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John Paton Laurie (25 March 1897 – 23 June 1980) was a Scottish actor born in Dumfries, Scotland. He is probably most recognisable for his role as Private James Frazer, the gaunt-faced, intense, pessimistic undertaker and Home Guard soldier in the popular BBC sitcom Dad's Army from 1968 to 1977. When the plot resulted in the characters being left in some perceived peril, Frazer would spin a tale about people in similar situations coming to a bad end, finishing "We're doomed, I tell ye!", delivered in his Scottish burr.

The son of a mill worker, he was a pupil at Dumfries Academy and abandoned a career in architecture to serve in World War I. After the war, in which he served with the Hon. Artillery Company, he trained to become an actor at the Central School of Speech and Drama in London and first acted on stage in 1921.

A prolific Shakespearean actor, Laurie spent much of the time between 1922 and 1939 playing Shakespearean parts, including Hamlet, Richard III and Macbeth at the Old Vic or Stratford-upon-Avon. He starred in his friend Laurence Olivier's three Shakespearean films, Henry V (1944), Hamlet (1948) and Richard III (1955). He and Olivier also appeared in As You Like It (1936). During the Second World War, Laurie served in the Home Guard - the only future Dad's Army cast member to do so.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "John Lau."
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