Geoffrey Palmer is a master of deadpan drollery. His hangdog countenance and understated comedic style are two of the main reasons that his TV situation comedies are popular not only in Britain but also in America. Among the best-loved of his sitcoms -- which enjoy a long afterlife in the rerun market -- are The Rise and Fall of Reginald Perrin and As Time Goes By. In the latter sitcom, Palmer co-stars with one of the U.K.'s most esteemed actresses, Judi Dench. They play old flames reunited after 40 years. Palmer has also performed in other popular TV comedies, including Fawlty Towers, Executive Stress, Fairly Secret Army, Hot Metal, Butterflies, and Whoops Apocalypse. In addition, his finespun wit and waggery has enlivened many a film production, such as Rat, A Fish Called Wanda, and The Madness of King George.
Palmer was born in London on June 4, 1927. After a brief career in business, he discovered his acting talent in amateur theater, then became a stage manager and eventually a full-time performer. Like so many other outstanding British actors, he studied and acted in plays written by the greatest popularizer of situation comedies, William Shakespeare. His role as Quince in A Midsummer Night's Dream is well known to fans of BBC Shakespeare productions. However, Palmer has not limited himself to comedies; he has also performed in productions in other genres, such as Mrs. Brown (a drama about Queen Victoria as a widow), Tomorrow Never Dies (a James Bond adventure), and Anna and the King (a historical/costume epic about an Englishwoman's relationship with the King of Siam). Thanks to his resonant voice, Palmer has also obtained work doing TV commercials, selling everything from veal to varooming cars.
In his leisure time, he enjoys foraying into nature with his wife, Sally, who introduced him to trout and salmon fishing. They have two children.