Friday, 15 January 2010

Britain said Happy Birthday yesterday to Richard Briers and Warren Mitchell

Richard Briers the actor was 76 yesterday. He will best be remembered for playing Tom Good in the BBC sitcom, 'The Good Life', from 1975 - 78 He played a draughtsman who decides, on his 40th birthday, to give up his job and try his hand at self-sufficiency in their suburban home with his wife, played by Felicity Kendal.

Warren Mitchell, actor was 84 yesterday. He will best be remembered for playing Alf Garnett in the BBC sitcom 'Till Death Do Us Part' in the 1960's.

Of the two men, Warren bears closer inspection :

* He was born Warren Misel in Stoke Newington, London and is of Russian Jewish descent.

* He describes himself in interviews as " an atheist who sometimes believes in God."

* His father was a glass and china merchant.

* He was interested in acting from an early age, and attended the Gladys Gordon's Academy of Dramatic Arts in Walthamstow from the age of seven.

* He did well at school and read physical chemistry at University College, Oxford, for six months. There he met his contemporary Richard Burton, and together they joined the RAF in 1944. He completed his navigator training in Canada just as the war ended.

* Burton convinced him that taking up acting would be better than completing his chemistry degree and so Mitchell attended RADA for two years.

* He went on to feature in roles on radio and television and in film.

* He is best known for his role as the bigoted cockney West Ham United Football Club supporter, Alf Garnett, but ironically, his real life persona is quite the opposite, being a left-winger, Jewish, and a staunch supporter of Tottenham Hotspur Football Club.

* The show ran from 1966 to 1975, in seven series, making a total of 53, 30-minute episodes.

* In his personal life a 'Distinguished Supporter' of the British Humanist Association.

* He has been married since 1950 Constance Wake. They have three children.

* He is a naturalised citizen of Australia.

* For over twenty years, Mitchell has suffered pain from nerve damage, caused by a virus, and is a supporter of the Neuropathy Trust.

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