George Cole and Adoption

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George Cole in trailer for "Too Many Crooks" (1959)



British actor

Cole was placed for adoption at 10 days of age but did not find out until he was eight, when he found his papers while looking for Christmas presents. He was raised in a council house, left school at 14 and ran away from home at 15, when his father died, to be in the theater. He was then fostered informally by the actors Alistair and Joan Sims, whom he met when he and Alistair were both acting in the film A Cottage to Let.

He was unable to trace his birth family as a teenager and no longer has any interest in doing so.

His most famous rôle is Arthur Daley in Minder, but he has never been out of work, in television, radio, advertisements, films and legitimate theater. In 1997 he is starring in Dad.


"Kindred Spirits," Telegraph Magazine [London], 10 April 1993, p. 10 Sothworth, June. "George Cole on Work, His Two Wives and the Child Who Rejected Him," Daily Mail [London], 16 August 1995, p. 18 Who's Who, 1997 "George Cole: Credits." Available at:,12,3375,00.html