Dennis Waterman Biography

(Actor and Singer Known for His Roles in the TV Series: ‘The Sweeney’, ‘Minder’ and ‘New Tricks’)

Birthday: February 24, 1948 (Pisces)

Born In: London, England, United Kingdom

Dennis Waterman was a British actor, famous for his tough-guy roles in various television series, including Minder and The Sweeney. He was initiated into boxing by his elder brother, Kenneth, at the age of three and into acting by his sister at the age of eight. Very soon, he began to appear on stage, and made his film debut at twelve. At fourteen, he moved to Hollywood to act in the comedy series Fair Exchange. Upon his return, he continued to appear both on stage and screen, playing a wide range of roles till he retired at the age of 67. In his entire career spanning from 1960 to 2015, he appeared in more than 2 dozen films and numerous television and stage productions. He became popular for his role of Detective Sergeant George Hamilton Carter in the police drama series The Sweeney. He was also a singer; he had three albums and 12 singles to his credit.

Quick Facts

British Celebrities Born In February

Died At Age: 74


Spouse/Ex-: Pam Flint, Patricia Maynard (m. 1977–1987), Penny Dixon (m. 1967–1976), Rula Lenska (m. 1987–1998)

father: Harry Frank Waterman

mother: Rose Juliana

siblings: Allen Waterman, Joy Waterman, Ken Waterman, Myrna Waterman, Norma Waterman, Peter Waterman, Stella Waterman, Vera Waterman

Born Country: England

Actors British Men

Height: 5'9" (175 cm), 5'9" Males

Died on: May 8, 2022

place of death: Madrid, Spain

City: London, England

Notable Alumni: Granard Primary School, Corona Stage School, Independent School

More Facts

education: Granard Primary School, Corona Stage School, Independent School

Childhood & Early Years

Dennis Waterman was born on February 24, 1948, in the Clapham district of south-west London, England. His father, Harry Frank Waterman, was a ticket collector for the British Railway and an amateur boxer. His mother’s name was Rose Juliana (née Saunders).

Dennis Waterman was the youngest of his parents’ nine children, having three elder brothers (Kenneth, Allen and Peter), and five elder sisters (Joyce, Vera, Stella, Norma and Myrna). Allen died young while Joy and Vera left home before his birth.

When he was eight, his eldest sister introduced him to acting. He began acting with Shakespeare’s A Winter's Tale and Love's Labours Lost.

Beginning his education at the Granard Primary School in Putney, he later studied at Corona Stage School. In later years, he often talked about the school’s support, which enabled him to play such a varied range of characters.

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In 1960, Denis Waterman began his film career, appearing as Ted Lewis in Night Train for Inverness and as Mickey Donovan in Snowball. In that same year, he lent his voice in ‘Ali and the Camel’ and appeared in two small roles for the Royal Shakespeare Company.

In 1961, he played the part of Winthrop Paroo in a production of The Music Man at the Adelphi Theatre. In the following year, he starred as William Brown in the BBC TV series William and appeared in two films Crooks Anonymous and The Pirates of Blood River.

In 1962, he flew to Hollywood to play Neville Finch in the CBS comedy series Fair Exchange, remaining with it until its end in September 1963. Upon his return, he continued to act, appearing as Jimpy in Go Kart Go (1964) and as Colin in Edward Bond’s play Saved (1965).

In 1968, he starred as Pete in Peter Collinson's Up the Junction, followed the 1969 film The Smashing Bird I Used to Know.

In 1970, he appeared in four films: as Joe O'Reilly in Wedding Night, as James Anderson in My Lover My Son, as a photographer in This, That and the Other and as Simon Carlson in Scars of Dracula. It was followed in 1971 by Fright and Man in the Wilderness.

In 1972, he appeared as 2 of Spades in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. That same year, he was cast as Lieutenant Jordan in Colditz, a British television series screened between 1972 and 1974 on BBC1. Meanwhile, in 1973, he appeared as Stephen Durno in The Belstone Fox.

From 1975 to 1978, he starred as Detective Sergeant George Hamilton Carter in The Sweeney. Meanwhile in 1976, he released his first music album, Downwind of Angels. Two years later, he returned to the Royal Shakespeare Company to play Sackett in Saratoga.

In 1982-1983, he starred as Hildy Johnson in the musical, ‘Windy City’, which ran for 250 performances. Also in 1982, he starred as Bob Jones in 'The World Cup: A Captain's Tale' and in 1983 narrated ‘The Way of the Warrior’, an eight-part BBC documentary series.

In 1985, Dennis Waterman starred as Terry in the television film Minder on the Orient Express. It was followed by the BBC miniseries The Life and Loves of a She-Devil (1986). Two of his other important works of this decade were The First Kangaroos (1988) and Cold Justice (1989).

In the 1990s, Waterman appeared in only one movie, Vol-au-vent (1996), in which he starred as Pete / Kevin. He concentrated on television, appearing as Thomas Gynn in Stay Lucky (1989-1993), as Tony Carpenter in On the Up (1990-1992), and as John Danson in The Knock (1997-1999).

In 2003, he was cast as Gerry Standing in New Tricks, appearing in every season till 2015. During this period, he also appeared in three films, as Derek Doubleday in Arthur's Dyke (2001), as Jarvis in Back in Business (2007) and in a cameo role in ‘Run for Your Wife’ (2012).

Major Works

Dennis Waterman is best known for his role of Detective Sergeant George Hamilton Carter in the police drama series The Sweeney (1975-1978). He reprised the same role in its movie spin-offs, Sweeney!’ (1977) and Sweeney 2 (1978).

Family & Personal Life

Dennis Waterman tied the knot four times. He first got married to Penny Dixon in 1967. The couple divorced in 1976.

In 1977, he married actress Patricia Maynard, and had two daughters, Hannah Elizabeth Waterman and Julia Martha Waterman, with her. The couple divorced in 1987. Hannah Waterman grew up to be an actress.

In 1987, he married English-Polish actress Rula Lenska. They divorced in the following year because of his violent behavior towards her.

In 2011, he married his fourth wife, Pam Flint.

Dennis Waterman died in hospital in Spain on May 8, 2022. 

See the events in life of Dennis Waterman in Chronological Order

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