Family & Companions
Paul Eddington was an English actor whose 40 years on television belied a thoroughly modest personality: not only did he avoid publicity, he was also a pacifist and a conscientious objector, which lead him to be kicked out of ENSA, the British group that entertained the troops during World War II. After ENSA, Eddington did repertory theater in Sheffield, and in 1956 he inaugurated his TV career as series regular Will Scarlett on "The Adventures of Robin Hood," which ran into 1960. Following a variety of primarily single-episode appearances on a range of programs, Eddington grew more active in the '70s, climaxing in 1975 with his turning-point role, as Jerry Leadbetter, half of the conservative couple on the BBC sitcom "The Good Life" (aka "Good Neighbors"). Eddington appeared on every episode of the series' four-season run, and the momentum most certainly carried over to his most famous role, as the bumbling James Hacker, the British Minister for Administrative Affairs on the comedy "Yes Minister," beginning in 1980. After a single-year off mid-decade, the program resumed as "Yes, Prime Minister," featuring the same main cast. Eddington's co-star, Nigel Hawthorne, who played Permanent Secretary Sir Humphrey Appleby, was Eddington's only obstacle to a BAFTA Best Performance award: Hawthorne won all four of the awards for which the two competed.