As Bert Lynch in Z Cars
Belfast born Ellis began his acting career in his native Northern Ireland in the early 1950s before moving to England in the early 1960s. He shot to fame and became something of a Merseyside favourite thanks to his role as Bert Lynch in 565 episodes of the Liverpudlian police series Z Cars from 1962 to 1978.
In the 1980s he would go on to star in Liverpool based dramas such as Alan Bleasdale's Boys From The Blackstuff and No Surrender as well as Jimmy McGovern and Antonia Bird's groundbreaking Priest. He returned to Northern Ireland to play the domineering father in Graham Reid's series of Billy plays alongside the young Kenneth Branag. Over here, he also appeared as Paddy Reilly the zookeeper in the 1980s vet drama One By One and he traded on his most iconic police role as Sarge in one of my favourite sitcoms, the surreal brilliance that was Nightingales as well as roles in the sitcoms In Sickness and In Health, So You Think You've Got Troubles and the female football team drama Playing The Field.
As Peter Warmsly in the 1989 Doctor Who
Ellis also made guest appearances in the likes of Doctor Who, Casualty and Ballykissangel and most recently, I think I last saw him on ITV's Eternal Law
As Sarge in Nightingales
RIP Jimmy *raises a pint in tribute*