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Last Updated: Tuesday, 31 October 2006, 12:59 GMT
Veteran actor Franklyn dies at 81
William Franklyn
Franklyn appeared on the BBC's What's My Line in 1973
Veteran actor William Franklyn, best-remembered as the voice of the "Schhh... You Know Who" Schweppes adverts, has died aged 81.

Franklyn died after a long battle with prostate cancer, his family said.

His 50-year career encompassed TV, radio, film and stage, appearing in episodes of The Avengers and The Scarlet Pimpernel among many others.

He also appeared in television shows such as Top Secret, Splitting Heirs and Ooh, You Are Awful.

Franklyn was born into a theatrical family in London, and spent his early childhood living in Australia while his father, Leo Franklyn, toured in musical comedies.

Suave secret agent

He returned to London at the age of 11 and was evacuated to Devon at the beginning of the war.

At 15, Franklyn appeared at London's Savoy Theatre in My Sister Eileen and then spent five years in the army.

He did his first TV work at Alexandra Palace as the villain in a John Slater serial before going to the Theatre Royal, Windsor.

From there his TV, film, and the theatre career blossomed.

It was during the 1960s that Franklyn landed the role in the adverts for Schweppes tonic.

He appeared on screen in 10 of the commercials between 1965 and 1973, and voiced 40.

Franklyn played suave secret agent Peter Dallas in the 1960s TV drama Top Secret, and in later years he increasingly took on comedy parts in shows such as French and Saunders.

In 2004 he took over from the late Peter Jones as the voice of the Book on Radio 4's The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy.

He is survived by his wife, Susanna, and three daughters.

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