Thursday, 13 January 2011

Britain's old men say "Happy Birthday" to actors Warren Mitchell and Richard Briers and also Faye Dunaway whose beauty, as young men, beguiled them

Warren is 85 today, Richard 77 and across the Atlantic, Faye is 70.

Things you probably didn't know about Warren that he :

* was born Warren Misel in London where his father was a glass and china merchant and is of Russian Jewish descent.

* 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.

* did well at school and read physical chemistry at University College, Oxford, for six months where he met Richard Burton and together they joined the RAF in 1944.

* completed his navigator training in Canada just as the Second World War war ended.

* attended RADA for two years, performing in the evening with the Unity Theatre.

* had a short stint as a DJ on Radio Luxembourg and then in 1951, became a professional actor with straight and comedy roles on stage, radio, film and television.

* in 1966, played 'Alf Garnett' in the long running sit com 'Till Death Us Do' with Dandy Nichols, Una Stubbs and Anthony Booth, the father of Tony Blair's wife, Cherie Booth.

Here he is on stage at a Royal Variety Performance in character as Alf :

* continued in the show which ran from 1966 to 1975, in 7 series, making a total of 53 episodes.

* on stage he received extensive critical acclaim for his performance in Arthur Miller's 'Death of a Salesman' for which he received a 'Laurence Olivier Theatre Award'for playing Willie Loman.

Things you possibly didn't know about Richard, that he :

* attended a prep school in Wimbledon and left at the age of 16 without any formal qualifications.

* got his first job in a clerical post with a London cable manufacturer.

* at the age of 18, was 'called up' for 2 years 'National Service' in the RAF.

* on leaving the RAF went on to study at Royal Academy of Dramatic Art from 1954 to 1956.

* worked on stage in Liverpool, then Coventry and finally had his West End debut.

* started work in television in 1961 where he played in the series 'Marriage Lines' opposite Prunella Scales.

* will be remebered for 'The Good Life' from 1975 to '78, playing Tom Good, a draughtsman who decides, on his 40th birthday, to give up his job and try his hand at self-sufficiency.

* starred as 'Hector' in the first three series of 'Monarch of the Glen' from 2000 to 2002. Here he is with his wife Molly, in their last scene together before he passes away :

I remember Faye Dunaway for her role as 'Bonnie Parker' in the 1967 movie 'Bonnie and Clyde'. I saw it with my friend K.M. when we were students living in Brighton. We were both 20 and Faye was 26.

We Rob Banks :

A Tribute with 'Nico' singing :

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