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Acting tales

Yesterday I had a lunch with a good pal and conversation turned to actors and acting. My friend once shared a flat long ago with Alan Dobie and is still good friends with David Warner. These may not not be household names but in their day were highly respected, successful actors of stage and screen. I mentioned a hilarious evening I attended with another Ruster when Donald Sinden in his fruity voice regaled us with stories of himself and Kenny More. One was that they accepted hospitality from BOAC in the belief they were plugging into  their largesse for ticketing etc but it turned out to a be an amateur theatrical put on in Hounslow by the apron staff. This developed into a conversation along the theme that actors of that generation had much more fun. They did not make the same money as a successful one would these days but they enjoyed life with more gusto.

Another feature my friend stressed was the modesty of the leading actors. A modern actor always seem to be promoting himself/herself by banging some drum on equality rights, politics or whatever but my friend said Albert Finney refused a knighthood six times as he was the son of a Salford bookie and a knighthood did not sit well with him. Sir Tom Courtenay he knew and was a man of enormous humility. He said that these actors loved to do gags and japes. Hugh Griffith used to call home to hear his dogs. One minor actor in the cast got a key to his flat and when the post-play call was made Hugh Griffith was startled to hear it answered with “woof,woof.” Peggy Ashcroft was a keen cricket fan and liked to be in touch with the test score.  This was communicated in in one Shakespeare play by a courtier in one tragedy saying “My lady, the war does not go well but augurs badly, many have fallen…

My favourite such story from my friend related to Richard Harris. The dying film star, who had made a fortune in property, treated the Savoy a as hospice. He was once borne out in a stretcher past some American guests. “Don’t order the fish” he said.

About Robert Tickler

A man of financial substance, Robert has a wide range of interests and opinions to match. More Posts