Iris Mountford, Buster Merryfield’s Wife

Iris Mountford is the partner of English actor Harry “Buster” Merryfield known by many as Buster Merryfield. Iris’s husband rose to fame and is notable for portraying Uncle Albert in the BBC comedy Only Fools and Horses.

Iris Mountford: Profile Summary

NameIris Mountford
Famous asBuster Merryfield’s Wife
SpouseBuster Merryfield
ChildrenKaren Merryfield
Birthplace London, United Kingdom
DiedNovember 5, 2002

The husband of Iris Mountford was born November 27, 1920, in Battersea, London, England, to part-time waitress Lily (née Stone) and Harry Merryfield, a packer/ fitter. He was called “Buster” by his grandfather because he weighed nine pounds at birth and the name stuck throughout his entire life. Throughout his life he used the name “Buster”, painstakingly hiding his Christian name, Harry, which was not revealed until his death.

Buster Merryfield was British schoolboy champion and Southern Command army champion and was also a keen amateur football player and Millwall fan, regularly attending games at The Den. He played the piano by ear but could not read music and was a fan of disco dancing.

Iris Mountford and Buster Merryfield got married in June 1942 and they have been blessed with a daughter. Their daughter was named Karen and she was born in December 1947. Iris was ten years older than Merryfield.

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Iris’s husband was a keen amateur actor and director before he became a professional at age 57. Apart from being an actor, Buster was also a bank manager who worked for the Westminster Bank, later Nat West for nearly 40 years. He started working and later became a Senior Area Bank Manager, his banking career was interrupted by his war service. He passed his banking exams in 1939. He spent the war in the army and due to his physique, he became a PT and jungle warfare instructor. He got promoted to the rank of 2nd Lieutenant (228987) and was awarded an Emergency Commission in the Royal Artillery on the 13th March 1942.

Iris’s husband was demobilized from the Army on 16 March 1946. He discovered that he loved acting ‘during the war’ after serving as an entertainments officer, putting on shows for the other troops. He return to his job at the bank and Natwest, he rose through the ranks, and, he was a bank manager at the Thames Ditton branch in Surrey by the time of his early retirement.

Iris’ husband performed at the Connaught Theatre in Worthing in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat and Equus after he persuaded a repertory company to take him on. He appeared in Hannah in 1980, as Professor Challis in The Citadel in 1983, and as a Bishop in Strangers and Brothers in 1984, and later joined Only Fools and Horses in January 1985. He also made an appearance in pantomime during Christmas in both 1997 and 1998 as the ‘Father’ in ‘Beauty and the Beast’ at the Pavilion Theatre, Bournemouth. His productions of John Osborne’s The Entertainer, The World–My Canvas by Ruth Dixon, and A View from the Bridge by Arthur Miller, for the now-defunct amateur theatre group The Characters, won Best Play at the Woking Drama Festival in 1966, 1968, and 1969 respectively. He won an award for the Best Actor trophy for his roles in The Entertainer and The World–My Canvas.

Unfortunately, Buster Merryfield died on June 23, 1999, in the Poole General Hospital, after battling a brain tumor. He died at age 78. His wife also died three years later, on November 5, 2002, and they have been interred together in Verwood, Dorset.

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