Percy Edwards was an English animal impersonator, ornithologist, and entertainer.
Alien franchise credit[edit | edit source]
Alien[edit | edit source]
Other credits[edit | edit source]
- UFO (1970)
- The Rise and Rise of Michael Rimmer (1970)
- On the Buses (1971)
- The Good Life (1976)
- Just William (1977)
- The Goodies (1977)
- Ripping Yarns (1977)
- Orca (1977)
- The Innes Book of Records (1979)
Biographical information[edit | edit source]
Early life[edit | edit source]
Edwards was born in Ipswich, Suffolk. As a child, Edwards was fascinated by the wildlife he found in his local area, and by the age of 12 was accomplished enough at imitating many of them that this became his "party piece".
Career[edit | edit source]
In 1930 he debuted on the BBC radio series Vaudeville, the start of a career that would last the best part of 60 years. During World War II, Edwards worked at Ransomes, Sims & Jefferies in Ipswich.
Edwards became a household name after his animal imitations in the radio shows Ray's a Laugh with Ted Ray; and playing Psyche the dog in the radio series A Life of Bliss. It was said that at the height of his career he could accurately imitate over 600 birds, as well as many other animals. Among other things, he provided the voices for the whales in Orca (1977), the reindeer in Santa Claus: The Movie (1985), sheep and bird sounds on Kate Bush's song The Dreaming, and the alien in the eponymous film. One of his last stage appearances was in the Grand Order of Water Rats centenary show at the London Palladium in 1989.
Edwards was awarded an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) in 1993 for his services to ornithology and entertainment.
Although he always referred to himself as an entertainer, Edwards was a fellow of the Zoological Society of London, and a respected and published ornithologist.
Death[edit | edit source]
Edwards died on June 7, 1996 in Hintlesham, Suffolk. In 2009, Sir David Attenborough presented a special BBC radio panel game, The Percy Edwards Showdown, dedicated to Edwards's life and career.