William Franklyn is a member of the third generation of a theatrical family and, though born in London, was transported at an early age in the proverbial actor's trunk to Australia - a growing-up place he would not have swapped for Beaconsfield or Bethnal Green.
While his father, Leo Franklyn, toured in musical comedies, William swam, surfed (glimpsed his first shark at Bondi), learned to throw a boomerang and took cricket intravenously (the addiction has never left his system. He returned to London at the age of 11 and was evacuated to Luscombe Castle in Devon at the beginning of the war, where he lived in a boarding school cum medieval cloistered fantasy world.
At 15, while awaiting his acceptance by HM Forces, William appeared at the Savoy Theatre, London in My Sister Eileen. This was followed by five years in the paratroops. From the sands of Sinai to the pier at Southsea was not an unreasonable segue: he began there in Arsenic and Old Lace and set out on six years of assorted repertory, topped off as straight man to Tommy Trinder.
He did his first television work at Alexandra Palace as the villain in a John Slater serial and then went to the Theatre Royal, Windsor, for his equivalent of theatrical university. From there ensued an ambulatory career between television, films, and the theatre.
He has three daughters and his blond, blue-eyed wife, Susanna, whose family reach back to the Taipan people, founders of Hong Kong, is a screenwriter.