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The Cast of Fawlty Towers

Manuel the waiter played by Andrew Sachs

Manuel

Poor Manuel! Forever bullied and harassed by Basil, Manuel the Spanish waiter didn't even let Basil hitting him in the forehead with a spoon prevent him from naming his pet "hamster" in Basil's honour!

My personal favourite Manuel scene was when he was crouched down behind the reception desk proudly announcing “My English is very good! I learn it from a book!” just as the Major walks through and sees only the moose head sitting on the counter and thinks the moose head is speaking!

Manuel's poor command of the English language and his perfectly acted dim-witted nature were often the downfall of Basil's carefully-crafted schemes as well as infuriating the guests of course.

When Fawlty Towers was broadcast in Spain, the nationality of the character of Manuel was changed to an Italian. I have been asked a few times of the name given to the Italian "Manuel", apparently it was Paolo.

Update!

Mariona from Catalonia e-mailled me in May 2004 with this: "I live in Catalonia where we have another language. I watched Fawlty Towers as a child and we had the version in Catalan. I've never heard of a Spanish version. However, as you know the original Manuel was born in Barcelona, and, because of the silly behaviour he performs, his nationality was changed to Mexican, not Italian, in the Catalan version. His name was also Manuel but with the Catalan accent, which is very funny. The title of the serial was "Hotel Fawlty".

Played by: Andrew Sachs

Andrew Sachs

Born: Andreas Siegfried Sachs
Date of Birth: 07 April, 1930 — Andrew Sachs shares a birthday with Jackie Chan, Francis Ford Coppola and James Garner.
Place of Birth: Berlin, Germany

Andrew Sachs fled to England from Germany with his family when he was aged eight. His family had been planning to emigrate anyway when his father was arrested one night shortly before Kristallnacht. He was later released but the threats to a Jewish family in a Germany under the Nazis were too much so they fled to England.

A stage career soon beckoned — Andrew looked at Lassie and thought “If a dog can do it, so can I”! His career has encompassed many comedies and classical dramas in all media including TV, radio and theatre. He has also written and produced a number of works for radio and the stage. He is also well known for countless voiceovers for television documentaries.

Andrew Sachs is married to Melody Lang, presumably the same one who played Mrs Taylor in Basil the Rat.

Andrew Sachs/Manuel Lookalikes!

Charles Haslett

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Stunning lookalike and impersonator of both Manuel the waiter and he also does HRH Prince Charles!