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The younger brother of matinee idol Donald Houston attended elementary school in Wales but was largely self-educated with a love of sports and a strong leaning towards the arts and humanities. Glyn's working life began on his grandmother's milk round in Tonypandy. After leaving the Rhondda Valley he held down a variety of short-lived jobs and war-time appointments: with the Bristol Aeroplane Company, as a gunner with the Fleet Air Arm, a labourer on the docks at Cardiff and with the Military Police. Eventually posted to Singapore, Glyn served with the Royal Signals Regiment where his comedic potential was first recognised. Having joined the Entertainments National Service Association (and being promoted to Acting Sergeant) he put together a variety show for serving troops which toured India.Following demobilisation at war's end, brother Donald helped him secure a position as assistant stage manager with the Guildford Repertory Theatre. On-the-job training in touring plays was to provide the foundation for a screen career which began when the director Basil Dearden created a part specifically for him in the Ealing production of Police sans armes (1950). Over the next six years, Glyn would appear regularly in films playing assorted working class types, sailors and soldiers (frequently Cockneys) in dramas with a crime, naval or military theme. These included classic productions like La fille aux papillons (1950), La mer cruelle (1953), Tournez la clef doucement (1953) (famously, as Joan Collins's first onscreen lover) and L'évadé du camp 1 (1957). Many were small parts or even cameos, but occasional leads eventually followed. In Solo for Sparrow (1962), Glyn enjoyed a rare starring turn as a Scotland Yard Inspector turned private eye who brings down a gang of villains (one of them a young Michael Caine). He had a further leading role as yet another policeman in Emergency (1962), surfaced in a couple of Hammer horrors and played the comic foil in four Norman Wisdom farces, beginning with Docteur, ne coupez pas ! (1963). From 1958 Glyn also appeared in a staple of TV shows, live broadcasts, anthologies, soap operas and classic adaptations (notably, Lord Peter Wimsey's impeccable manservant Mervyn Bunter in Clouds of Witness (1972)) and Rosa Bud's guardian Grewgious in The Mystery of Edwin Drood (1993) .His most consistent stock-in-trade characters continued to be serious professionals, generally in uniformed garb as officers (Colonel Wolsey in Docteur Who (1963) "The Awakening"), or, most frequently, police inspectors and superintendents (Outbreak of Murder (1962), Gideon's Way (1964), Z Cars (1962), Softly Softly (1966)). Though he maintained a prolific career on stage in plays by Chekov, Shaw, Miller and others, his one self-confessed regret was not having become a leading light on the Shakespearean stage. Glyn Houston became recipient of a Bafta Cymru special award in 2008 for outstanding contribution to film and television. His autobiography, "Glyn Houston, A Black and White Actor", appeared the following year.

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