Ralph Bates (12 February, 1940 - 27 March, 1991) was a British film and television actor, best known for his role in the British sitcom, Dear John (1986).
Bates was born in Bristol, England, of French ancestry. (He was a distant relative of Louis Pasteur.) Having played the lead in several Hammer horror productions, such as The Horror of Frankenstein (1970), he made himself noticed on television playing Thomas Culpeper in an episode of The Six Wives of Henry VIII (1971). He went on to star in the BBC drama series, Moonbase 3 (1973) and the long-running Poldark, in which he played villainous George Warleggan. Because of his French blood and dark looks, he was often chosen to play a Frenchman on television. He married actress Joanna van Gyseghem . They divorced, and he married another actress, Virginia Wetherell . His daughter from this second marriage, Daisy Bates, became a successful actress. After starring in two series of Dear John, in which he played a divorcee returning to single life, Bates became ill with cancer. He died in London.