OLD TIME RADIO - 1 CD - 53 mp3 - Total Playtime: 27:23:12
Carleton Percy Hobbs, OBE (18 June 1898 – 31 July 1978) was an English actor with many film, radio and television appearances. He portrayed Sherlock Holmes in 80 radio adaptations between 1952 and 1969, and also starred in the radio adaptation of Evelyn Waugh's Sword of Honour.
Hobbs was born in Farnborough, Hampshire, into a military family and himself served in the First World War. He trained at RADA and worked in London theatres through the 1920s, but by the next decade had become a specialist radio actor. His first broadcast was in 1925 as Hastings in She Stoops to Conquer. The Marlow, Henry Oscar, then a more experienced broadcaster, pointed him back towards the microphone when necessary during transmission. In 1934, he married Gladys Ponsonby, whom he remained married to until his death. They had no children.
For most of his broadcasting career he was a freelance, with the exception of the wartime period when the BBC formed its original Drama Repertory Company that could be moved out of London and away from the bombing. Hobbs was predictably on its strength, as was his regular future Dr Watson, Norman Shelley. In fact, Hobbo – as everyone called him – had played Dr. Watson before he played Holmes, in a wartime production of The Boscombe Valley Mystery with Arthur Wontner as the sleuth.
His own Holmes became a familiar performance after the war, at first in children's programming, later in the general services. Despite Hobbs's acidulated voice and his often trenchant or sardonic delivery, his rendering of the great detective now sounds somewhat avuncular – perhaps because of its original youthful audience, perhaps by comparison with later performances in the role, which became freer and more eccentric. Norman Shelley said after his long-time colleague's death: "There was only one thing for Hobbo ... the best and nothing less than the best."
Apart from Holmes, he seldom played the top lead – exceptions being the title role in King John and Hieronimo in The Spanish Tragedy.
As a regular in Children's Hour – usually in the "For Older Listeners" scheduling – he played, among much else, many of the parts in the "Alice" stories, some several times. One of his most distinctive characterizations was Kipling's Cat That Walked By Himself.
Another "non-human" voice, in adult drama, was his Lizard in Henry Reed's The Streets of Pompeii. He loved being in Reed's "Hilda Tablet" plays. He could do plain men like Major Liconda in Maugham's The Sacred Flame, and could convey great vulnerability which he did as simple old Adam in As You Like It, played both on radio and on record.
Hobbs did a good deal of television, and often played judges as he memorably did in Pennies From Heaven. Other TV appearances included Lord Peter Wimsey, A Life of Bliss, Strange Report and I, Claudius. He had a small role as a freemason in the BBC 1972 version of "War and Peace".
A little surprisingly, but indicating his versatility, he was in the original London stage production of John Osborne's Luther. He was a great verse reader, and his impeccable French was a great asset, especially in his many bookings on the Third Program, later Radio Three. A younger colleague, Frank Duncan, spoke of his "wonderful attention to detail, and beautiful delicate craftsmanship."
One of the last parts in his fifty-year broadcasting career was Shakespeare's Justice Robert Shallow from Henry IV, Part 2.
He was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 1969 Queen's Birthday Honours for services to drama.
Hobbs & Shelly 54-11-04 (07) The Bruce Partington Plans
Hobbs & Shelly 55-01-06 (08) The Missing Three-Quarter
Hobbs & Shelly 55-04-29 (11) The Mazarin Stone
Hobbs & Shelly 59-05-12 (01) The Man With The Twisted Lip
Hobbs & Shelly 59-06-30 (02) The Adventure Of The Beryl Coronet
Hobbs & Shelly 59-08-04 (03) The Adventure Of The Blanched Soldier
Hobbs & Shelly 59-08-11 (04) The Adventure Of The Copper Breeches
Hobbs & Shelly 59-08-18 (05) The Adventure Of The Noble Batchelor
Hobbs & Shelly 59-08-25 (06) The Adventure Of Shoscombe Old Place
Hobbs & Shelly 60-02-23 (01) The Adventure Of The Stockbroker's Clerk
Hobbs & Shelly 60-03-22 (02) The Adventure Of The Naval Treaty
Hobbs & Shelly 60-04-05 (03) The Adventure Of The Greek Interpreter
Hobbs & Shelly 60-05-03 (05) The Disappearance Of Lady Frances Carfax
Hobbs & Shelly 60-05-17 (06) The Adventure Of The Engineer's Thumb
Hobbs & Shelly 60-12-31 (xx) The Valley Of Fear (Parts 1-3)
Hobbs & Shelly 61-03-05 (xx) Black Peter
Hobbs & Shelly 61-08-05 (xx) The Hound Of The Baskervilles (Parts 1-3)
Hobbs & Shelly 61-11-27 (01) The Adventure Of The Empty House
Hobbs & Shelly 61-12-04 (02) The Adventure Of The Reigate Squires
Hobbs & Shelly 61-12-11 (03) The Adventure Of The Resident Patient
Hobbs & Shelly 61-12-18 (04) The Adventure Of Charles Augustus Milverton
Hobbs & Shelly 62-01-01 (06) The Problem Of Thor Bridge
Hobbs & Shelly 62-01-08 (07) The Adventure Of The Priory School
Hobbs & Shelly 62-07-17 (01) The Adventure Of The Speckled Band
Hobbs & Shelly 62-07-24 (02) The Adventure Of Silver Blaze
Hobbs & Shelly 62-07-31 (03) The Adventure Of The Musgrave Ritual
Hobbs & Shelly 62-08-07 (04) The Adventure Of The Golden Pince-Nez
Hobbs & Shelly 62-08-14 (05) The Adventure Of The Missing Three-Quarter
Hobbs & Shelly 62-08-21 (06) The Adventure Of The Abbey Grange
Hobbs & Shelly 62-08-28 (07) The Adventure Of The Devil's Foot
Hobbs & Shelly 62-12-22 (xx) An Study In Scarlet (All Three Parts)
Hobbs & Shelly 63-03-02 (xx) The Sign Of The Four (All Three Parts)
Hobbs & Shelly 64-08-21 (03) The Solitary Cyclist
Hobbs & Shelly 64-08-28 (04) The Bruce Partington Plans
Hobbs & Shelly 64-09-04 (05) The Three Garridebs
Hobbs & Shelly 64-09-11 (06) The Norwood Builder
Hobbs & Shelly 64-09-18 (07) The Sussex Vampire
Hobbs & Shelly 64-09-25 (08) The Red-Headed League
Hobbs & Shelly 64-10-02 (09) The Three Gables
Hobbs & Shelly 64-10-09 (10) The Retired Colourman
Hobbs & Shelly 66-11-21 (01) A Scandal In Bohemia
Hobbs & Shelly 66-11-28 (02) The Five Orange Pips
Hobbs & Shelly 66-12-05 (03) The Six Napoleons
Hobbs & Shelly 66-12-12 (04) The Boscombe Valley Mystery
Hobbs & Shelly 66-12-19 (05) The Crooked Man
Hobbs & Shelly 66-12-26 (06) Wisteria Lodge
Hobbs & Shelly 67-01-02 (07) The Dying Detective
Hobbs & Shelly 67-01-09 (08) The Second Stain
Hobbs & Shelly 67-01-16 (09) The Final Problem
Hobbs & Shelly 69-06-24 (01) The Dancing Men
Hobbs & Shelly 69-07-01 (03) Black Peter
Hobbs & Shelly 69-07-08 (05) The Lion's Mane
Hobbs & Shelly 69-07-10 (06) His Last Bow
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