Frank Jarvis was born John Francis Train in Stockton-on-Tees 13 May 1941. A character actor, he was a familiar face on British television and films throughout the 1960s and 70s, ironically, considering his birth place, playing cockneys.
During the Second World War Frank left Stockton with his mother and moved to London so that they could be closer to her family. When he was seven, following her divorce, she remarried and he was adopted, taking his carpet-salesman father's surname. During the 1950s, he relocated to Colindale in north-west London, eventually settling in Mill Hill. In the early 1960s he trained at Rada, where his contemporaries included John Hurt and David Warner. His film debut came in ‘Mix Me a Person’ (1962), a thriller with Adam Faith.
On television he appeared in such 60s/70s classics as ‘The Saint’, ‘Z Cars’, ‘Doctor Who’, ‘The Sweeney’, and ‘The Professionals’, as well as Ken Loach’s seminal television play, ‘Cathy Come Home’. Later appearances included’ Lovejoy’, ‘Eastenders’, ‘The Bill’ and the Vic Reeves/Bob Mortimer sitcom ‘Catterick’.
He appeared in a number of popular films including ‘The Italian Job’ (1969), opposite Michael Caine; Richard Attenborough’s all-star WWII film ‘A Bridge Too Far’ (1977); and gangster biopic ‘The Krays’ (1990).
From 1981 to 1996, he was closely involved, as actor and sometime director, with Theatre Set-Up, a touring collective that gave outdoor performances of Shakespeare. He also directed for, and generally advised, local amateur dramatic and Gilbert and Sullivan societies.
He died in Harefield, Middlesex on 15 September 2010.