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, 3 March 2016

RIP, continued

Tony Warren (1936-2016), aged 79. The creator of CORONATION STREET, the world's longest-running soap, which began in the UK in 1960 - Tony, then 24, wrote the first episodes, and featured strongly those great female characters who dominated the show: Ena Sharples, Elsie Tanner, Bet Lynch, Annie Walker, Hilda Ogden, Mavis and Rita, Gail and Audrey, Vera Duckworth, Ivy Tilsley, Raquel, Becky, Deirdre and all their hapless menfolk; Alec Gilroy! Norris! Fred the butcher! Roy and Hayley, Ken Barlow's and Kevin Webster's entanglements, the current crop like toxic Tracy, Carla, Sally, Mary, Anna, Izzy, Eileen continues the great tradition, and it has several gay and lesbian characters now too ...
It captured Northern life with all its grittiness and humour (unlike the endlessly depressing EASTENDERS or issue-driven BROOKSIDE). We (here in the UK) grew up watching CORRIE several times a week - and will continue doing so. RIP Tony, an out gay man who changed popular television. He scripted the show until 1968 and remained a consultant on the series; he also wrote several best-selling novels covering that Northern life he knew so well. Left: back to the early days with Ena, Martha and Minnie Caldwell ...

George Kennedy (1925-2016), aged 91. The burly character actor who became a staple of the '70s disaster films, like the AIRPORT films and EARTHQUAKE. A World War II veteran he soon became a standard Hollywood heavy, but with a wide range of parts including in COOL HAND LUKE in 1967 where he won Best Supporting Actor, also in FLIGHT OF THE PHOENIX, THE DIRTY DOZEN, the NAKED GUN films, CHARADE, DEATH ON THE NILE, THUNDERBOLT AND LIGHTFOOT, STRAIT-JACKET, HUSH HUSH SWEET CHARLOTTE and other assorted heavy roles among his 200 odd film and tv credits including all those western tv series. 

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