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Sebastian Cabot (actor)

Sebastian Cabot
Cabot in 1964.
Born Charles Sebastian Thomas Cabot
(1918-07-06)July 6, 1918
London, England
Died August 22, 1977(1977-08-22) (aged 59)
North Saanich, British Columbia, Canada
Cause of death Stroke
Years active 1935–1977
Spouse(s) Kathleen Cabot (1940-1977) (his death) (3 children)
Children Annette Cabot (b. 1941)
Christopher Cabot (b. 1943)
Yvonne Cabot

Charles Sebastian Thomas Cabot (July 6, 1918 – August 22, 1977) was an English film and television actor, best remembered as the gentleman's gentleman, Giles French, opposite Brian Keith's character, in the sitcom Family Affair (1966–1971). He was also known for playing the Wazir in Kismet and Dr. Carl Hyatt in the series Checkmate (1960–1962), as well as for voicing Bagheera in The Jungle Book (1967). Other roles were in The Spy Killer (1969) and narrating The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (1977).


  • Personal life 1
  • Career 2
  • Death and legacy 3
  • Selected filmography 4
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7

Personal life

Cabot, Carolyn Craig, and Doug McClure in Checkmate (1962)

Cabot was born in London, England. At the age of 14, he left school to work in an automotive garage, where he served as chauffeur and valet for British actor Frank Pettingell.[1] Cabot became interested in theater, and after becoming acquainted with other actors and having worked for Pettingell, he joined a repertory company. Cabot admitted that in gaining employment as an actor he lied about previous acting credits. Cabot stated later in a 1968 interview that he believed acting was a type of lying and had gained a smoothness in his speech while serving as Pettingell's dressing room butler.[1][2] At this time, Cabot developed a love of cooking and, at the urging of his father, became a chef.[1] After wrecking a car, Cabot left the garage and had to look for acting work on his own. He initially used an agency to find acting employment. Without attending any drama school, Cabot learned the hard way, having been fired on his first day in a show called On The Spot. However, finding more work, Cabot's confidence with acting skills increased, and soon he was personally getting called on the phone for employment.[2] He and his wife Kathleen had three children, two daughters and a son: Annette, Yvonne, and Christopher.


Cabot (at top) as Mr. French on Family Affair.

His formal acting career began with a bit part in Foreign Affaires (1935); his first screen credit was in H.G. Wells' The Time Machine (1960) he was Dr. Hillyer who doubts the time traveller's story. Meanwhile, Cabot had begun to work as a voice actor. In the 1950s he was featured in a radio show called Horizons West,[3] a 13-part radio drama which followed the story of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, and was the voice of Noah in the first recording of Igor Stravinsky's biblical 'musical play' The Flood (1962). He also did voice parts for animated films such as Disney's The Sword In The Stone (1963) as Sir Ector, Jungle Book (1967) as Bagheera.

About this time Cabot began taking on television work, appearing in such series as Bob Dylan, as Sebastian Cabot, actor/Bob Dylan, poet, in 1967. Two tracks from this album appear on the Rhino Records compilation Golden Throats: The Great Celebrity Sing Off.

Death and legacy

He lived in his final years in Deep Cove, in the Victoria suburb of North Saanich, British Columbia, Canada. Cabot died on August 22, 1977 in a Victoria hospital, after suffering his second stroke in three years. He was cremated and his ashes were buried in Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery. On CBS's December 12, 2012 Late Show with David Letterman, comedian Billy Crystal mentioned Cabot in humorous dialogue with host David Letterman.[4] Letterman commented that Cabot's name had not been heard in 30 years.[4] Directly before the commercial break Sebastian Cabot's photo was shown on national television as a tribute.[4]

Selected filmography

See also


  1. ^ a b c The Kingman Daily Minor (August 23, 1977), Sebastian Cabot dies at age 59, p. 9
  2. ^ a b Thompson (February 10, 1968), Sebastian Cabot Wants To Be Mean, Gettysburg Times, p. 7
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b c Late Show with David Letterman (December 12, 2012), CBS

External links

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