Emmerdale Past & Present Wiki

Arthur Pentelow as Henry Wilks in 1988.

Arthur Pentelow was an English actor who played businessman and Woolpack landlord Henry Wilks from 1972 to 1991.


Born on 14th February 1924 in Rochdale, Lancashire as Arthur William Pentelow, born to Northamptonshire born Cyril Pentelow and Ivy Pentelow (Nee Shiner).

Died on 6th August 1991 in Birmingham, aged 67.

Pre Emmerdale[]

Arthur had a varied career including cadet clerk in the local police force.

Arthur Pentelow as George Greenwood in Coronation Street in 1971.

He served in the Royal Navy and did radar work in Normandy during the Second World War. Following this became a student teacher and acted as an amateur with the Curtain Theatre Company in Rochdale.

Between early acting roles, other jobs included selling ice-cream and sliced bread, and taking people's washing to the laundry. He worked in repertory theatre at the Bristol Old Vic, Guildford and Northampton, before joining the company at Birmingham.

Arthur's large amount of television work includes BBC Sunday-Night Play (1961); Suspense (1963); Maigret (1963); several different characters in several episodes of Z Cars (1963; 1964; 1968; 1970); two appearances in Armchair Theatre (1963; 1965); three different characters in three episodes of Friday Night (1963); two episodes of Story Parade (1964); two episodes of Teletale (963; 1963); as Will Croft in several episodes of the medical soap, Emergency Ward 10 (1964); as Mr Spottletoe in an adaptation of Martin Chuzzlewit (1964); Festival (1964); Crossroads (1964); Night Train to Surbiton (1965); Front Page Story (1965); Gideon C.I.D. (1965); The Flying Swan (1965); The Man in Room 17 (1965); a first of two roles in Coronation Street (1965);Redcap (1965); United! (1966); several episodes of Theatre 625 (1964; 1965; 1966; 1966); in several episodes of Mogul (later The Troubeshooters) (1965; 1966; 1968; 1970); The Power Game (1966); The Baron (1966); Sanctuary (1967); The Fellows (1967); as Ivor Lawrence in two episodes of Rainbow City (1967); ITV Playhouse (1967); City '68 (1968); two different characters in two episodes of Mr Rose (1967; 1968); two different characters in two episodes of Detective (1964; 1968); Television Theatre From... (1968); in an episode of Hammer's sci-fi/supernatural anthology series, Journey to the Unknown (1968); two different characters in two episodes of The Avengers (1964; 1968); Resurrection (1968); Thirty Minute Theatre (1969); The First Lady (1969); Big Breadwinner Hog (1969); as the Earl of Danby in The First Churchills (1969); Hadleigh (1969); Harry Worth (1969); as Maigrat in Germinal (1970); Paul Temple (1970); Wicked Women (1970); as Old Timothy Tangs in The Woodlanders (1970); W. Somerset Maughan (1970); If It Moves, File It (1970); anthology series Big Brother (1970); The Main Chance (1970); That's Your Funeral (1971); Budgie (1971); an episode of BBC's sci-fi anthology series, Out of the Unknown (1971); as Tattle in several episodes of Bel Ami (1971); Father Dear Father (1971).

Arthur played his second role in Coronation Street, this time as recurring character of George Greenwood (1968; 1971).

Leading up to his role in Emmerdale Farm, more television work included The Passenger (1971); Casanova (1971); The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes (1971); The Strauss Family (1972); Play for Today (1972).

Film work includes: Privilege (1966); Charlie Bubbles (1967)


Arthur joined the cast of what was then a daytime soap, Emmerdale Farm from the first-ever episodes in 1972 as Henry Wilks. His character was soon paired up with Amos Brearly, a fellow landlord of the Woolpack, becoming one of the most famous of the soap's partnerships. This is a role he would continue until his sudden death in August 1991 with his last on screen appearance being transmitted in September 1991 (episode 1589). The character subsequently died off screen a few months later in October 1991. Ronald Magill played Amos, and him and Arthur were good friends off screen as well.