Peter Bull

Peter Bull
Born Peter Cecil Bull
(1912-03-21)21 March 1912
London, England
Died 20 May 1984(1984-05-20) (aged 72)
London, England
Nationality British
Occupation Actor, author
Years active 1936–1984

Peter Cecil Bull DSC (21 March 1912 – 20 May 1984) was a British character actor.


He was the fourth and youngest son of William Bull, later Sir William Bull, 1st Baronet, who was Member of Parliament for Hammersmith.

Bull was educated at Winchester College. His first professional stage appearance was in If I Were You at the Shaftesbury Theatre in 1933.

He was a friend of Alec Guinness, whom he first met at HMS Raleigh during training in World War Two, and later HMS King Alfred; he served as an officer in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve, later commanding Landing Craft (Flak) 16 in the Mediterranean.[1] During his service, he achieved the rank of Lieutenant-Commander and was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross.[2]

Bull's performance as the Soviet Ambassador, Alexi de Sadesky, in Dr Strangelove (1964) is among the best-known of his several dozen film and TV appearances. He both narrated and had a small on-screen role in Scrooge (1951), and portrayed the German ship's captain in The African Queen (1951). Peter Bull was memorably cast as Thwackum, one of Blifil's two tutors, in the 1963 film Tom Jones. (The other tutor, Square, of contrasting build and character, was played by John Moffatt.)

Bull was also the first actor to portray Pozzo in the English-language version of Samuel Beckett's Waiting For Godot when it opened on 3 August 1955.

In the 1970s, he ran a small shop just off Notting Hill Gate, selling zodiac-related items.

Bull wrote a book on the subject of teddy bears, Bear With Me and a book on his adventures on the Greek islands of Corfu and Paxos (where he owned a house), It isn't all Greek to me, illustrated by Oscar winner Roger Furse. He was also the author of a non-fiction book about his experiences during World War II as commander of a Tank Landing Craft (LCT), To Sea in a Sieve.

Partial filmography


  1. 'Blessings in Disguise', Alec Guinness, Hamish Hamilton Ltd, London 1996
  2. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 37380. p. 5987. 7 December 1945.

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