Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

More R.I.P.'s

Maureen Swanson, The Countess of Dudley (1932-2011). Maureen was a glamorous Rank Organisation starlet in the 50s - Dirk Bogarde's Spanish girlfriend in THE SPANISH GARDENER in 1956, and opposite Peter Finch in ROBBERY UNDER ARMS in '57. Other films included Huston's MOULIN ROUGE, A TOWN LIKE ALICE and KNIGHTS OF THE ROUND TABLE. She gave up show business on her marriage into the aristocracy in 1961.

Jonathan Cecil (1939-2011) could trace his ancestry back to Tudor times. Although rarely the star, he had more than four decades of constant employment in theatre, film and television. He excelled in Chekhov and Shakespeare, and four times played Sir Andrew Aguecheek in TWELFTH NIGHT. Other theatre successes include Peter Ustinov's HALFWAY UP THE TREE, Peter Barnes's THE RULING CLASS (in 1969), a new adaptation of Frank Wedekind's LULU (1971) and a revue, COWARDY CUSTARD (1972).

On film, Jonathan had a long and distinguished career that included appearances in Kubrick's BARRY LYNDON (1975), Mel Brooks's HISTORY OF THE WORLD PART ONE (1981), Fellini's AND THE SHIP SAILS ON (1983) and LITTLE DORRIT (1988). He starred opposite Peter Ustinov's Hercule Poirot in three television films, as Hastings, the Belgian detective's baffled foil. Jonathan was in constant demand whenever a comic toff or a bumbling cleric was called for on TV. He appeared in several PG Wodehouse adaptations and became a master of the audio book, recording more than 40 of Wodehouse's novels and stories. A Man of The Theatre indeed.

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