Lovable Character Actor: Tim Wylton, Mark Benton, and Alan Rachins

Three actors who encapsulate lovableness are Tim Wylton, Mark Benton, and Alan Rachins.

Tim Wylton plays Mr. Gardiner in the BBC Pride & Prejudice series with Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle. His character is level-headed, friendly, non-groveling yet also non-presumptuous. Alongside the marvelous Joanna David, Wylton endows Mr. Gardiner with so much warmth and friendliness, they perfectly match the book Gardiners. Of course, Darcy would love these folks! Wouldn't anyone?!

In Poirot's "How Does My Garden Grow," Wylton plays a drunk yet still more lovable (and far more confused) man than his murderous wife.

In As Time Goes By, he plays the simple though occasionally canny Lol Ferris. As Lionel and Jean remark (in sum), it isn't pleasant to think of someone as pudgy and sweet and Winnie-the-Poohish as Lol getting beat up.

Mark Benton also shows up in an episode of As Time Goes By. I enjoy him as Martin Pond in Barbara where he plays the title character's son-in-law. He is also the thoughtful member of the chorus in Topsy-Turvy who suggests approaching "Mr. Gilbert" on behalf of Richard Temple, the actor who plays the Mikado (played in the movie by the remarkable Timothy Spall). Mark Benton's father-in-law on Barbara, Sam Kelly, ALSO shows up in Topsy-Turvy as the Savoy's amusing stage manager.

Like all these actors, Mark Benton has excellent comedic timing--and an utterly non-threatening demeanor.

Alan Rachins is the American on the list. He tends to play more bad guys than the others, including, even, a murderer on Diagnosis Murder. However, even as a bad guy he exudes a soothing presence. His threats are delivered in a kindly voice, which makes trusting him a non-brainer.

As Dharma's dad on Dharma & Greg, he is lovableness squared (and makes a good foil to grumpy Mitchell Ryan and Susan Sullivan).

Naturally, all these actors are working actors with a long list of credits in a variety of genres. Including Stargate SG-1!

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