Friday, 31 December 2010

Lost Characters, 2010

The last blog of 2010. Welcome to a new follower, Jan vB. an Amsterdam blogger, working in ICT finance, happy to be father and husband. On his interesting blog you will find his take on soul, spirituality and events from his personal life. Find his blog here.

Last night (30th) my small group of friends from my psychic circle 'cleared' a house belonging to a friend who was having some difficulties with 'things happening' in her house that were unexplained and occasionally a bit scary. We were able to help her and after about an hour and a half's work, we managed to get rid of whatever it was that was troubling her and today she reported one of the calmest nights she'd had for a while. Good deed done.

Losing Anyone of course is particularly sad but faces that we lose that we are used to in the public eye: actors, prominent people and those that work for the public good are sometimes almost friends, fixtures, traditions, even institutions (take Morecambe and Wise (for UK readers) for example).

Looking ahead and living for now is really important for us to succeed and for our own mental and physical welfare, but I thought I’d look back, just for a few moments to mention just a handful of people who’ve passed away this year that I thought had something special about them. There are many who fit into this category, so I’m sorry if I miss someone who you were particularly interested in or whose presence you enjoyed.

These are in no particular order and the first is Sir Norman Wisdom who died in October aged at the great age of 95. I knew someone who knew him from his home on the Isle of Man and he was just as pleasant and generous as his public life persona until dementia started to take hold, a surprisingly long time ago. He brought joy to millions over a long period of time and he will be missed as a supreme entertainer with his unique style of slapstick comedy. His duet with Joyce Grenfell on the record Narcissus is hilarious.

I suppose when you’ve made over 120 films, it must have been hard for American actor Tony Curtis to have hidden his light under a bushel, not that he was ever afraid of publicity. This talented actor and artist will best be remembered by me for his superb character in ‘Some Like it Hot’ with Jack Lemon and Marilyn Munroe and for the playboy in the TV series ‘The Persuaders’ with Roger Moore. He took more serious roles, particularly when he was younger and he was a very good actor in his earlier days.

Other great actors to leave us this year were Jean Simmons, Lynn Redgrave, smooth guy Simon MacCorkindale and Hollywood hard man, cult actor Dennis Hopper.

BBC Journalist Brian Hanrahan was another extraordinarily talented man who died aged only 61 and will always be famous for his description, under censorship of the 1982 Falklands conflict and British warplanes: "I'm not allowed to say how many planes joined the raid, but I counted them all out and I counted them all back. Their pilots were unhurt, cheerful and jubilant, giving thumbs-up signs." He received plaudits from, among others, former Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbchev.

Wombles (of Wimbledon Common) creator Elizabeth Beresford, Pink Panther creator Blake Edwards, larger than life politician Sir Cyril Smith, controversial snooker player Alex Higgins, the always under-rated sports commentator Harry Carpenter, Hull man and actor Ian Carmichael who I have written about before but I leave the last two paragraphs for particular favourites.

The first is Canadian born actor Leslie Nielson probably best known for his disastrously inept detective Frank Drebin in the Naked Gun series of pictures. Here was a serious actor, a leading man who stumbled across the Airplane movie, played his comedy straight (a golden rule) and never looked back. A great entertainer who never insulted his audience and took delight in having a laugh at the expense of his own characters.

The last, is the indomitable and supreme comedic character actor Lionel Jeffries – a film hero of mine. His height of mastery was playing alongside such actors as Peter Sellers in a series of Ealing style comedies, mainly in black and white as well as being father to Caractacus Potts in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Self effacing, gentle and hugely likeable, it’s difficult to imagine who can replace this type of actor today.

Chat soon


Thanks to Wikipedia for Lionel Jefferies picture.


  1. It is always sad when we lose friends - but life does go on. Do you happen to know the poem by Tom Scott, the Scottish poet who died in 1995 - called 'Let Go Who Will'? If you don't do try Googling it - I find it most inspiring.

  2. My uncle who had a garage in Arkley nr. Barnet knew Norman Wisdom quite well. It was his task to look after Norman's car.
    I lost two or three very close and good friends this year and I know of two others who are moving closer to the end each day. Sad, but I know them as 'believers' and one day will see them again.

  3. Hi Weaver - many thanks I'll have a look for this one - couldn't find it with a quick search last night.

    Hi Josie
    And to you and yours...

    Hi ChrisJ
    Sir Norman - a nice guy. Well said, it's good to have faith.

  4. Whoops! was distracted by a sudden flurry of activity here at Wheelie Manor :)

    A happy new year, and many more to come RLS xx