Celebrity Birthday of the Day – February 1

English actor Peter Sallis has been acting since his days as a wireless operator with the RAF. He began acting when one of his students offered him the lead in an amateur production, and his success in the part lead to him deciding to become a full-fledged actor, training at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts to achieve this goal. Following his graduation, he became a character actor on the London stage through the 1950s and 60s, and during this time also made the transition to the big screen in a few Hammer pictures, and on television as Samuel Pepys in the BBC series of the same name, as well as making appearances on Danger Man and Doctor Who. He continued to act on stage and screen through the 1970s, and in the early 1980s he provided the voice of Rat in the stop-motion adaptation of The Wind in the Willows – one of my favourite childhood mini-series/movies. He continued doing voice work in the medium of stop-motion animation in 1989 when he landed the role of the voice of Wallace in the first Wallace and Gromit shorts: A Grand Day Out, The Wrong Trousers, and A Close Shave. Since then, Wallace has become Sallis’ most notable role, and he continued to voice Wallace in Wallace and Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit, the short A Matter of Loaf and Death, and the TV show Wallace and Gromit’s World of Invention. He turns 91 today. Cracking toast, Gromit!

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