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.

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

RIP, continued

Charles Kennedy (1959-2015) - we are genuinely saddened to hear of the sudden death at the far too young age of 55 of Scottish politician Charles Kennedy, the former Liberal Democrat leader, who was that rare thing in politics: a decent man, with wide-ranging interests. He only left politics in the recent British election, and had a young family. He also came clean about problems with alcohol, and was widely respected across the whole British political spectrum. RIP indeed. Very moving tributes in today's papers. 
For once Nick Clegg got it right: "Charles devoted his life to public service, yet he had an unusual gift for speaking about politics with humour and humility which touched people well beyond the world of politics," he said."He was one of the most gentle and unflappable politicians I have ever known, yet he was immensely courageous too not least when he spoke for the country against the invasion of Iraq."

Julie Harris (1921-2015), aged 94. Not the American actress (who died in 2013), Julie Harris was a British Academy Award-winning costume designer who outfitted James Bond and the Beatles. Ms. Harris played a major role in capturing the look of “Swinging London” on film in the 1960s. She dressed the Beatles for both A HARD DAY'S NIGHT and HELP! (She later said, “I must be one of the few people who can claim they have seen John, Paul, George and Ringo naked.”) 
She won an Oscar for DARLING the style-setting 1965 film about London models and media types starring Dirk Bogarde and Julie Christie, and an award from Bafta, the British film academy, for the 1966 Michael Caine comedy THE WRONG BOX. She once said of Ms. Christie: “She badgered me to make the skirts shorter. And she was right.” Ms. Harris worked on the James Bond spoof CASINO ROYALE in 1967 and created costumes for Roger Moore’s first outing as 007 LIVE AND LET DIE in 1973.

Anne Meara (1929-2015) aged 85. Popular American actress (and mother of Ben Stiller), she and husband Jerry Stiller were a comedy act, Films included LOVERS AND OTHER STRANGERS, FAME, BOYS FROM BRAZIL, THE OUT OF TOWNERS and NASTY HABITS, and lots of TV incuding RHODA

Jim Bailey, (1938-2015) aged 77, entertainer and one of the first great female impersonators, specialising in perfect recreations of Judy Garland, Barbra Streisand, Peggy Lee and others including Phyllis Diller. Charles Pierce was the great Bette Davis impersonator, but Bailey was terrific as well - I saw his show in London sometime in the late Seventies or early Eighties. He was back in London in 2009 - Susie Boyt from The Times wrote "There is nothing camp or stagey about his act--it can scarcely even be described as an act, for Bailey inhabits Garland's persona to such an extent that well, there she is. It is a supreme illusion, a sort of perfect madness."

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