This past year has seen people the likes of actor Sir Roger Moore leave us. Sir Roger will always be remembered for bringing a lighter touch to the role of James Bond. Although dated today, at the time, his version of Mr Bond was a revelation. However, such is the modesty of the man that he was quoted as saying that for the role of Bond he just had to, “look at the lines, say them, and don’t bump into the furniture.” We also loved him in “The Saint” and “The Persuaders” with Tony Curtis.
Bafta-award winning actor Sir John Hurt will be remembered by many for Caligula in “I, Claudius”, John Merrick in “The Elephant Man” and Quentin Crisp in “The Naked Civil Servant”. However for me he will always be remembered for the role of Kane in “Alien”, the first person to die at the hands of the alien parasite when, during a meal, he starts to convulse violently. While he lies writhing and screaming on the table, the crew tries to help and stabilize him, but his chest suddenly bursts, and a small, snake-like alien creature erupts through his rib cage. It silently observes its surroundings then scurries away quickly, leaving the crew stunned and horrified. So begins their nightmare.
Actress Mary Tyler Moore, star of the 1970s US sitcom “The Mary Tyler Moore Show”, which was named by Time Magazine as one of iconic programmes that “changed television”.
Actor Robert Hardy, the man with a British bulldog manner, he played Siegfried Farnon in “All Creatures Great and Small” and portrayed Sir Winston Churchill on several occasions.
Bafta-winning actor Tim Piggot-Smith, best known for his role in the 1984 TV series “The Jewel in the Crown”.
Batman actor Adam West, star of the original 1960s hit TV series “Batman” along with Burt Ward, who played his sidekick Robin.
Actor Martin Landau, best known for roles in the TV series “Mission: Impossible” and “Space: 1999” along with 1960s blockbusters like Cleopatra.
Actress Erin Moran who was best known for playing Joanie Cunningham in 1970s US sitcom “Happy Days”.
Actor Bill Paxton, who will probably be best remembered for his roles in the Hollywood movies “The Terminator”, “Apollo 13”, “True Lies”, “Titanic”, and “Twister”. For us we will always remember him in the movie “Aliens”, where he just about stole all the best lines, “Stop your grinnin’ and drop your linen!”, “How do I get out of this chickenshit outfit?”, “Whoopee-fuckin’-do.” and “Hey, maybe you haven’t been keeping up on current events, but we just got our asses kicked, pal!”
Film critic Barry Norman.
Actor Gorden Kaye, best known for playing cafe owner Rene Artois in the sitcom “’Allo ’Allo!”
Actor Hywel Bennett, known for his role in ITV’s sitcom “Shelley”.
Actor Peter Sallis, best known as the voice of Wallace in “Wallace and Gromit” and as stalwart Norman “Cleggy” Clegg in the BBC’s gentle sitcom “Last of the Summer Wine”.
Also actress Jane Freeman who played Ivy, the formidable cafe owner, also in the “Last of the Summer Wine”.
An actor from our childhood, Geoffrey Bayldon, who played the lead role in the 1970s TV series “Catweazle”, and the Crowman in “Worzel Gummidge” at the end of the decade.
Rodney Bewes an actor who found fame as the aspirational Bob in the BBC sitcoms “The Likely Lads” and “Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads?”
Creator of our beloved Paddington Bear, author Michael Bond.
Musician Tom Petty, who fronted Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers and co-founded the Traveling Wilburys.
Founder of the international adult magazine Playboy; Hugh Hefner who said; “I’ve never thought of Playboy quite frankly as a sex magazine. I always thought of it as a lifestyle magazine in which sex was one important ingredient.”
There was also TV presenter Sir Bruce Forsyth, actor Tony Booth, actor Keith Barron, Kids TV presenter Keith Chegwin, comedian Sean Hughes, longest serving “Blue Peter” presenter John Noakes, Play School and Play Away presenter Brian Cant, Christine Keeler the 1960s model who was embroiled in the Profumo affair, former England manager Graham Taylor, former Liverpool FC captain and coach Ronnie Moran, country music stars Glen Campbell and Don Williams, rock musicians Malcolm Young of AC/DC, Gregg Allman of The Allman Brothers Band, John Geils Jr of the J Geils Band, singer David Cassidy, old-time rock ‘n’ rollers Fats Domino and Chuck Berry.
There are also a few people we probably will not miss that much, including 1960s Moors Murderer Ian Brady, who tortured and killed five children with Myra Hindley in crimes that shocked the nation. Publicist Max Clifford, jailed for historical sex offences and Charles Manson, the notorious cult leader who directed his followers to commit a string of brutal murders, and who became a symbol of the dark side of 1960s counterculture.
Most of these people are probably will be in a much better place and we thank them for the memories they have left behind them which I think will go on to outlast us all.