Frederick William Treves BEM (29 March 1925 – 30 January 2012) was an English character actor with an extensive repertoire, specialising in avuncular, military and titled types.
Treves attended the Nautical College, Pangbourne and during World War II he served in the Merchant Navy. On his first voyage his ship, the freighter Waimarama, was involved in the Operation Pedestal convoy to Malta. The Waimarama was sunk on 13 August 1942 by German bombers, the aviation fuel on deck burst into flame and the ship exploded, with 80 of the 107 crew killed. Treves helped save several of his shipmates, including the only ship's officer to survive the sinking, 3rd Wireless Operator John Jackson. Treves, then 17 years old, received the British Empire Medal and the Lloyd's War Medal for Bravery at Sea for his actions. After the war he trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.
Treves was from a medical family, his father was a physician and his great uncle was Frederick Treves, the surgeon who became famous for discovering Joseph Merrick, the "Elephant Man". In the David Lynch film The Elephant Man, the surgeon is played by Anthony Hopkins and Treves himself appeared in the character of Alderman.
His over a hundred television credits included roles in A For Andromeda, The Cazalets, The Jewel in the Crown, A Dance to the Music of Time, The Politician's Wife, To Play the King, Lipstick on Your Collar, Bomber Harris, Trevor Griffiths' version of The Cherry Orchard, David Edgar's Destiny, The Naked Civil Servant and The Railway Children.
Treves also guested in many continuing dramas, such as Rosemary & Thyme, Monarch of the Glen, The Bill, The New Adventures of Black Beauty, Silent Witness, Kavanagh QC, Jeeves and Wooster, Inspector Morse, Agatha Christie's Poirot, Lovejoy, Yes, Prime Minister, Bergerac, Midsomer Murders, Follyfoot, Miss Marple, Minder, Z-Cars, The Avengers, Doomwatch and in the Doctor Who story Meglos.
His films included Freelance (1971), One Hour to Zero (1976), Sweeney 2 (1978), Charlie Muffin (1979), The Elephant Man (1980), Nighthawks (1981), Defence of the Realm (1985), Paper Mask (1990), The Fool (1990), Afraid of the Dark (1991), Mad Dogs and Englishmen (1995) and Sunshine (1999).
As well as screen appearances, he also had a wide stage and radio career, and appeared with the National Theatre from the late-1970s in David Hare's Plenty, Bernard Shaw's The Philanderer, Arnold Wesker's Caritas, Eugene O'Neill's The Iceman Cometh, and two Shakespeares - Leonato in Much Ado About Nothing (1981) and Menenius in Coriolanus (1984).
His eldest son is the actor Simon Treves.
- Wheel of Fate (1953)
- Jumping for Joy (1956) - Attendant (uncredited)
- The Long Arm (1956) - Detective Tailing Creasey (uncredited)
- High Terrace (1956) - Police Constable West
- The Mark of the Hawk (1957) - 2nd Officer
- Carry on Constable (1960) - Radio Announcer (voice, uncredited)
- Freelance (1971) - Car Driver
- One Hour to Zero (1976) - Supeintendent Parry
- Devices and Desires (1976) - Reverend Granville Moulton
- Sweeney 2 (1978) - McKyle
- On a Paving Stone Mounted (1978)
- Charlie Muffin (1979) - Wilcox
- The Elephant Man (1980) - Alderman
- Nighthawks (1981) - Chief Police Inspector - London
- A Flame to the Phoenix (1983)
- Defence of the Realm (1986) - Arnold Reece
- Paper Mask (1990) - Dr. Mumford
- The Fool (1990) - Samuel Simpson
- Afraid of the Dark (1991) - Eye Surgeon
- Closing Numbers (1993) - Anna's Father
- Mad Dogs and Englishmen (1995) - Sir Harry Dyer
- Sunshine (1999) - Emperor