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.

Friday, 8 December 2017

RIP, continued.

Anthony Harvey (1930-2917), aged 87. Harvey directed one of our perennial favourites THE LION IN WINTER in 1968, I remember seeing it at the old Odeon Haymarkt in London, where the sight of Queen Eleanor arriving at Chinon by boat was terrific on the large screen. Katharine Hepburn and Peter O'Toole of course had huge success here, with another Oscar for Kate, and it also featured that rising talent Anthony Hopkins, Timothy Dalton, John Castle and Jane Merrow (whom I had met a few years previously). John Barry's faux-medieval score and the authentic settings were major pluses too. We will be seeing it again this christmas. It proved to be Harvey's biggest hit, though he worked with Hepburn twice more, and other director credits included THERE MY BE GIANTS and DUTCHMAN. He had also been editor on such films as Kubrick's LOLITA, and DR STRANGELOVE, THE WHISPERERS, THE MILLIONAIRESS, THE L-SHAPED ROOM and THE SPY WHO CAME IN FROM THE COLD plus THE ANGRY SILENCE and I'M ALRIGHT JACK
Below: Harvey with Hepburn and Robert Helpmann. 
Shashi Kapoor (1938-2017) aged 79. One of Bollywood's most recognisable, photogenic stars throughout the 60s and 70s.  His breakthrough role was in the 1963 Merchant-Ivory film THE HOUSEHOLDER, and then in their SHAKESPEARE WALLAHBOMBAY TALKIE and HEAT AND DUST. Other international films include PRETTY POLLY in 1969 and SAMMY AND ROSIE GET LAID in 1987, as well as his many Indian films in the booming Bollywood film industry. He was married to Jennifer Kendal, sister of Felicity, whose parents toured India with their Shakespeare productions.

Christine Keeler (1942-2017) aged 75. English model and showgirl, at the heart of the Profumo scandal in 1963 (I was 17 at the time and remember reading avidly about it.  The story is too well known to rehash here, but she was involved with the Minister for Defence John Profumo,  as well as  Soviet spy (at the  height of the Cold War) as well as society osteopath Stephen Ward. Profumo lied about his involvement with her in the House of Commons and discredited the Macmillan government. Her later life was dogged by the scandal. It was a high price to pay for being a symbol of the Swinging Sixties. 

Karin Dor (1938-2017) age 79. Another of the Eorobabes who departed this year, Karin had a substantial career in European films. I know her best from Hitchcock's TOPAZ in 1969, where she is stunning as the Cuban who is helping the Americans
. Hitch gives her a perfect death scene as she is shot with that purple dress billowing out around her as she falls.  She was also an early Bond girl in YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE in '67. 
Suzanna Leigh (1945-2017), aged 72. Another of those decorative British blondes popular in the mis-60s: she was the posh one in THE PLEASURE GIRLS (1965) and co-starred with Elvis in PAADISE HAWAIIAN STYLE, and in BOEING, BOEING in '66 with Tony Curtis and Jerry Lewis - we did not feel the need to see that. Soon it was stinkers like THE DEADLY BEES, THE LOST CONTINENT, LUST FOR A VAMPIRE and various tv series. 

Keith Chegwin (1957-2017) aged 60. Another British TV stalwart 'Cheggers' worked mainly in childens' television and morning shows, and seemed unfailingly popular. 


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