Dean Powell gave a talk about Glyn Houston- A Black and White Actor on 24th March 2019.
The speaker is a personal friend of Glyn Houston
and co-operated with him for his autobiography “Glyn Houston- A Black and White Actor”
Alex Houston was a professional footballer having played for Portsmouth, Dundee United and finally Mid-Rhondda. He settled in the Rhondda and had two boys (Donald and Glyn) and their sister Jean. The boys left school early, as was normal, and seemed destined for employment in the pits. However Donald obtained a contract with a travelling stage company, the Pilgrim Players. His success with them persuaded Glyn to also join.
The Houstons eventually formed a clique of Welsh film stars making their way in Hollywood. The four regular members were Richard Burton, Stanley Baker and the two Houstons and they formed a very hard drinking band. Burton, Baker and Donald Houston were obtaining starring roles in films but Glyn was restricted to ‘bit-parts’. He therefore decided to try his luck on the rapidly growing television market and for the next twenty years was a very familiar face in British television- particularly in detective and police series. Glyn split from the clique, who had no interest in television, and also reformed his ways- becoming teetotal and even a buddhist. Perhaps that explains how he outlived the rest- and in fact is still alive today at the age of 95.
His face is probably familiar to everyone- but his name less so. That perhaps explains the strange title for this autobiography. Glyn was on the golf course in USA and members in the club house recognized his face and asked whether he was one of the ‘black and white’ film actors i.e. from the era of pre-colour films. He took that to mean he had not achieved real stardom.