My Tribute To A Great Actor Ed Bishop

Ed Bishop was born in Brooklyn New York. He had Light brown hair, blue eyes, 6 ft tall. Born as George Victor Bishop, changed his name to Edward when he became a professional actor, as there was already an actor named George Bishop. Lived in New York through high school. Served in the US Army 1952-1954, Then he worked as a disk jockey on Armed Forces Radio at St Johns' Newfoundland. Ed Planned for a career in Business Administration and went back to school at Boston University.

Ed Decided he didn't like Business Administration and enrolled in Boston University Theatre Division (1956). Graduated in 1960 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree. Won a Fulbright scholarship to study drama at London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art in 1960. Started his professional acting career in July 1961. Immediately found work in the British theatre and film industries. He adopted the first name Edward at this time for professional reasons. His first Broadway stage performance was in David Merrick's production of The Rehearsal in 1962, though he returned to Britain in 1964.

Met his second wife Hillary Preen, in Trafalgar Square when he was visiting places of interest in London. Had 4 children, born in 1964 (Daniel), 1967 (Georgina), 1968 (Jessica), 1971 (Serina). Finally years of his life Ed lived in a little village in Warwickshire, where he bought a large old house in 1980. Became a grandfather in 1994. 

Ed was best known for his television roles  most notably his performance as Commander Ed Straker in the science fiction series, UFO, which was produced in 1969 and broadcast during 1970-1971. Ed also provided the voice of Captain Blue for the puppet series, Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons. Both series have become cult favourites. Ed dyed his dark hair blond for the role of Straker, though he eventually started wearing a blond wig instead. Ed  kept one of the wigs he wore in UFO as a souvenir and was also given the Certina wristwatch he wore on the show, and before his death, said that he planned to pass it on to his eldest grandson. Ed was the only cast member  to appear in every episode of that series.

Ed made his film acting debut in a small role in Stanley Kubrick's 1962 adaptation of Lolita , and he had small roles in the James Bond films You Only Live Twice and Diamonds Are Forever. Some of his other better known films include Saturn 3, Twilight's Last Gleaming, Whoops Apocalypse (he also appeared in the TV series version), and 2001: A Space Odyssey (where he played the Captain of the Aries 1B space-station-to-moon shuttle, in a role which first featured dialogue: the dialogue was later cut from his scenes). In 1963 he played an American astronaut going to the moon in the movie "The Mouse on the Moon" Ed also provided vocal work for the animated version of Star Trek and for Full Fathom Five

 Ed continued to act on film, TV and radio, usually in British and European productions, and was a frequent guest at science fiction conventions. He was also politically active, participating in the March 2004 British protest against the Iraq war.

Most notable radio play's were as Philip Marlowe

Some of his final work co-starred with Angela Lansbury in the television pilot film The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax, guested in episodes of Highlander and The Demon Headmaster, and appeared as an FBI agent in an episode of the BBC's Waking The Dead. He also co-starred in Big Finish's Doctor Who Unbound audio drama Full Fathom Five, playing the ruthless  General Flint. 

Ed was cast as the voice of Captain Blue in Captain Scarlet And The Mysterons. He was heard in all 32 episodes of the popular  series, as well as in a series of original Captain Scarlet stories recorded for release on the Century 21 Records label. 

Ed Bishop was married three times: 
Jane Thwaites, 1955; (marriage dissolved) 
Hillary Preen 1962; (three daughters; and one son deceased); (marriage dissolved 1996) 

Jane Skinner 2001

Ed was  asked what do you want to be remembered for?

ED: "Well, whether I like it or not, I'm afraid it's going to be old Straker in UFO. It's extraordinary, even today going round Bath, I'm having some fish and chips and the staff spotted me. Just before we started this play, rehearsing at the National Theatre in June last year, I'd just come back from America, from a big convention in LA. I've been to Australia twice, I'm going out to Canada in the Fall, they want me to come over to Italy for a convention. So I think they'll probably remember me from UFO, whether I like it or not. But I don't mind it! A lot of the actors,

they think Scarlet and UFO, that's all water over the dam, and they don't like talking about it, but I can't understand that. People applaud your work that many years down the pike, it's extremely flattering. I feel very humbled by it, I really do. My eldest girl is a policewoman and I think the work she does for society is far, far more rewarding. You get in trouble, dial those three digits, and she turns up and has to sort it out. Actors, they get paid for something they love and people come up and praise them, and I think it's wonderful, I really am humbled by it. I go to a lot of these conventions and I just enjoy it enormously.

Goodbye My Friend



Ed Bishop spent his last years in the South of England with his third wife Jane, . His hobbies included gardening, DIY work around the house, restoring antiques and watching old movies on television. His ambition was to sell everything and buy a large sailing boat, then he would have liked to sail all around the world doing as little work as possible. 

Ed died five days after the death of one of his UFO co-stars, Michael Billington. The cause of Ed's death was a chest infection contracted while undergoing tests for an undisclosed blood disorder.

         Ed Bishop       1932-2005