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Graham Crowden's characterisations made him an actor ahead of his time, but as styles changed the times came round to his way of thinking.

At 1.9m he had a door-filling presence and a commanding voice.

Crowden took on a range of television roles including two long-running successes for which he is still remembered - the sitcoms Waiting For God and A Very Peculiar Practice.

Those who thought him guilty of actorly affectation for walking with a cane were unaware that he did so with good reason. During World War II Crowden was shot, seriously wounded and invalided out of the Army. Never one for molly-coddling, his mother responded by saying: "That fool should never have been trusted with a rifle."

From the late 1950s Crowden seemed to specialise in originating stage roles, notably for Tom Stoppard as the Player in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead.

In his late 60s, Crowden proudly dubbed himself the juvenile lead in the Cottesloe Theatre's premiere of Jim Cartwright's Bed on the grounds that his fellow cast members would never see 70 again.

Alongside these plentiful live appearances, Crowden conducted equally busy careers on the screens, big and small. Lindsay Anderson cast him in three surreal and nightmarish movies between 1968 and 1982, including O Lucky Man! and Britannia Hospital. He also found favour with the Monty Python group, featuring in Terry Gilliam's Jabberwocky and The Missionary, written and co-produced by its star, Michael Palin.

Graham Crowden married Phyllida Hewat in 1952. He is survived by her, three daughters and a son.

- Independent