Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Britain is still a country for and says "Happy Birthday" to an old actor called George Cole

George, a radio, film and tv actor, whose career has spanned 70 years and who I remember when I was a boy in the pre-tv 1950s, playing an amiable, bumbling bachelor with his dog Psyche,
in his radio radio comedy, 'A Life of Bliss', is 89 years old today.

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

* was born in London in 1927 and was given up for adoption at the age of ten days and taken by the 'Cole family', a fact he found out about by accident some years later.

* left school to be a butcher's boy, but landed a part in a touring musical and chose acting as a career and appeared on the stage and then in the film, 'Cottage to Let', as a Second World War cockney evacuee, at the age of 14 in 1941.

* was taken in, along with his mother, during the London Blitz, by stage and film actor, Alistair Sim and his wife at the age of 15, who helped him lose his London cockney accent and who became his mentor, going on to make 11 films with him.

* appeared opposite Laurence Olivier in 'The Demi-Paradise' in 1943 and in his film version of 'Henry V' in 1944 then  had his career interrupted by service in the Royal Air Force in the Second World War in 1944 until 1947

* appeared with Alistair Sim in 'Scrooge' as the young Scrooge in 1951 and had his best known film role was as 'Flash Harry' (left)

at the age of 26 in 1953, starred with Petula Clark as awkward, absent-minded bachelor, David Bliss, in a new radio sitcom, 'A Life of Bliss' which ran for 118 episodes before transferring to tv in the early 1960s.

* starred as a 'wide boy' (left) in the St Trinian's films and in the comedy 'Too Many Crooks' in 1958 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-qraaPq-94 and to a degree reprised him in his most memorable tv role was as crooked used-car dealer, Arthur Daley in the Thames Television series, 'Minder' (right) from 1979 to '94 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=280-jLL1u78

* played Henry Root in the series 'Root Into Europe' in 1992.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=alhSY8hAhlw and from 1995-96 starred as businessman-councillor, Freddie Patterson, in 'An Independent Man', in which his wife Penny Morrell also appeared and as Brian Hook in the BBC Comedy, 'Dad' in the late 1990s.

* starred in the mid-1990s ITV comedy series 'My Good Friend', playing a mischievous pensioner, and in 2003 at the age of 76 appeared alongside (right) Timothy Spall and Annette Crosbie in the drama 'Bodily Harm.'

* in 2007, at the age of 80, appeared in the BBC drama 'A Class Apart', in which he played a grandfather who encourages his impoverished daughter to keep her son on the straight and narrow by means of a public school bursary.

* plays a character called Cyril and starts filming in a low budget horror film this summer, 'Road Rage', due to be released in 2015.

So it's "thanks George", for helping to keep us entertained from 1943 - 2014 and here's to the next seventy years !

1 comment:

  1. George is actually an incredible 89 today, my favourite actor of all time