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Monday, December 29, 2003

R.I.P. Alan Bates and Bob Monkhouse

To lose two such giants of the film and entertainment world in the space of a few days is very sad. I grew up watching Bob Monkhouse on the Golden Shot but as well as being an accomplished comedian and gameshow host he also had a career in films and was an authority on the cinema. He appeared in "Carry on Sergeant", "Dentist on the Job" and "Dentist in the Chair" and was also the voice of the Swinging Star Compere in the 1966 film "Thunderbirds are GO". He was also a longtime supporter of the Conservative Party. One quote of his I found on the web is "Growing old is compulsory - growing up is optional." Sir Alan Bates was also a star of a different class to others. I remember him in "Women in Love" with Oliver Reed, Glenda Jackson and Jennie Linden. I first saw that film at University where I was studying the book as part of my degree and it had a huge impression on me. His role in "Look back in Anger" made him a star, and launched a lifetime performing in works written by great modern playwrights -- Pinter, Gray, Storey, Bennett, Shaffer, Stoppard (as well as Chekhov, Ibsen, Strindberg, Shakespeare). His contribution to cinema was equally immense with roles in Laurence Olivier's adaptation of Chekhov's `The Three Sisters' and arguably his best film `A Day in the Death of Joe Egg' adding to a repetoire that included "The Entertainer", `Zorba the Greek' and `Georgy Girl' as well as `Whistle Down the Wind' and `A Kind of Loving'.

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