Digby Wolfe

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Digby Wolfe
Digby Wolfe.jpg
Born James Digby Wolfe
(1929-06-04)4 June 1929
London, England
Died 2 May 2012(2012-05-02) (aged 82)
Albuquerque, New Mexico, US
Cause of death Cancer
Nationality British
Citizenship United Kingdom
Occupation Actor, screenwriter, writer
Years active 1964–2002

James Digby Wolfe (4 June 1929 – 2 May 2012) was an English-born actor of television and film, screenwriter and university lecturer in dramatic writing. After a successful career his native UK, and Australia his later career was based in the United States.

Early life[edit]

James Digby Wolfe[1] was born in London, England[2] to a father who was an international banker and a mother who was a Vogue magazine artist. His mother named him after a character in Beau Geste. When he was four, his father died after being hit by a golf ball and he was brought up by his mother in Felixstowe.[3]

Film and television career[edit]

He made his film debut in the 1948 film The Weaker Sex. He began writing and performing in comedy series in England in the 1950s. Together with Jimmy Wilson he wrote a revue, with music by John Pritchett and Norman Dannatt, for the Irving Theatre. He appeared alongside Ronnie Corbett, Hattie Jacques and Charles Hawtrey, in his own television show Wolfe at the Door before moving to Sydney in 1959, where he made frequent television appearances and was host of the variety shows Review '61 and Review '62. At that time, his resident comedian was Dave Allen, who later became a household name in the UK and Australia. Wolfe returned to England for a while in the early 1960s and was a writer on the seminal TV satirical review That Was the Week That Was.[4]

He also taught screenwriting at USC in the MPW (Master of Professional Writing) program

Career in the US[edit]

In 1964, he moved to the United States, where his television credits included The Monkees, Bewitched, I Dream of Jeannie, and The Munsters, while his film roles included voice parts in The Jungle Book and Father Goose, in which he sang the main theme. His writing credits included Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In (for which he won an 'Emmy' in 1968), and The Goldie Hawn Special. He also wrote for John Denver, Shirley MacLaine, Cher and Jackie Mason, among others. In 1976 he hosted two episodes of the Australian version of This Is Your Life.[5]

Later life[edit]

Until 2002 Wolfe taught dramatic writing at the University of New Mexico,[6] first as a visiting professor, then as the chair of the Robert Hartung Dramatic Writing Program in the Theatre and Dance Department. He was awarded 'Teacher of the Year' at that university in 2001.[7]

He died in Albuquerque, New Mexico on 3 May 2012, after a short battle with cancer. He is survived by his wife, Patricia Mannion, and his sister, Hilary Hammond-Williams.




  1. ^ Telegraph
  2. ^ Some accounts say he was born in Norway,
  3. ^ Independent
  4. ^ "Digby Wolfe". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 29 December 2015. 
  5. ^ [1] Wolfe on the Internet Movie Database
  6. ^ [2] WRITING THE FUTURE by Digby Wolfe & Jim Linnell
  7. ^ Melbourne Observer 14 November 2007

External links[edit]