by: William Bjornstad)  Family links:  Spouse:  Pearl Hackney (1916 – 2009)* *Calculated relationship


  • February, 20, 1912


  • June, 06, 1990


  • St Mary Churchyard
  • Kent
  • England

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