Truly a working actor, perpetual British screen presence David Swift carved out a niche in a number of roles on U. K. television in the second half of the 20th century, notably as Henry Davenport on "Drop the Dead Donkey" and Alan Taylor on "Couples." After studying law at Cambridge, Swift went to work with his father in his elastic supply business and didn't appear on screen until the age of 30, working in television in small walk-on roles and bit parts. His first break came with the role of Napoleon in an adaptation of Leo Tolstoy's epic drama "War & Peace." A small role in Fred Zinnemann's assassination drama, "The Day of the Jackal," followed, as did the key role of Alan Taylor on the British television comedy "Couples." Throughout the 1980s Swift landed dozens of dramatic and comedic TV parts, but it was in 1990 that he won the role of Davenport on comic Andy Hamilton's "Drop the Dead Donkey," which took a biting, satirical look at British politics via a TV newsroom. That role, along with a part on the sitcom "Jack & Sarah," about an American nanny in the U.K., took him through the majority of the decade, and afterwards he eased into the part of secret agent Charlie Spinner on the BBC children's television series "Oscar Charlie" for one season in 2001. This would become one of his final roles, as he retired from his screen career in 2004.