8 items from 2014
Venice - If you liked "The Pirates! In An Adventure With Scientists!," the "Wallace & Gromit" films, anything by Monty Python or just funny, witty movies in general, make sure you catch Graham Annable and Anthony Stacchi's "The Boxtrolls." Based on the book "Here Be Monsters" by Alan Snow, I can't remember the last time I saw a family animation so visually rich, tightly scripted and charmingly performed which was also built on a sound and progressive message. It's unlikely to become a cultural juggernaut on the level of something like "Frozen," but I think it is as enjoyable. The set up has the magical feel of a traditional fairytale blended with the weirder sensibility of a revisionist fable along the lines of "Roald Dahl's Revolting Rhymes." In a city where fancy cheeses are prized by the upper classes as the epitome of fine living, the middle classes live in fear of The Boxtrolls, »
- Catherine Bray
Versatile stage and TV actor loved for her role as Nursie in Blackadder
Talented young actors who wanted a classical career, but lacked the physical delicacy required of ingénues, used to be warned that Shakespeare had written few roles suited to a blunt woman: they might play Maria the housekeeper in Twelfth Night, yokel Audrey in As You Like It, and the big threat the Nurse in Romeo and Juliet. But Patsy Byrne, who has died aged 80, viewed the advice more as a promise than a menace.
She played Audrey for the RSC in 1961-62, an RSC Maria in 1960 and 1966, and had a go at the Nurse in a long forgotten 1976 television film. And her most memorable role, as Nursie in Blackadder II (1986), was so closely modelled on the R&J Nurse that writers Ben Elton and Richard Curtis should have paid Will royalties.
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- Veronica Horwell
Nicola Davis, a devotee of the show, recalls receiving a charming letter from the actress
Its been a sad month for Blackadder fans. First there was the untimely death of Rik Mayall, forever immortalised as the dashing rake Lord Flashheart (Flash by name, flash by nature, Hurrah!), and now, the passing of Patsy Byrne who stole the show in Blackadder II as Bernard, the more-than-a-little-mad nurse of Elizabeth I.
Introduced to Blackadder at an early age, much to the horror of my mother who didnt consider it remotely appropriate for young ears, this anarchic comedy series has long loomed large in my life. My father, who soaks up witty lines like a sponge, brought us up quoting one-liners from the series, so that, even now, priceless bon mots from Queenie or Baldrick abound at family gatherings, while at university a well-chosen line from Prince Georges repertoire brought me into the »
- Nicola Davis
Patsy Byrne has died at the age of 80.
Metro reports that the veteran actress passed away on June 17 at Denville Hall, a retirement home for performers.
A post on the Blackadder Facebook page said: "Very saddened to hear that Blackadder has lost another amazing actor. Rip Patsy Byrne Aka Nursie Aka Bernard.
"You and Flashheart can flirt for an eternity now."
Born in Ashford, Kent, Byrne had an extensive career on British television and in the theatre.
She was most beloved for her role as Nursie on the popular 1980s comedy show Blackadder II.
Byrne is the second actor from the Blackadder II series to pass away this month.
Actor Rik Mayall, who played Flashheart on the show, recently died from an acute cardiac event.
Watch Byrne and Mayall in a clip »
Earlier this week, we reported the unfortunate news that beloved British comedian Rik Mayall passed away at the age of 56. While he was better known in the U.K., for roles in The Young Ones, Bottom and Blackadder II, he also developed a cult following on this side of the pond for playing the title role in the 1991 comedy Drop Dead Fred. Yahoo! Movies UK unearthed a 2011 interview with the comedian, where he revealed that he actually landed a role in a massive franchise that would have likely increased is fan base in the U.S., if he would have remained in the movie. The actor/comedian revealed that he landed the role of Peeves, a mischevious ghost, in 2002's Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, which he would have likely played throughout the eight-film franchise.
Take a look at what the late comedian had to say about how he »
British comedian Rik Mayall has passed away at the age of 56, which was confirmed by his management company Brunskill Management. The cause of death has not been released, although Brunskill reps said he passed away at his London home this morning, and they would issue a full statement later.
Rik Mayall emerged as a rising comic talent through the 1982 TV series The Comic Strip Presents..., where he performed alongside Jennifer Saunders, Dawn French, Robbie Coltrane and his longtime friend and collaborator Adrian Edmondson.
Rik Mayall and Adrian Edmondson went on to star in and create The Young Ones and Bottom, both of which gained notable cult followings and featured slapstick humor that often involved fires and blows to the head. His roles as the outlandish Lord Blackheart in Blackadder II and Alan B'Stard in The New Statesman throughout the 1980s and 1990s helped solidify his cult status among comedy fans. »
Feature Alex Westthorp 9 Apr 2014 - 07:00
Like their fellow Time Lord actors, William Hartnell and Jon Pertwee, Patrick Troughton and Tom Baker also shared certain genres of film. Both appeared, before and after their time as the Doctor, in horror movies and both worked on Ray Harryhausen Sinbad films.
Patrick George Troughton was born in Mill Hill, London on March 25th 1920. He made his film debut aged 28 in the 1948 B-Movie The Escape. Troughton's was a very minor role. Among the better known cast was William Hartnell, though even Hartnell's role was small and the two didn't share any scenes together. From the late Forties, Troughton found more success on the small screen, »
To celebrate, Digital Spy has compiled eight of Baker's greatest moments from both the small and silver screens - Happy Birthday, TB!
1. Tom breaks big with Nicholas and Alexandra
In the early '70s, Baker got his big break, taking on a role he was surely born to play - the mad monk Rasputin - in historical epic Nicholas and Alexandra. He was recommended for the part by Laurence Olivier, donchaknow.
2. "The definite article, you might say…"
"Well, here we go again..." In 1974, Tom Baker replaced Jon Pertwee as the star of Doctor Who and television history was made. Alright, so Tom's debut adventure 'Robot' is unlikely to lead any fan's top 10 list, but his commanding charisma had viewers hooked from the off. Jon who?
3. "Do I have the right?"
8 items from 2014
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