Thursday, February 26, 2009

THE HAT SQUAD: WENDY RICHARD

My friend Michael C. ordered me in no uncertain terms that I should pay tribute here to the memory of Wendy Richard, a British actress who lost her battle with breast cancer. I suppose while he was a student over in London, Michael saw her play Pauline Fowler on 'EastEnders'. But I know he's also a big fan of Britcoms, so he was more likely familiar with her - as I was - from the department store workplace comedy 'Are You Being Served?' (As a matter of fact, he named his new Russian Blue kitten "Tiddles", after Mrs. Slocombe's puss.....)

Although I would have given her the proper Hat Squad tribute anyway, I can't write a "Wendy & Me"-styled memorial for her, as I wasn't a very big fan of 'Are You Being Served?', although I've seen quite a number of them over the years. So there's not much I could say in tribute to her talents, but my blog buddy Ivan of "Thrilling Days Of Yesteryear" (the main link is to the left, good people) did a much better job at honoring her than I ever could. It can be found
here.

But I will quickly run down a number of other characters she has left behind; many of whom are still occupying Toobworld, even though she no longer is with us:

Marple: A Pocket Full of Rye (2008) .... Mrs. Crump

"Benidorm" .... Sylvia

"EastEnders" .... Pauline Fowler

Doctor Who: Dimensions in Time (1993) (TV) .... Pauline Fowler

"Grace & Favour" .... Miss Shirley Brahms

"Are You Being Served?" .... Miss Shirley Brahms

"Spooner's Patch" (1979) TV series

Are You Being Served?: The Movie (1977) .... Miss Shirley Brahms
[Miss Brahms is qualified to be inducted into the TV Crossover Hall Of Fame, as are most of the other members of the AYBS cast.]
"Not on Your Nellie" (1974) TV series .... Doris

"Hogg's Back" (1975) TV series .... Pearl

"Dad's Army" .... Shirley /Edith Parish

"Bowler" .... Greta

"Z Cars" .... Maureen Parker

"The Fenn Street Gang" .... Myrna

"Both Ends Meet" (1972) TV series .... Maudie

"On the Buses" .... Elsie
"Please Sir!" .... Rita

On the Buses (1971) .... Housewife

"Dixon of Dock Green" .... Barbara Walker / Jean Davis

Carry on Again Christmas (1970) (TV) .... Kate

"Up Pompeii" .... Soppia

"The Wednesday Play" .... Delphine
- The Voices in the Park (1967)

The Making of Jericho (1966) (TV)

"ITV Play of the Week"
- Plays of Married Life #1: A Catching Complaint (1966) TV episode .... Girl in Night Club
- London Wall (1963) TV episode .... Miss Bufton

"Pardon the Expression"

"No Hiding Place" .... Janet /Linda Hooper /Smiler

"The Newcomers" (1965) TV series .... Joyce Harker

"The Likely Lads" .... Lynn

The Day of Ragnarok (1965) (TV)

Don't I Look Like a Lord's Son? (1964) (TV) .... The Girl
"Danger Man" .... Sue
[It always amazes me, since I began keeping track of the Toobworld Hat Squad, how so many of those who've died will have a connection to someone else who died in that particular year. In this case, Ms. Richard passed away just over a month after the star of 'Danger Man', Patrick McGoohan.]

"HMS Paradise" .... Genevieve

"ITV Television Playhouse" .... Brunette factory girl
- The Wedding Dress (1963)

"Hugh and I" (1962) TV series .... Daughter
"Harpers West One" (1961) TV series .... Susan Sullivan

Sammy Meets the Girls (1960) (TV) .... Girl
That's far from a complete list, as made evident by the inclusion of a picture of Ms. Richard in 'Bless This House' (with the "Godspell" poster in the background.)

Wendy Richard also provided her televersion to Toobworld's citizenry with appearances in two pseudo-variety and talk show format series. She showed up at Number 42 to be a guest on the Kumar family's talk show ('The Kumars At Number 42'), and on an episode of 'Roland Rat: The Series', she probably took part in a sketch called "RatEnders".
When Ms. Richard left 'EastEnders' finally in 2006, her character of Pauline Fowler was killed off; I believe that for many it would have been unthinkable for anyone else to come along to play the role. But I'd like to think that Shirley Brahms is still with us in Toobworld, perhaps still helping to run that bed and breakfast manor in which the Grace Brothers sank her pension fund...... As Red Skelton would say, Good night and may God bless.....

BCnU.....
Toby O'B This tribute would not have been possible had it not been for my liberal theft of pictures from the Wendy Richard Appreciation Page. Please visit them to see more about this dear lady.......

6 comments:

Brian Leonard said...

She was also in a scene from The Beatles' Help! which got left on the cutting room floor.

R.I.P.

Paul Brazill said...

Smashing tribute!Didn't she sing on Johnny reggea?

Patrick said...

The Lasting Tribute website has updated its memorial pages to include Wendy Richard.

http://www.lastingtribute.co.uk/tribute/richard/2918486

It's a respectful memorial to her and somewhere to pay tribute to her fortitude in fighting her illness.

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Jennie Barnett said...

don't know if that was her on 'johnny reggae' - but she was the (spoken) voice of the girlfriend on mike sarne's 1962 smash hit, "come outside".

Anonymous said...

I can't write much here, but I was a fan of hers from both AYBS and Eastenders. She was quite versatile and, I think, underappreciated as a talent.

May God Bless,
Hugh

Anonymous said...

its a shame whats happend to wendy richard as she was such a friendly lady.now shes going to be well missed for ever.one thing at least shes not in pain now.Godd bless and rest in peice x