42 late theatre greats who we should stop and remember

In Awards, Features, Opinion, Photos by Terri PaddockLeave a Comment

Hollywood’s Robin Williams was amongst the late stars paid tribute to at the 2015 Oliviers on 12 April at London’s Royal Opera House The most moving moment for me every year at the Olivier Awards ceremony is the tribute sequence, during which the industry remembers colleagues who have passed away during the previous 12 months. This year’s tribute was a musical one, with Julian Ovenden singing (beautifully) “Smile and the World Smiles With You”, accompanied by choir and orchestra, as names and faces were projected on the screen behind him. It’s a roll call of so many greats, role models and legends. This year’s list included names that we all know and love, many of whom have been effusively lauded already, such as Richard Attenborough, Lauren Bacall, Lynda Bellingham, Bob Hoskins, Rik Mayall, Mickey Rooney, Donald Sinden, Elaine Stritch, Robin Williams and – especially poignant for Ovenden who, the night before the Oliviers, finished his West End run in the acclaimed Donmar revival of My Night With Reg – the seminal Aids play’s author Kevin Elyot. But also, I’m ashamed to admit, there are always names on the list that I’m not familiar with and, judging by dips in the respectful smatterings of applause, I’m not alone. In case there are some that you too don’t know or recall, I’ve included the full list below with links to their Wikipedia biographies or obituary. Please do feel free to post any other links, comments or memories you’d like to share. [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4jUiswL08w4] 1. Richard Attenborough – Director, actor, producer (29 Aug 1923-24 Aug 2014) 2. Lauren Bacall – Actor (16 Sep 1924-12 Aug 2014) Lynda Bellingham remembered at Oliviers 3. John Bardon – Actor (25 Aug 1939- 12 Sep 2014) 4. Lynda Bellingham – Actor (31 May 1948-19 Oct 2014) 5. Kan Bonfils – Actor (1972-5 Jan 2015) 6. Dora Bryan – Actor (7 Feb 1923-23 Jul 2014) 7. Patsy Byrne – Actor (13 Jul 1933-17 Jun 2014) 8. Jeffrey Cambell – Agent (6 Jul 1940-16 Dec 2014) 9. Warren Clarke – Actor (26 Apr 1947-12 Nov 2014) 10. Brian Clemens – Writer (30 Jul 1931-10 Jan 2015) 11. Pamela Cundell – Actor (15 Jan 1920-14 Feb 2015) Kevin Elyot remembered at Oliviers 12. Jeffery Dench – Actor (19 Apr 1928-27 Mar 2014) 13. Kevin Elyot – Playwright (18 Jul 1951-7 Jun 2014) 14. Lil’ Chris Hardman – Actor, singer (26 Aug 1990-23 Mar 2015) 15. Chris Hornby – Director (1970-19 Dec 2014) 16. Bob Hoskins – Actor (26 Oct 1942-29 Apr 2014) 17. Alan Howard – Actor (5 Aug 1937-14 Feb 2015) 18. Barrie Ingham – Actor (10 Feb 1932-23 Jan 2015) 19. Kenny Ireland – Actor, director (7 Aug 1945-31 Jul 2014) Sam Kelly remembered at Oliviers 20. Bernard Kay – Actor (23 Feb 1928-25 Dec 2014) 21. Sam Kelly – Actor (19 Dec 1943-14 Jun 2014) 22. Jeremy Lloyd – Writer (22 Jul 1930-23 Dec 2014) 23. Charles Marowitz – Critic, writer, director (26 Jan 1934-2 May 2014) 24. Francis Matthews – Actor (2 Sep 1927-14 Jun 2014) 25. Rik Mayall – Actor (7 Mar 1958-9 Jun 2014) 26. Geraldine McEwan – Actor (9 May 1932-30 Jan 2015) 27. Barbara Murray – Actor (27 Sep 1929-20 May 2014) Rik Mayall remembered at Oliviers 28. Mike Nichols – Director (6 Nov 1931-19 Nov 2014) 29. Lynsey de Paul – Singer, composer (11 Jun 1948-1 Oct 2014) 30. Derek Rencher – Dancer (6 Jun 1932-20 Dec 2014) 31. Mickey Rooney – Actor (23 Sep 1920-6 Apr 2014) 32. David Ryall – Actor (5 Jan 1935-25 Dec 2014) 33. Sir Donald Sinden – Actor (9 Oct 1923-12 Sep 2014) 34. Alvin Stardust – Singer, actor (27 Sep 1942-23 Oct 2014) 35. Gailene Stock – Dancer (28 Jan 1946-29 Apr 2014) 36. Elaine Stritch – Actor (2 Feb 1925-17 Jul 2014) Elaine Stritch remembered at Oliviers 37. David Watson – Agent (10 Mar 1940-5 Oct 2014) 38. Peter Whelan – Playwright (1931-3 Jul 2014) 39. Billie Whitelaw – Actor (6 Jun 1932-21 Dec 2014) 40. Jeffry Wickham – Actor (5 Aug 1933-17 Jun 2014) 41. Robin Williams – Actor (21 Jul 1951-11 Aug 2014) 42. Sandy Wilson – Composer, lyricist best known for The Boy Friend (19 May 1924-27 Aug 2014)
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Terri Paddock
Terri Paddock runs the Terri Paddock Group, which provides content and social media marketing services for theatre clients across channels including MyTheatreMates.com, StageFaves.com, Stage Talk and TerriPaddock.com. Previously,
Terri Paddock founded WhatsOnStage.com and the WhatsOnStage Awards, running the company and its events from 1996 to 2013. Terri is also the author of two novels, Come Clean and Beware the Dwarfs, and has previously written for the Evening Standard, Independent, The Times and other national publications. She is renowed for her 'legendary' post-show Q&As and also produces the annual Critics' Circle Theatre Awards and acts as a digital, content strategy and event consultant for theatre, producers and other clients. She tweets about theatre at @TerriPaddock.

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