He's John Pendleton. He lives all by himself in the big house on Pendleton Hill. He won't even have any one 'round ter cook for him -- comes down ter the hotel for his meals three times a day. I know Sally Miner, who waits on him, and she says he hardly opens his head enough ter tell what he wants ter eat. She has ter guess it more'n half the time -- only it'll be somethin' cheap! She knows that without no tellin'.
-- From Pollyanna, 'Chapter IX, Which Tells of the Man'
Scotsman Kenneth Cranham has appeared in innumerable television programs and films during the course of his thirty-plus years as an actor. He was delighted to take on the role of the grim-faced loner, Mr. Pendleton, and was also pleased to work on something which both his daughters -- Nancy, 21, and Kathleen, nine -- would enjoy: "Rather than something set in a morgue as usual!" Both Cranham and his wife, actress Fiona Victory, are big fans of the 1960 film which starred Hayley Mills.
Cranham has been seen in previous Masterpiece Theatre productions, including The Murder of Stephen Lawrence, Our Mutual Friend and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall.