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.

Thursday, 15 November 2012


Cornel Lucas (1920-2012). Just like Jack Cardiff was the great British lensman and pioneer of Technicolor and photographed those Powell & Pressburger classics like BLACK NARCISSUS, RED SHOES as well as PANDORA AND THE FLYING DUTCHMAN - his contemporary Cornel Lucas was the great stills photographer for that age of glamour at the Rank Organisation. 
He photographed all the main stars of the late 40s and 50s, including some great shots of Marlene Dietrich, Katharine Hepburn, Jean Simmons, the young Anouk Aimee, Dirk Bogarde, Diana Dors in that mink bikini in Venice (it was rabbit, actually), and the Rank starlet (and a favourite of mine) Belinda Lee, whom he married in 1955. Their marriage only lasted 3 years though, she was killed aged 26 in a car accident in 1961 - Cornel though lived to be 92. Such is the hand fate deals us ... Lucas though was one of the great stills photographers, up there with the likes of Eve Arnold or Bob Willoughby (see labels).
Below, his stills of Dors, Bogarde, Marlene, Katharine Hepburn, Belinda Lee, above left.


Joe Melia (1935-2012). Another stalwart of the British stage, television and screen. Best known as the photographer in the film of OH WHAT A LOVELY WAR, he was also in PRIVATES ON PARADE and was the mime killed by Rosella Falk in MODESTY BLAISE. Like Victor Spinetti, who also died this year, he was of Italian parentage, and was a fixture on the London stage (A DAY IN THE DEATH OF JOE EGG, Tony Richardson's THE THREEPENNY OPERA with Vanessa Redgrave), as well as films like FOUR IN THE MORNING, TOO MANY CROOKS.

Bill Tarmey (1941-2012) forever Jack Duckworth in the long runnging soap CORONATION STREET. As the gruff, henpecked husband of Vera Duckworth (Elizabeth Dawn) for more than a quarter of a century, Tarmey became half of one of the most famous couples on British television. As portrayed by Tarmey and Dawn, the bickering Duckworths inherited the mantle of Stan and Hilda Ogden as the Street’s most ramshackle couple: he the perpetual layabout, she the formidable, but ultimately forgiving, scold. Bill was also a singer, having emerged from the tough school of the northern clubs and cabaret circuit.  I once had a dance with his screen wife Vera when she was appearing in the clubs in London in the '80s. 

Clive Dunn (1920-2012), also 92, one of the last of the DAD'S ARMY regulars. He was Lance Corporal Jones and was supposed to be at least 70, but when in 1968 Dunn won the role, the actor was only 48. He also had a pop hit:  "Grandad", a ballad of such sickening sentimentality that it rocketed instantly to No 1.

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