Ralph Thomas; British Film Director
Ralph Thomas, 85, director of popular British movies of the 1950s and 1960s. Thomas, best known for “Doctor in the House” and the ensuing series of hospital comedies, directed 39 feature films, including the 1960 political drama, “No Love for Johnnie,” and “The Wind Cannot Read” in 1958--one of nine Thomas films that starred Dirk Bogarde. Born in Hull, England, and educated at Middlesex College, Thomas took odd jobs in the movie business before quitting to work as a journalist on the Bristol Evening World in 1932. During World War II, he served with the 9th Lancers cavalry regiment. After the war, he joined the Rank Organization. He began directing in 1948, and two years later teamed up with producer Betty Box on the first of many joint projects--"The Clouded Yellow,” a thriller. In 1996 the British Comedy Society added Thomas and Box to its Hall of Fame. On Saturday at a London hospital.