Monday 2 December 2013

Kenneth Cope

Kenneth Cope in 'Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased)'

Kenneth Cope:

'Jeff! Wake up, Jeff!'

I'm including Kenneth Cope on here, although I'm aware that to a lot of TV viewers who are British and over 40, he's probably a bit of a star. For you youngsters and non-UK types, lovable rogues are a speciality of this popular Liverpudlian actor. His knack for combining cheeky confidence and nervous agitation has stood him in good stead in roles that have made him a UK cult favourite and a primetime perennial. Playing the ghostly Marty Hopkirk in the unique '60s detective show 'Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased)' imprinted his face on the British psyche forever – an immaculate mod-suited spirit with childish emotions tempered by deadpan humour. He was the perfect foil to hard-boiled, two-fisted investigator Jeff Randall, as played by the late Mike Pratt.                      

As superstitious property developer Jack Victor in 'Catweazle'

Before that, he'd made a bit of a splash as the likeable petty villain Jed Stone in 'Coronation Street' in the very early days of the series, appearing first in 1961 and making comebacks in 1966 and 2008. That was followed by a period on the legendary satirical series 'That Was The Week That Was', which further ensured his '60s credentials. Other cult TV connections are 'Catweazle' ('Touch not the Wogle Stone...'), 'Doctor Who' (Tom Baker era story 'Warrior's Gate'), and two episodes of 'The Avengers' in 1967 and '68. The '80s and beyond  saw him much in demand for the likes of 'Minder', 'Bergerac', 'Lovejoy' etc, and a stint on 'Brookside'.   

In the Small Faces pop/crime caper 'Dateline Diamonds' (1965) 
As shop steward Vic Spanner in 'Carry On at Your Convenience' (1971)
In 'Miss Marple Investigates'

His movie roles include a bunch of late-'50s teen b-pictures and swinging '60s efforts where his Beatle-esque accent (often accompanied by a Beatle-esque wig) was a bonus. See for example: 'Naked Fury' (1959), the Tony Newley vehicle 'The Lady Is A Square' (1959), 'Jungle Street' (1960), 'The Criminal' (1960) with Stanley Baker, Joseph Losey's 'The Damned' (1963), and playing the Small Faces' manager in the pirate radio heist movie 'Dateline Diamonds' (1965). Later would come a string of 'Carry Ons' ('...Dick','... Matron' and '...At Your Convenience'), and the inevitable saucy comedies 'She'll Follow You Anywhere' (1971), 'Rentadick (1972) and the movie version of 'George and Mildred' (1975). 

Kenneth Cope-imdb