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  1. #26
    Amor de Cosmos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gangster Octopus View Post
    Gerard Hoffnung (34)
    That's very surprising. I've only ever heard — but not seen — him. From his voice I'd have guessed about sixty.

  2. #27
    Gangster Octopus's Avatar
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    Yes, he did speak with a certain gravitas, didn't he.

    And, to be fair, he wasn't actually an actor, but he was very funny.

  3. #28
    Jah Womble's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Various Artist View Post
    Closing credits I think you mean, i.e. the "You have been watching..."?

    I could swear that every single time we watched an episode of Dad's Army when I was growing up in the early '90s, my dad (who's very good at belabouring a point oblivious to how many times he's done so before) would almost literally perform this "roll call" of which you speak: as each member of the cast marched past during the credits, he'd go "He's dead. He's dead. He's dead.", as if making us newly aware. Since all of those concerned (Messrs Lowe, Le Mesurier, Laurie, Ridley, Beck etc) had been gone since about 1984 at the latest, he must have been firmly set in that groove for a fair number of years already. Since the only ones to escape this verbal scythe were Clive Dunn (who would live until 2012) and Ian Lavender (who is of course still going), he never had to actually change the litany for the thick end of 30 years.
    Remarkably, Frank Williams - who played the vicar, Timothy Farthing, in Dad's Army - is the only other original cast member still around: he's just 86, which surprises me given that he was playing what seemed like a much older man back in 1968. Was he seriously only in his late thirties?

    (His direct stooges have also passed on: Bill Pertwee - Mr Hodges, the ARP Warden - died just four years ago, while Edward Sinclair - Mr Yeatman, the verger - passed away as early as 1977.)

  4. #29
    Does Gary Olsen (42) count as a comedy actor?

  5. #30
    ursus arctos's Avatar
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    Graham Chapman died at 48

  6. #31

    I ought to report you to the Gnome Office
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  7. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by treibeis View Post
    Does Gary Olsen (42) count as a comedy actor?
    Given that he appeared in one of my favourite Paul Calf set-pieces, I'd say so:

    https://youtu.be/yPVMi9MxabM

  8. #33
    Amor de Cosmos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gangster Octopus View Post
    Yes, he did speak with a certain gravitas, didn't he.

    And, to be fair, he wasn't actually an actor, but he was very funny.
    Absolutely. The Bricklayer sketch alone would place him in the pantheon of comedy greats. It's interesting that the time of the comedy all-rounder has pretty much disappeared. People like Birdsall and Willie Rushton who could be funny with words, pictures, even music in Hoffnung's case, just don't seem to exist in an age of algorithms.

  9. #34
    Various Artist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jah Womble View Post
    Remarkably, Frank Williams - who played the vicar, Timothy Farthing, in Dad's Army - is the only other original cast member still around: he's just 86, which surprises me given that he was playing what seemed like a much older man back in 1968. Was he seriously only in his late thirties?
    Heh, yes this always gets me too – every time I see an episode now I boggle gently at the fact he was only about 40, and has outlived Teddy Sinclair (Mr Yeatman) by 40 years and counting. Rather like Clive Dunn he looked aged beyond his years, albeit in Williams' case perhaps due to his baldness, glasses and general air of 'baffled elderly clergyman' rather than Dunn's makeup and 'old man' performance. Neither of them really looked any older for decades after the programme ended; they just sort of grew into their faces.

  10. #35
    Satchmo Distel's Avatar
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    Ralph Bates, aged 51. Starred in Dear John after a career associated with horror films.

  11. #36
    Cal Alamein's Avatar
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    My comic hero as a kid was Curly Howard. He lived recklessly, suffered early strokes and died too young at 48.

  12. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by treibeis View Post
    Does Gary Olsen (42) count as a comedy actor?
    Why wouldn't he? He was in one of the most watched British sitcoms of the '90s.

  13. #38
    Satchmo Distel's Avatar
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  14. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by Various Artist View Post
    Heh, yes this always gets me too – every time I see an episode now I boggle gently at the fact he was only about 40, and has outlived Teddy Sinclair (Mr Yeatman) by 40 years and counting. Rather like Clive Dunn he looked aged beyond his years, albeit in Williams' case perhaps due to his baldness, glasses and general air of 'baffled elderly clergyman' rather than Dunn's makeup and 'old man' performance. Neither of them really looked any older for decades after the programme ended; they just sort of grew into their faces.
    I'm fairly sure the reverend Farthing wasn't meant to be as old as the rest of them, surely a late thirties vicar would be exempt from military service anyway

  15. #40
    Jah Womble's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Various Artist View Post
    Heh, yes this always gets me too – every time I see an episode now I boggle gently at the fact he was only about 40, and has outlived Teddy Sinclair (Mr Yeatman) by 40 years and counting. Rather like Clive Dunn he looked aged beyond his years, albeit in Williams' case perhaps due to his baldness, glasses and general air of 'baffled elderly clergyman' rather than Dunn's makeup and 'old man' performance. Neither of them really looked any older for decades after the programme ended; they just sort of grew into their faces.
    With Clive Dunn, it always jarred with me that there he was, singing Grandad, with the line 'now my days are gone' back in 1970 - and then went on to live for another forty-two years.

