character actor and comedian, 1911-1990. Became popular in the 1950s
in films such as Private's Progress
, School for Scoundrels
, Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines
and Carlton-Browne of the F.O.
. He contracted Parkinson's Disease
in 1971, and died, poor, in 1990.
Throughout the 1960s he was ubiquitous, appearing in 37 films; after which he became quite obscure and largely forgotten. He usually played an exaggerated upper-class scoundrel (sometimes even a rapscallion), and his catchphrase was 'X is an absolute shower' (with the last word pronounced 'shaaaar').
Dick Dastardly from the Wacky Races is loosely based on Terry-Thomas, whose real name was Thomas Terry Stevens.
Nowadays he has a cult reputation.