Monday, 19 September 2011

Britain says "Happy Birthday" to an old thespian called Jeremy Irons with a long film and tv career and large social conscience

Actor, Jeremy Irons is 63 years old today.

What you possibly didn't know about Jeremy, that he :

* was born in Cowes, Isle of Wight, his father was an accountant and had a great-grandfather who was one of the first Metropolitan Policemen and later a chartist.

* was educated at the independent Sherborne School in Dorset, where he was a drummer and harmonica player remembereed for his rendition of 'Stairway to Heaven' in a school band called the 'Four Pillars of Wisdom' and was also known as half of a comic duo performing skits on Halloween and at end-of-term 'house suppers'.

* trained as an actor at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, performed a number of plays and busked on the streets of Bristol before appearing on the London stage as John the Baptist and Judas opposite David Essex in 'Godspell'.

* starred in tv series in the 1970's including 'The Pallisers' at the age 26 in 1974.

* found fame as Charles Ryder in the tv adaptation of Evelyn Waugh's 'Brideshead Revisited', that beautiful evocation of aristocratic life in the 1930's which puts 'Downton Abbey' in the shade, at the age of 33 in 1981 a role which reunited him with Anthony Andrews.

The Art of drinking wine :

Brideshead visual excerpts :

* also, in the same year, starred in the film 'The French Lieutenant's Woman' opposite Meryl Streep.

Jeremy has done much work since 1981, but it was for these pieces of work when he and I were young men, that I shall remember him.


He supports a number of chairities including 'The Prison Phoenix Trust'.

Argues against the death penalty :

At the 1991 Tony Awards, was one of the few celebrities to wear the recently created red ribbon to support the fight against AIDS and was the first to wear it onscreen.

In 2010, starred in a promotional video for 'The 1billionhungry project', a worldwide drive to attract at least one million signatures to a petition calling on international leaders to move hunger to the top of the political agenda :

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