A Scottish actor best known for his portrayal of James Frazer on the very popular series "Dad's Army," John Laurie was previously a Shakespearian actor of much renown. A veteran of World War I, Laurie began acting at London's famed Old Vic Theatre in the 1920s, earning acclaim for his work in "Hamlet," "Richard III," and "Macbeth," as well as many others. His film career began with a role in Alfred Hitchcock's "The Shame of Mary Boyle (aka "Juno and the Paycock") in 1930, and he received a boost when Hitchcock cast him in the classic thriller "The 39 Steps." He had one of his few starring roles in Michael Powell's historical drama "The Edge of the World" in 1937 and was part of the Powell/Pressburger collaboration "The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp." Laurie also got a chance to perform in film versions of the Shakespeare plays he knew so well, most notably a part in friend Laurence Olivier's postmodern version of "Henry V" in 1944. After numerous film roles Laurie began appearing on TV in both the U.K. and the United States in the '50s and '60s and had recurring roles on the drama "The Citadel" and on "Tales of Mystery." He was destined however, to be known for his portrayal of eternal pessimist Private James Frazer on the World War II-themed sitcom "Dad's Army," an enormously successful show that ran for nine seasons.