Reg Thomason (1919-2003) was a British actor, most often as an extra, who appeared uncredited in The Great Muppet Caper as the affronted Dubonnet Club patron (whose wife is sick at home). In addition to the dialogue scene, he can be glimpsed on the dance floor and later at a different table, each time with a different lady companion.
After serving in World War II, Thomason began working in British film and then television, having a long career primarily as an extra. With a distinguished face (and even more so when he added a moustache), he was frequently cast as gents at restaurants, clubs, or pubs, or as government figures (ministers, M.P.s, or the clerk of the House of Commons in Young Winston.) In the 1958 Titanic film A Night to Remember, he flitted from deckhand to steward to passenger.
Although a few of these bits sometimes became minor speaking roles as well, Thomason was very rarely credited; the exceptions include several BBC broadcasts, including episodes of Law & Order, Nanny (as a colonel), and the WWII series Secret Army (as a scientist whose extraction is the focus of the plot). For the sitcom Some Mothers Do 'Ave Em, he was in the 1974 Christmas episode, playing Joseph in a Nativity play; while uncredited on the final broadcast, he was included in all Radio Times cast listings, including later reruns.
One of his more visible roles, unbilled but speaking, was in 1969's Battle of Britain as an RAF sergeant in the opening scenes. Fellow extra Harry Fielder reminisced about the shoot, and Thomason, in his memoirs:
“I must make a quick mention here of Reg "The Actor" Thomason, who was one of us, an experienced supporting player who was given a larger role as an RAF sergeant... Also known as The Squire of Effingham due to his customary use of more colourful language shall we say. he completed his scenes admirably and the following week he was back in the 'crowd' dressing room with the rest of us. Well done, Reg!”
Thomason appeared in Star Wars as a Rebel communications officer and was a frequent extra in the Carry On comedies (from bored husbands to Roman citizens). He popped up in Daleks' Invasion Earth 2150 A.D. and both the 1959 and 1978 remakes of The 39 Steps (promoted from a musical hall audience member to a government minister). For Monty Python, he was barely glimpsed under a bowler hat in various shots of the fourth season "Hamlet" (1974, as one of the "three English gentlemen in pyjamas") and was a disgusted fellow diner of Mr. Creosote in The Meaning of Life. He continued to frequent restaurants and night clubs, as in Top Secret! (1984).
Further TV credits as an uncredited extra or bit player include Espionage, Blake's 7 (as a recurring background prisoner), The Saint, and Rumpole of the Bailey. He slowed down during the nineties, but recurred in the first two seasons of Jeeves and Wooster as the Berkeley Mansions doorman, usually in establishing exterior shots or helping characters in and out of cars.
- ↑ Toughpigs. "Great Muppet Caper Week: Debauchery at the Dubonnet Club." June 28, 2016
- ↑ Lentz, Harris M. Obituaries in the Performing Arts, 2003. McFarland, 2004. pgs. 397-398.
- ↑ Fielder, Harry "Aitch" and Clive Saunders. Extra, Extra, Read All About It!: My Life as a Film and TV Extra. Andrews UK Ltd., 2015.
- ↑ Larsen, Darl. Monty Python's Flying Circus: An Utterly Complete, Thoroughly Unillustrated, Absolutely Unauthorized Guide to Possibly All the References. Rowman & Littlefield, 2008. p. 508.