    (Not that I wished him dead, obviously.)

  16. #41
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    There's a danger of judging Dunn's age by today's standards. There were 51 year old grandads in January 1971, when Dunn turned 51 and the song hit #1. The average age of marriage was 21 and many 51 year old son would have been working since they were 15, eating shit food and never visiting the doctor.

    At the same time, Arthur Lowe was only 55, John Le Mesurier 58.

  17. #42

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    Charlotte Coleman, 33 (died 2001 of friggin' asthma, ffs)

    Best known for 4 Weddings and A Funeral, but I fondly recall her roles in Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit & the dark sitcom How Do You Want Me on Brit TV.

  18. #43
    Gerontophile's Avatar
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  19. #44
    Patrick Thistle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Satchmo Distel View Post
    There's a danger of judging Dunn's age by today's standards. There were 51 year old grandads in January 1971, .
    And indeed today in many non middle class areas

  20. #45
    Satchmo Distel's Avatar
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  21. #46
    Various Artist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by elguapo4 View Post
    I'm fairly sure the reverend Farthing wasn't meant to be as old as the rest of them, surely a late thirties vicar would be exempt from military service anyway
    Oh crikey, yes I wasn't suggesting he was meant to be an old man, but he did generally come across as properly 'middle-aged' for the reasons I mention above, as opposed to the actually pretty young man he was. It's only watching episodes now in the knowledge of how young he was at the time that I start to see it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Satchmo Distel View Post
    There's a danger of judging Dunn's age by today's standards. There were 51 year old grandads in January 1971, when Dunn turned 51 and the song hit #1. The average age of marriage was 21 and many 51 year old son would have been working since they were 15, eating shit food and never visiting the doctor.
    At the same time, Arthur Lowe was only 55, John Le Mesurier 58.
    True of course, although the key issue is that Clive Dunn was a specialist in playing 'aged up' characters, and did so for Grandad just as for Dad's Army. So Jah's (and many others', no doubt) disconnect over this is fair enough, since he was basically appearing as a man in his seventies or thereabouts before living another 40+ years in real life.

    Your last sentence is quite arresting, though – I'd have thought there was a bigger gap in age to Lowe and Le Mesurier than there was. Neither man enjoyed very good health though, I believe, which probably helps explain that.
    In the same vein, William Hartnell's first Doctor in Doctor Who is universally thought of as an 'elderly man', yet Hartnell was only 55 when he started playing him – the same age as Peter Capaldi when he took the part 50 years later. By extension, Hartnell was still only 58 when he was forced to quit the show due apparently to chronic ill-health, and last appeared in 1973's 10th-anniversary special "The Three Doctors" as an extremely frail 65-year-old.
    Here he is at 55:

    And here's 8th Doctor Paul McGann at 54 in the 50th anniversary mini-special "The Night of the Doctor", the handsome bastard:

  22. #47
    jwdd27's Avatar
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    Perhaps because of the genuine frailty of real "old" men at that time, there were a few comic actors who "aged up". David Jason was the not paticularly convincing old lag Blanko in Porridge, while Warren Mitchell hadn't reached 40 when he started playing Alf Garnett - 19 years younger than Dandy Nichols, and only 10 or so years older than his daughter Una Stubbs, and five years older than Scouse git Antony Booth.

  23. #48
    Jah Womble's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Satchmo Distel View Post
    There's a danger of judging Dunn's age by today's standards. There were 51 year old grandads in January 1971, when Dunn turned 51 and the song hit #1. The average age of marriage was 21 and many 51 year old son would have been working since they were 15, eating shit food and never visiting the doctor.
    Well, yes, it all seemed to happen when the year ended in '1'. I'd just turned nine when Grandad went to number one - Dunn was very definitely an old man by pretty much all of our perceptions. (I think it was some years before I processed the fact that he 'was' a younger man playing old.)

  24. #49
    3 Colours Red's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tracteurgarçon View Post
    Why wouldn't he? He was in one of the most watched British sitcoms of the '90s.
    And I'd argue one of the most underrated of all time. It had a subversiveness that might only have been surpassed by the likes of Ever Decreasing Circles and One Foot In The Grave.

  25. #50
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