Banner photo of Larry Eugene Meredith, Ronald Tipton and Patrick Flynn, 2017.

The good times are memories
In the drinking of elder men...

-- Larry E.
Time II

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Third and Final Answers to Jolly Old BritCon Quiz

Okay, here is the reveal of the remaining 11 actors, those on the top of the original post.

All those in the quiz appeared in the BritComs, "Keeping Up Appearances" and "Are You Being Served?"

here we go:

Harold Bennett began his show business career touring as circus clown through America. After serving as a courier in World War One he became an actor and later worked as a stage manager in London’s Tower Theatre (no longer existing). He left show business to become an architect, but after retirement he returned to the boards so to speak. From 1969 through 1977 he was in the BritCom “Dad’s Army.  He joined “Are You being Served?” at its inception in 1972 and played the doddering cheapskate owner of Grace brother, the Young Mr. Grace. He left the shoe in 1981 due to ill health and died shortly thereafter on September 15, two days before turning 82 on September 17. He had been born in 1899. His last appearance in “Are You Being Served?” was the Christmas episode in December 1981, aired three months after his death. He died of a heart attack – must have been a pretty girl in a low-cut blouse passed by.

Arthur Leslie Norman English replaced Larry Martyn as the maintenance man in the 1976 season and remained until the end of that show’s run in 1985.  He had gained earlier fame playing a stereotypical English character type called a “spiv”, a kind of slick, black market dealing petty criminal. I guess it would be something like the characters trying to sell you a phony Rolex watch on street corners in America. English had a distinct Aldershot accent and he would tell shaggy dog stories in an ever more rapid manner. You can see some of these characteristics in his portrayal of Mr. Beverley Harry Harmon. Born in 1919, he died from emphysema in 1995 at age 75.

Charmian May only appeared a couple of times in “Keeping Up Appearances”, but she was very memorable as Mrs. Councillor  Nugent. She had a thirty year career and played varied roles in a number of shows, including “The Good Life” (“Good Neighbors” in America), “You’re Only Young Twice” and as Mrs. Darcy in “Bridget Jones’s Diary”.  Despite seeming to be quite an old lady as  Mrs. Councillor Nugent, she was only in her mid-fifties. She was born in 1937 and died in 2002 aged 65.

Like Michael the Milkman, the Bucket’s Milkman always dreaded deliveries and tried to sneak up to the doorstep unobserved. He usually failed and then had to deal with the unreasonable demands of Hyacinth. The character was played by Robert Rawles.  I have been unable to find much about this actor, including his age.

Marion Barron appeared as a model in cheesecake photos. She appeared over the course of “Keeping Up Appearances” as the sometimes-jealous wife of The Vicar. She also was in another series called “Screen Two”. She is married with two children and doesn’t seem to have continued her acting career after the 1990s. I found she was born in Nigeria and grew up in Scotland, but was not able to find her birth year.

David Griffin was born in July 1943 and appeared in a number of popular series including “Dixon of Dock Green”, “’Allo, ‘Allo”, “Doctor Who” and “Ripping Yarns”. He came to fame playing Squadron Leader Clive Dempster in “Hi-de-Hi!” (1984-1988) and the skitterish next door neighbor of Hyacinth Bucket, Emmett Hawksworth, in “Keeping Up Appearances. After the end of “Keeping Up Appearances” he toured the world in a stage play, “The Good Sex Guide”. Over the course of playing Emmett Hawksworth, David seemed to grow thinner and gaunter each season, to the point we though he was seriously ill. However, this must not have been the case because he is still actively acting at age 69.

In “Keeping Up Appearances”, Hyacinth Bucket’s semi-senile “daddy” was played byGeorge Webb. Webb was born in 1911, but I haven’t found much about his life or acting career beyond “Keeping Up Appearances”. He did play the role of a Headmaster in one of the “Mr. Bean” episodes. He died of natural causes in 1998 at the age of 87.

Geoffrey Hughes played the very likable, if lazy oaf Onslow, husband to Hyacinth’s sister Daisy. He began acting in 1966 and continued until prostate cancer forced his retirement in 2010. He had a long and successful career, having originally gained fame playing another likable chap, Eddie Yates, a binman (trash man) on the British soaper “Coronation Street” from 1974 through 1983, then again in 1987. Three years after that he became Onslow on “Keeping Up Appearances”. After “Keeping Up Appearances” finished in 1995 he went on to another popular role as Twiggy in “The Royal Family” from 1998-2000. From 2001 through 2005 he played a lovable conman and rogue in “Heartbeat”, a police drama (2001-2005). He was diagnosed with prostate cancer while playing Onslow and thought it had been cured, but in 2010 he experienced extreme back pains during a charity program, so severe her couldn’t even stand up and found the prostate cancer had returned. He died two years later in July 2012 at the age of 68.

Mary Millar (born Mary Wetton) replaced Shirley Shelfox as Rose, Hyacinth Bucket’s man hungry and sexy-if-aging sister on “Keeping Up Appearances”. Rose was constantly latching on the the Vicar, to the chagrin of the Vicar’s wife or Emmett, the divorced next door neighbor of the Buckets. Born in 1936, her first role was in “Lock Up Your Daughters” in 1962 when she was 26. She played the title role in a musical called “Ann Veronica” in 1969. Her greatest fame came with “keeping Up Appearances” and she became very popular as Rose. She was in the original cast of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “the Phantom of the Opera” as Madame Giry and she was the original Mrs. Potts in the London cast of “The Beauty and the Beast”. In 1998 she died of ovarian cancer. She was 68.

Anna Dawson was born in 1937 and as an actress-singer appeared in a number of West End musicals. She co-starred in episodes of “Dixon of Dock Green” in the 1960s  and then on“The Benny Hill Show” during the 1980s. She appeared four times in “Keeping Up Appearances” as Hyacinth Bucket’s sister Violet, “the one with the Mercedes, sauna and room for a pony.” She retired from acting in 1995, when “Keeping Up Appearances” ended and remains living with her husband, John Boulter, in Bolton, Lancashire, England. She is 75 years old. (She is seen on the left with Benny Hill.)

Patricia Routledge was born in February 1929 as Katherine Patricia Routledge. She has had a long and distinguished career as an comedy character actress, winning a number of prestigious honors, including the Lawrence Olivier Award in 1988. Despite the running gag about her awful voice in “Keeping Up Appearance, she is actually a fine singer who has appeared in a number of musicals. She starred in “Keeping Up Appearances” as the over-bearing, never-listening, social climbing Hyacinth Bucket. Miss Routledge never married and has no children. She continues to perform at age 83.


Ron said...

Very interesting. Sad to know that so many had passed on. They all seemed like family to me. I always suspected Hyacinth was a lesbian, now I know for sure thanks to your post.

Anonymous said...

Ron, it doesn't say that Patricia Routledge is a lesbian. It simply states that she never married and had no children. That doesn't automatically mean lesbian. There are hetero women who opt not to marry or have/adopt children.

Damian Crudden said...

Anna Dawson and her husband retired to New Zealand sometime in the 1990s,I understand. She also appeared with Kenny Everett as Capt. Kremmen's buxom companion, Carla, in the early 80s.

Anonymous said...

There have been rumors of Patricia Routledge being lesbian, and apparently, from things I have read, rumored relationships/affairs with at least a couple of women. But perhaps ahe prefers to keep her personal life private, as some actors are intensely private, when it comes to their personal lives. But regardless of her sexual orientation, i still admire her work. We will never forget Hyacinth Bu-Kaaaaaay!