Home Today's Reason to Drink July 10: Terry-Thomas’s birthday.

July 10: Terry-Thomas’s birthday.

It’s Terry-Thomas’s birthday. Born in 1911, the iconic Brit actor perfectly and repeatedly played the eccentric, upper-crust, champagne and scotch-swilling English scoundrel. His unforgettable, gap-toothed, what-can-a-cad-get-away-with smile brightened the frame of nearly 100 films and as many stage and TV productions. Expertly employing a monocle, perfectly groomed mustache, cigarette holder, 19th-century waistcoat, and an ever-present glass of booze, he charmed his way into America’s collective heart in movies like “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World,” “Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines” and “Bachelor Flat.” He, more than anyone else, acquainted we Yanks with the phrases, “Jolly good show!’ and “I say!” Now, if you’re a millennial and still not sure whom I’m talking about, just Google his name and you’ll recognize his face immediately. Like I said, iconic. So, did Terry drink as much off-screen as much as he did onscreen? He did. He made it look easy onscreen because he was so good at it off-screen. And just like the bounders and rotters he played in front of the camera, he leaned toward good champagne, excellent whiskies and top gin when at the club. True story: Terry-Thomas’ personal motto, which he carried with him from his days when he was pushed around as a clerk and insurance salesmen and hooted at while playing ukulele in a jazz band, was, “I Shall Not Be Cowed.”