James Cossins was an English character actor. Born in Beckenham, Kent, he became widely recognised as the abrupt, bewildered Mr. Walt in the Fawlty Towers episode "The Hotel Inspectors". He played a magistrate in episodes of three different British sitcoms, Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads?, The Good Life and Citizen Smith.
After serving in the Royal Air Force, he trained at RADA where he won the silver medal in 1952, later he appeared in repertory theatre and played a wide range of characters throughout his colourful and extensive career on television and stage. He appeared in more than forty films, including The Anniversary, and The Lost Continent, Gandhi, and The Man with the Golden Gun. On the small screen, he appeared as a guest in a variety of shows, including Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em, The Likely Lads and Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads?, Minder, Bergerac, The Sweeney, Shadows, All Creatures Great and Small, Citizen Smith, Just William, The Good Life, L for Lester, Neville Dennis in Callan "Rules of the Game", Z-Cars, and as the regular character Bruce Westrop in Emmerdale Farm. He also played Major Bagstock in Dombey and Son, and appeared in the first series of All in Good Faith in 1985. His later appearances were limited by ill health, and he lived in semi retirement in Surrey, with his beloved dog Oscar. Cossins died from heart disease at the age of 63, in 1997.