David Battley (5 November 1935 - 20 January 2003) was a British actor specialising in laconic, lugubrious comedy roles.
David Battley, elder son of John Battley, post-WW2 Labour MP, was born in Battersea, London. Born with a hole in the heart, he was initially taught at home before attending a special school. He later enrolled at Camberwell Art School but left before completing the course. He earned a living working for the family printing firm, Battley Brothers, before applying to Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.
Battley was known for his dry, ironic delivery on television and in films. He found steady work as a character actor and comic stooge. Battley's TV work ranged from the satire show BBC-3 and the military police drama Redcap in the 1960s through Eric Sykes' BBC sitcom, the 1975 TV adaptation of Moll Flanders and the 1977 Christmas Special of The Good Life, and later The Bill, Lovejoy and Mr Bean. Battley also appears as the Executioner in Alice in Wonderland. His best-known work in the mid-1970s was as comic foil to Monty Python team member Eric Idle in the BBC series Rutland Weekend Television (RWT). Idle praised Battley's dry, poker-faced style on the show. Battley played the Paul McCartney role in the original RWT sketch of The Rutles, a parody of The Beatles, but did not appear in the American TV film All You Need Is Cash, based on the sketch.
Battley also made films, including Hotel Paradiso (1966), Crossplot (1969), Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971), Up the Chastity Belt (1972), Up the Front (1972), That's Your Funeral (1972), Rentadick (1972), Don't Just Lie There, Say Something! (1973), Mister Quilp (1975), S.O.S. Titanic (1979), The London Connection (1979) and Krull (1983).
Among his last roles were a golf course employee in the episode "Tee Off, Mr. Bean" (1995) of the comedy series Mr. Bean and a Doctor examining new regimental recruits in Sharpe's Regiment (1996).
Battley died on 20 January 2003, after a heart attack, aged sixty-seven, in Epsom, Surrey, England.