John Quarmby was an understated actor but was most famous for his role as Mr Carnegie, the Health Inspector in the Fawlty Towers episode “Basil the Rat”. His comic timing as he stared blankly at the rat as it, too, stared blankly at him.
John Quarmby was born in Liverpool on 18th June 1929 and joined RADA after serving a couple of years national service in the RAF in 1949. An in-demand Repertory actor, it wasn’t until 1956 that he started to work in television. In a career spanning 60 years, he appeared in quite a few police drams such as Z-Cars, Softly Softly and Juliet Bravo, and also in the long running sailing drama, Howards’ Way as well as a prison officer in Porridge. He also appeared in several films notably, Get Carter(1971), The Scarlet Pimpernel(1982) and Black Beauty(1994)
He was found dead at his home on April 5th 2019 aged 89.