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8 items from 2011


George Baker obituary

9 October 2011 4:05 PM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

Versatile actor and writer best known as Wexford in the TV detective stories

Of all the television detectives of recent years, George Baker's Inspector Wexford, with his mature West Country burr, slight air of fallibility and occasional stubbornness, was the one who seemed to spring from real life rather than an author's fancy. Sometimes ponderous, sometimes wrong, always homely, Baker's Wexford had his affable ex-constable's feet firmly on the ground. The character had a solid, believable family life. The actor, also a family man, had a hand in some of the adaptations that went under the title of the Ruth Rendell Mysteries. Whatever the combination of factors, it gave Baker, who has died aged 80 of pneumonia, his greatest success.

Not that fame was unfamiliar to the actor, whose career had got off to such a promising start back in the 1950s. The British cinema spotted his handsome features almost »

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George Baker obituary

9 October 2011 4:05 PM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Versatile actor and writer best known as Wexford in the TV detective stories

Of all the television detectives of recent years, George Baker's Inspector Wexford, with his mature West Country burr, slight air of fallibility and occasional stubbornness, was the one who seemed to spring from real life rather than an author's fancy. Sometimes ponderous, sometimes wrong, always homely, Baker's Wexford had his affable ex-constable's feet firmly on the ground. The character had a solid, believable family life. The actor, also a family man, had a hand in some of the adaptations that went under the title of the Ruth Rendell Mysteries. Whatever the combination of factors, it gave Baker, who has died aged 80 of pneumonia, his greatest success.

Not that fame was unfamiliar to the actor, whose career had got off to such a promising start back in the 1950s. The British cinema spotted his handsome features almost »

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British Actor Baker Dies

8 October 2011 7:16 AM, PDT | WENN | See recent WENN news »

British actor George Baker has died of pneumonia. He was 80.

The star, who also recently suffered a stroke, passed away on Friday.

Baker made his name in 1955 war film The Dam Busters and went on to star in The Ship That Died of Shame with Richard Attenborough.

He was courted by Ian Fleming to play superspy James Bond but was unable to take on the role due to contractual obligations.

Baker is most well known for playing Tiberius in a 1970s BBC adaptation of I, Claudius, before landing the lead role of Detective Inspector Wexford in popular U.K. series The Ruth Rendell Mysteries in 1987.

Baker met his late wife Louie Ramsay on the show, which ran until 2000. Ramsay died earlier this year.

The star's daughter Ellie, one of his five children, tells the BBC, "He absolutely loved Wexford and he loved being Wexford... and he loved the whole thing. It was a joy to him." »

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George Baker, best known for playing Inspector Wexford, dies aged 80

7 October 2011 5:51 PM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

The actor, who also appeared in The Dam Busters, The Spy Who Loved Me and I, Claudius, succumbed to pneumonia

Actor George Baker, who played Chief Inspector Wexford in television series The Ruth Rendell Mysteries, has died at the age of 80.

The star, from West Lavington, Wiltshire, died of pneumonia following a recent stroke, his daughter Ellie Baker said.

Speaking of her father, shesaid: "He absolutely loved Wexford and he loved being Wexford ... he loved the whole thing. It was a joy to him."

Over a career spanning six decades, the versatile actor starred in countless TV shows including Minder, Bergerac, I, Claudius and more recently New Tricks and Spooks.

He also appeared in around 30 films including The Dam Busters, The Spy Who Loved Me, The Ship That Died of Shame and The 39 Steps. He also formed his own theatre company.

But it is his role as Wexford in the »

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George Baker, best known for playing Inspector Wexford, dies aged 80

7 October 2011 5:51 PM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

The actor, who also appeared in The Dam Busters, The Spy Who Loved Me and I, Claudius, succumbed to pneumonia

Actor George Baker, who played Chief Inspector Wexford in television series The Ruth Rendell Mysteries, has died at the age of 80.

The star, from West Lavington, Wiltshire, died of pneumonia following a recent stroke, his daughter Ellie Baker said.

Speaking of her father, shesaid: "He absolutely loved Wexford and he loved being Wexford ... he loved the whole thing. It was a joy to him."

Over a career spanning six decades, the versatile actor starred in countless TV shows including Minder, Bergerac, I, Claudius and more recently New Tricks and Spooks.

He also appeared in around 30 films including The Dam Busters, The Spy Who Loved Me, The Ship That Died of Shame and The 39 Steps. He also formed his own theatre company.

But it is his role as Wexford in the »

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Edward Hardwicke obituary

18 May 2011 4:06 PM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

Actor best known as a valiant Dr Watson in Granada's Sherlock Holmes series

For eight years from 1986, Edward Hardwicke, who has died aged 78, was the face of Dr Watson on television, proving a valiant and reliable foil to the dashing, neurasthenic Holmes of Jeremy Brett in the Granada series The Return of Sherlock Holmes, followed by the Casebook and the Memoirs, as well as stand-alone versions of The Sign of Four (1987) and The Hound of the Baskervilles (1988). The role was a perfect fit for an actor who had played important supporting roles for a similar length of time in Laurence Olivier's National theatre company at the Old Vic, but it also demonstrated his lightness of touch as well as his sturdiness.

His Watson was not an amiable old pudding-faced duffer in the style of Nigel Bruce in the series of films and radio series opposite Basil Rathbone in the 1940s; instead, »

- Michael Coveney

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Louie Ramsay obituary

15 March 2011 1:31 PM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

Actor known for her role as Dora, the wife of Inspector Wexford in the popular TV series

Louie Ramsay, who has died aged 81, was a dynamic musical comedy actor who became a dramatic linchpin of Laurence Olivier's National Theatre Company at the Old Vic and then found wider fame as Dora Wexford, the wife of Inspector Wexford, in The Ruth Rendell Mysteries, starring George Baker, who became Louie's second husband.

She was noted for her warmth, elegance and sense of humour, describing herself as a small woman with a big voice – the loudest in the chorus, said Mary Martin, whom she understudied as Nellie Forbush in the West End premiere of South Pacific. She also convinced Rendell that she should make her role in Wexford less passive: in one of the 23 episodes, screened between 1987 and 2000, Dora became the target of environmental terrorists and was taken hostage.

Louie was born in Molteno, »

- Michael Coveney

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John Burgess obituary

2 January 2011 4:00 PM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Character actor who was an ensemble player to the core

John Burgess, who has died of pancreatic cancer aged 77, was a versatile and highly intelligent character actor who appeared in several productions at the National Theatre in London. He joined the National in 2000 for Romeo and Juliet, directed by Tim Supple, and appeared in Remembrance of Things Past, co-adapted by Harold Pinter, with whom John enjoyed a friendship. He also performed in Trevor Nunn's The Relapse (2001) and The Alchemist (2006), but was injured out early in the run.

It was at the National that John and I collaborated joyously. I had much enjoyed working with this direct, drily humorous man back in 1978, when he was in my abandoned RSC Aldwych project Ice Cream (not to be confused with Caryl Churchill's later piece of the same name). So when Nick Hytner invited me to create a play for the National's »

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2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010

8 items from 2011


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