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.

Saturday, 11 July 2015

RIP, continued

Omar Sharif, (1932-2015), aged 83, a year or so after his great chum Peter O'Toole. Omar, last of the matinee idols?  was of course a leading Egyptian actor (GOHA) before David Lean cast him as Prince Ali in LAWRENCE OF ARABIA where he had that famous introduction to international audiences as he rode out of the desert. DR ZHIVAGO sealed the deal, and soon he was serenading Barbra Streisand in FUNNY GIRL (and he also pops up to less effect in FUNNY LADY). Other roles included THE YELLOW ROLLS ROYCE with Ingrid Bergman, MORE THAN A MIRACLE with Sophia Loren, Lumet's imitation-Antonioni misfire THE APPOINTMENT with Anouk Aimee in '69, THE FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE, GENGHIS KHAN (a favourite of mine) with Franoise Dorleac, MAYERLING with her sister Catherine Deneuve; THE LOST VALLEY, JUGGERNAUT. There were duds too of course: BLOODLINE, did anyone see CHE! at the time, 1969? - I didn't want to see it then and have never had the chance to since but I probably have not missed much - it might be a great lost Trash Classic. His later films were of variable quality, putting it kindly, and he did lots of television - but his celebrity endured. I particularly liked HAREM. Omar later became famous all over again for his romances, gambling and card playing. He passed me in the street once in Charing Cross Road. 

Patrick Macnee, (1922-2015), aged 93. Another great veteran (like his friend the recently departed Christopher Lee, also 93). A confession: I have never seen THE AVENGERS as I didn't begin watching television until the late Sixties, but Macnee was iconic as John Steed opposite all those ladies: Cathy Gale, Emma Peel, Tara King, Purdey ... He later moved to America and had a long career in television. One fascinating fact about his fascinating life is that he was reared by his lesbian mother and her female partner ...

Roger Rees, (1944-2015), aged 71. Welsh actor who was principally a man of the theatre, spending years with the Royal Shakespeare Company, but later had a lot of television (THE WEST WING) and cinema credits. He made his name with the RSC's famous production of THE ADVENTURES OF NICHOLAS NICKELBY, a stage marathon that was a huge success in London and New York, earning him Olivier and Tony awards. 

Andy Griffith, (1926-2015), aged 86. We know Andy from his role as Lonesome Rhodes in Kazan's 1957 drama A FACE IN THE CROWD (which also introduced the young Lee Remick). Andy of course had a long career in television with his ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW and so much more, which never aired here.

Laura Antonelli, (1941-2015), aged 73. Italian actress who had lots of successes in the 1970s. I know her mainly from Visconti's L'INNOCENTE in 1976 where she is ravishing in those period outfits and the perfect centre of Visconti's drama - see review of it at the "Popular Posts" sidebar, right.. She was also effective in Bolognini's grimy funny GRAN BOLLITO.


  1. So sad to lose so many wonderful performers all at once.

    Patrick Macnee lead a full, seemingly quite happy and long life so it wasn't much of a surprise.

    I knew Omar had been ailing, I had read a few items about his supposed drunkenness and confused state which had a very Rita Hayworth vibe before her Alzheimer's diagnosis prior to his own being announced. Seems his heart attack was unexpected but better than he continue to just waste away.

    The real shocker was Roger Rees, I hadn't heard he was ill-such an engaging presence.

    I completely missed Laura Antonelli's passing, I've only seen a few of her films but what a knockout she was.

  2. Indeed. Roger Rees was happily 'out' and married, survived by his husband.

  3. Andy Griffith died again??? (He previously passed away in 2012.)

    1. Ouch! How come I saw it was 2015 .... ?