Inside BBC Dad’s Armys Arnold Ridley’s marriages and Hollywood star niece

Arnold Ridley stars in the long-time classic comedy Dad’s Army which is showing over the Christmas break.

The actor, who died in 1984 aged 88, played Private Charles Godfrey, the gentle conscientious objector medic in the series set on the Home Front.

However, his real-life couldn’t have been further from his character, as he is the only cast member who fought in both World Wars.

Having been interested in performing from a young age, age 18 he made his first acting appearance in 1913 at Bristol's Theatre Royal.

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However, the first World War interrupted his plans as he was sent to be stationed in Plymouth, before Arras where he fought in the Battle of the Somme.

He was discharged from the British army in August 1917 following an attack from a German bayonet.

In the Second World War, Ridley served as an intelligence officer until 1944 before fully pursuing his acting after the war.

Arnold was married three times, with his first marriage ending the same year as the start of World War II.

He was later married Isola Strong, an actress best known for her part It's Hard to Be Good.

However, the marriage ended by the 1970s when he met and married Althea Parker who had appeared in Thursday's Child in the 1970s and ITV's Television Playhouse in 1955.

They had one son, Nicolas, who was born in 1947 and is now an author of fiction, scripts and non-fiction.

In 1982, he was appointed an OBE in the Queen's New Year Honour's List for his services to theatre.

Acting runs in the Ridley blood and his niece grew up to be Hollywood actress Daisy Ridley, star of the latest Star Wars films.

However, Arnold never got to meet Daisy as he died in 1984 aged 88, eight years before his great niece was born.

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