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A farewell to two notables

At our stage of life – it comes with the territory – brushes with mortality in one form or another attend Rusters all too often but it is fitting that today we salute two Brits whose deaths were announced on Thursday.

DAME DIANA RIGG

Diana Rigg will remain an iconic figure in British theatre and entertainment life for as long as Rusters endure.

Firstly, she was a damned fine actress who could deploy her talents right across the spectrum.

In a sense, her “arrival” in British consciousness with the Emma Peel role in The Avengers fittingly set the tone for her lasting reputation.

She replaced another female icon of the time (Honor Blackman) in the role as the sidekick of Patrick Macnee’s character (Steed) but in her own, singular, fashion.

Whereas Blackman vamped it up, purring her lines as if attempting to emulate Eartha Kitt, Rigg did it her own way – being somehow both ‘warmer’ towards her boss than her predecessor and yet always somehow suggesting that, if anything beyond vague flirting ever occurred between them, she’d devour Steed before breakfast and then demand something more substantial for lunch.

And thus continued Rigg’s career.

Despite later international success as James Bond’s wife (briefly), she steadfastly ploughed her own furrow – taking roles that interested or challenged her rather than those potentially less demanding but infinitely more rewarding in monetary terms – and always with a detached but ballsy “take me or leave me” attitude leavened with utterings of acute insight, self-deprecation and humour.

One to remember with both affection and respect.

Here’s a link to an American appreciation of her life and times by Anita Gates as appears today upon the website of the – NEW YORK TIMES

ALAN MINTER

Minter belonged to a much-loved group of British boxing legends, viz. those who – whilst not perhaps quite gifted with world class talent – worked hard, always gave of their best in the ring, never let anyone down whilst remaining as much a “man in the street” as the next man on the pavement.

In mentioning that I immediately think of the likes of similar yeomen as Chris Finnegan, Henry Cooper, Freddie Mills, Alan Rudkin, Dave “Boy” Green and Tony Sibson.

The other big feature of Minter’s appeal was that he hailed from Crawley.

Not a great deal has ever done that, but between 1972 and 1981, he certainly put the town on the map.

I shall not proceed to review his professional career further here.

Instead I shall leave it to Ian Probert, a contributor to Boxing News online, who interviewed the great man three decades and more after his career finished – see here – BOXING NEWS

 

 

About Miles Piper

After university, Miles Piper began his career on a local newspaper in Wolverhampton and has since worked for a number of national newspapers and magazines. He has also worked as a guest presenter on Classic FM. He was a founder-member of the National Rust board. More Posts