Leonard Rossiter starred in legendary Seventies sitcom Rising Damp as the sneering, conniving landlord Rigsby in a seedy boarding house. His main mission in life is to chase female boarder Miss Jones (Frances de la Tour) in between endlessly battling with his two male tenants, effete medical student Alan (RIchard Beckinsale) and Philip (Don Warrington), scion of an African chief.
The one-liners uttered by Rigsby, including when Alan defended his hairstyle by saying Jesus had long hair to which Rigsby retorts: “Yes, but I bet he never had a hairdryer.”
Rising Damp was originally a stage show called Banana Box.
The cast remained constant throughout the series although Gay Rose, a nude model, appeared briefly as a lodger when Frances de la Tour took a break from the show.
The format of Rising Damp was sold to the US. A pilot show was made but American TV bosses thought it appalling and it never aired.
UK / ITV – Yorkshire TV / 28×25 minute episodes / Broadcast 31 December 1974 – 9 May 1978 4 Seasons + 1 special
Writer: Eric Chappell / Producer: Ian McNaughton
LEONARD ROSSITER as Rigsby
RICHARD BECKINSALE as Alan
FRANCES DE LA TOUR as Miss Ruth Jones
DON WARRINGTON as Philip Smith
GAY ROSE as Brenda
DEREK NEWARK as Spooner