After completing his acting training in New York, David returned to England in the 1950s. Television was in its infancy then: “I started my career here, as most actors did, in repertory, and then tv in the days when it was all live, and there was only one channel, the BBC.”
Live television could be a nerve-wracking business for actors who often had to tear from one set to another to make entrances on time. It is difficult to imagine now how basic the technology was then or what pressure it put upon the performers of the day.
David served an apprenticeship in many early tv series such as OSS, Dial 999 and Private Investigator, often taking on specialised character roles where his chameleon like ability to change his voice and appearance served him in good stead.
Later he was also to make a variety of guest appearances in character roles in well known tv shows like Danger Man, The Saint and The Avengers. He also featured in several cult children’s programmes such as Ace of Wands and Timeslip.
So Haunt Me 1992 – 1994
A very popular eighties sit-com starring the late and much missed Miriam Karlin, So Haunt Me was about a family who move into a new house that is haunted by the ghost of Yetta Feldman, a Jewish mother who was abandoned by her daughter (“Carole with an e”) and will haunt the house until she is reunited with her.
David played Mr Bloom, their lugubrious neighbour, a wonderful comic invention who can always be counted on to see the gloomy side of things.
The Accountant 1989
David plays a crooked company chairman in this tv play with Alfred Molina.
Einstein’s Unfinished Symphony January 2005
This Horizon docudrama combined interviews and commentaries by Brian Cox with dramatised scenes about Einstein on his deathbed working on what he hoped would be his greatest work of all – a project that he hoped would unlock the mind of God.
After playing Elgar to critical approval, David’s portrayal of Einstein is equally detailed and convincing.