Warren Mitchell was actually born as Warren Misell on 14 January 1926 in north London. He did well at school and went on to read physical chemistry at University College, Oxford, where he met Richard Burton, who encouraged his interest in acting. They joined the RAF together in 1944 and Mitchell was sent to Canada to train as a navigator, although the war ended before he saw active service. Mitchell enrolled for a two-year course at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, spending his evenings performing with the left-wing Unity Theatre in London, where he met his wife, Connie. He never completely distanced himself from his most famous character, Alf Garnett. It was a role he relished and he often returned to it over a period of four decades. He was a consummate character actor who took on a wide variety of roles on stage, screen and television. After appearing in the popular radio show Educating Archie, he got his TV break in 1955 in a number of episodes of Hancock's Half Hour. He became a TV regular with roles in shows such as The Avengers, Danger Man and The Saint. And despite playing Johnny Speight's infamous creation for such a long time, he managed to avoid being typecast as Britain's favourite bigot. He also loved football, a staunch supporter of Tottenham Hotspur - although his character Alf was a ‘Ammers’ fan. Mitchell was an atheist for most of his life and a keen supporter of the British Humanist Association. He died "surrounded by his family" and was “cracking jokes to the last," the family added.