James Grout, a British stage, television and radio performer who won a Tony Award nomination for his sole Broadway appearance, playing a histrionic playwright in the 1965 Tommy Steele musical Half a Sixpence, died June 24. He was 84.
Born Oct. 22, 1927, in London, he trained as an actor at RADA.
Mr. Grout made his stage debut in a 1950 production of Twelfth Night at the Old Vic. His many London stage credits included Twelfth Night, The Mousetrap, The Lily White Boys, Lloyd George Knew My Father, Make and Break, Sweet Bird of Youth, Man and Superman, When We Are Married, The Way of the World, Quartermaine's Terms and Mary Stuart.
The sweet and sentimental Half a Sixpence, about an upwardly mobile draper's assistant in London (played by Steele), began in 1963 at the Cambridge Theatre in London before it transferred to Broadway. The musical, Steele and Grout were all nominated for Tonys, and the show ran for more than 500 performances.
Mr. Grout was a familiar presence on television. He took running parts in several popular series. He was Granville Bennett on "All Creatures Great and Small," Chief Superintendent Strange on the "Inspector Morse" series, Mr. Justice Ollie Oliphant on "Rumpole of the Bailey" and the Chief Whip on "Yes Minister." On radio, he played a major role in all ten series of the BBC Radio 4 comedy series "King Street Junior," which ran from 1985 to 1998.