Thursday, 22 July 2010

Britain is a country which says "Happy Birthday" to the actor Terence Stamp

Terrence Stamp is 72 today.

He has appeared in 63 films, most memorably as :

* young Billy Budd in 'Billy Budd' in 1962.
* butterfly collector, Freddie Clegg, in 'The Collector' in 1965.
* second arch-villain General Zod in 'Superman' in 1978.
* drag queen Bernadette in 'The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert'in 1994.
* Wilson in 'The Limey' in 1999.
* the Supreme Chancellor Valorum in 'Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace' in 1999

Yet I shall, along with many old Brits, remember him best in the film. 'Far From the Madding Crowd' in 1967, where the incredibly handsome Terence played opposite the incredibly beautiful Julie Christie. Here is the most famous scene from the film :

What you probably didn't know about him is that he :

* was the eldest of five children, was born in Stepney, London and his father was a tugboat captain.

* was a genuine 'cockney', whose early years were spent in Canal Road, Bow, in the East End of London.

* grew up idolizing the film actor Gary Cooper after his mother had taken him to see 'Beau Geste' at the age of three and was also inspired by James Dean.

* left school, worked in a advertising agencies in London yet deep down wanted to be an actor.

* made his film debut at the age of 23 in Peter Ustinov's adaptation of Herman Melville's 'Billy Budd' in 1962 and won an 'Academy Award Nomination' and international attention.

* then appeared opposite Laurence Olivier in 'Term of Trial' in 1962.

* shared a flat with Michael Caine.In his autobiography, 'What's it All About', Caine states that he 'still wakes up sweating in the night as he sees Terence agreeing to accept my advice to take the role in Alfie'.

* has published three volumes of his memoirs, a novel entitled 'The Night' and a cookbook co-written with Elizabeth Buxton to provide for those who are wheat and dairy-intolerant.

* in 2007, gave a speech on 'Climate Change' at the UK leg of 'Live Earth' in Wembley Stadium, before introducing Madonna.

In his personal life :

* received extensive media coverage of his romances in the 1960s with film stars Julie Christie and Brigitte Bardot and supermodel Jean Shrimpton.

* his affair with Julie was high lighted in 'The Kinks' song 'Waterloo Sunset' in 1967.

* after Shrimpton ended her relationship him, he moved to India, meditating and studying the teachings of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and dropped out from society for several years.

* in 2002, at the age of 63, married for the first time a 29-year-old called Elizabeth O'Rourke, who he had first met in a pharmacy in New South Wales.

* was divorced in 2008.


A photo tribute :

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