|Behind the scenes|
Early life and career
Having studied at Oxford and been posted to Burma as a major in World War II, John's acting career did not take off until after 50th birthday when he joined a theatre group in Derby. His natural talent landed him a host of roles in television and film throughout the 1970s, 80s, and 90s, including Three Men and a Little Lady alongside Ted Danson and Tom Selleck, which he flew out to shoot in Hollywood on his 70th birthday.
Boswall's television appearances included Paul Temple (1971), Wessex Tales (1973), Edward the Seventh (1975), The Onedin Line (1976), Love in a Cold Climate (1980), The Hound of the Baskervilles (1982), Sapphire & Steel (1982), No Place Like Home (1986), EastEnders (1990), Selling Hitler (1991), Agatha Christie's Poirot (1991), Drop the Dead Donkey (1993), Lovejoy (1993), Poldark (1996), Doctors (2000) and Terry Pratchett's Hogfather (2006).
Stage appearances included Edward Bond's The Fool at the Royal Court Theatre (1975), Sweeney Todd at the Little Theatre, Bristol (1978–79); Oh, What A Lovely War!, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1979–80), and Kiss Me, Kate (1980–81) at the Bristol Old Vic; Henry IV, Part I (1984–85) at the Theatre Royal, Bath; Doctor Faustus (1974), Cymbeline (1974) and Camille (1985–86) with the Royal Shakespeare Company; and Moliere's Bourgeois Gentilhomme (1992) at the Royal National Theatre.
His films included Nineteen Eighty-Four as Emmanuel Goldstein (1984), Three Men and a Little Lady (1990), The Wind in the Willows (1996), The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc (1996), Hotel Splendide (2000), Ladies in Lavender (2004), Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (2006) and Morris: A Life with Bells On (2009).
It was through his stage work that John Boswall met his friend Richard Latham and his wife Patty, with whom he lived for 30 years, first in London and then in Gloucestershire until his death.
- "People just loved him." said Patty. "He really enjoyed all life had to offer and he was a very giving person. It did not matter whether you were a famous actor or someone he met in the street, he treated everybody with the same respect, that was just the sort of person he was."
John Boswall died peacefully on June 6, 2011 at the age of 91, at the home in South Woodchester he shared with friends. Despite never marrying or having children, his funeral at St Mary’s Parish Church on June 17, attracted more than 100 well-wishers from stage and screen, including Sir Michael Gambon and members of Stroud’s Daylight Theatre, who read a eulogy at the service.