Friday 22 January 2016

Rosemarie Dunham

Two men armed with guns, and a woman in a dressing gown, by the yard gate of a Newcastle terraced house.

Rosemarie Dunham

† Dec 13 1924 – Dec 5 2016*

Probably best known for her portrayal of Edna, the sensual, if slightly careworn, landlady in 'Get Carter' (1971), acclaimed stage actress Rosemarie Dunham had previously appeared in a smattering of TV dramas, such as 'The Avengers', 'Z-Cars', 'No Hiding Place' and 'Gideon's Way', as well as a less-expected 'Benny Hill Show'. Born Rosemarie Tomlinson, daughter of a squadron leader stationed on the RAF base at Leuchars in Fife, she later took as her stage name the middle name of her first husband, noted television presenter and documentarist Michael Ingrams.           

Rosemarie Dunham (left) with Mary Kenton in a 1964
episode of the Victorian detective series 'Sergeant Cork'    

Vamping it up with Benny Hill in 1965

As a no-nonsense waitress in the first episode of  'Budgie'
After 'Get Carter' there were a few more feature films, such as 'The Divine Sarah' (1976) and 'Croupier' (1999), but more often straight-to-video stuff like 'Tai-Pan' (1986) and 'Lady Oscar' (1979).

Getting a little frisky with Jack Regan (John Thaw), deep
undercover as a hard-of-hearing shop assistant, in 'The Sweeney'

In an episode of the Kenneth More TV series of 'Father Brown'

Her later TV roles were a mixed bag too. From 'The Sweeney', 'The Return Of The Saint', 'Father Brown', 'Shoestring' and 'Bergerac', to soaps and daytime serials like 'Coronation Street', 'Crown Court', and 'The Cedar Tree'. Mostly she seems to have played tough, confident types, but in an impressive sweep from dowds to duchesses, including an impressively realist 'Play For Today' performance in 1973's 'Kisses At Fifty' with Bill Maynard.    

As boutique owner Sylvia in 'Coronation Street', dealing with
nightmare customer Hilda Ogden (Jean Alexander) in 1976
*Edit: Having heard of Rosemarie Dunham's death from her son, I've adjusted her dates to match the information he provided, including date of birth which must have been earlier than usually quoted.    

Rosemarie Dunham - imdb

Wednesday 20 January 2016

Peter Martin

Peter Martin:
† Dec 1941 - April 19 2023

Distinctive, spud-nosed actor. Played the gaffer looking for building supplies in those 'They've got the Jewson lot!' TV ads from the '90s. Born in Accrington, he has cornered a small part of the market for playing Northerners of various sorts, from canny barmen and no-nonsense farmers to daft ha'porths and confused customers.

In fact, a run through his CV takes you on a whistle-stop tour of Northern comedy and drama since the late '70s. 

He's got a list.
Take for instance: 'The Liver Birds', 'A Bit Of A Do', 'The Gaffer', 'First/Last Of The Summer Wine', 'Dinnerladies' and various other Victoria Wood shows, plus 'The Royle Family', 'Rosie', 'In Loving Memory' and the 'Beiderbecke' trilogy.

Enjoying Christmas with 'The Royle Family'

To this, add a smattering of soaps and light dramas, to whit: 'Emmerdale', 'Coronation Street', 'Bergerac', Dalziel & Pascoe', 'Strangers', and so on...  

Peter Martin-imdb

Monday 4 January 2016

Rosalind Ayres

Rosalind Ayres:

She probably doesn't relish being referred to as Mrs Martin Jarvis, but Rosalind Ayres, despite being in some of Britain's best loved drama series and a few interesting comedies is less of a household name than her husband, who is something of a fixture on TV and especially BBC Radio 4.   

In the quirky 'Little Malcolm & His Battle Against The Eunochs' (1974) with
John Hurt and David Warner. An Apple film, financed by George Harrison

As the innocent Clarissa, daughter of Dick Emery's vicar
For one thing, she appears in the famous Dick Emery sketch with Emery as the vicar who has made up his own words for 'crumpet' ("the word, in this house, is dibble"), 'tart' and 'boob'. The '80s and '90s saw roles in 'Agony', 'The Bounder', 'Juliet Bravo' and 'Casualty'.     

In 'That'll Be The Day' (1973) with David Essex 
Film appearances include 'That'll Be The Day' (1973) and 'Stardust' (1974) as the slightly wan poppet, Jeanette. There's the star-studded curiosity, 'Little Malcolm and his Struggle Against the Eunochs' (1974), the portmanteau horror 'From Beyond The Grave (1974), then rather a long quiet period until Hollywood beckoned for 'Titanic' (1997) and 'Gods & Monsters' (1998). This also led to some US TV work, in 'Sabrina The Teenage Witch' and 'Chicago Hope'.

As Gran in 'Outnumbered'
More recent TV has seen her appear in the Hugh Dennis and Claire Skinner family improv-sitcom, 'Outnumbered', and the Adult Swim doctor-comedy 'Childrens Hospital'.

Rosalind Ayres - imdb

Sunday 3 January 2016

David Calder

David Calder:

Super-familiar, classically-trained, all-purpose character actor, perhaps bearing a resemblance to the late Iain Cuthbertson. You might have seen him - in fact it would have been hard to avoid him - in a raft of popular light-middleweight cop and spy dramas over the last four decades. Consider the likes of 'Bergerac', 'Midsomer Murders', 'Dalziel & Pascoe', 'Spooks', 'Heartbeat', 'Boon', 'Widows', 'Widows 2', 'New Tricks', etc, and perhaps better stuff such as 'Cracker', 'Waking The Dead', the oddball sci-fi drama 'Utopia', and the 1981 precursor to the Alan Plater's Beiderbecke trilogy, 'Get Lost', with Alun Armstrong.      

He also had the lead role in the late-'80s sci-fi serial 'Star Cops' which has become a minor cult phenomenon in some corners of the internet, although it failed to catch on with a wider audience. He's never done a 'Doctor Who' though, something of a rarity for these pages.

On the cover of the Radio Times in the guise of Nathan Spring
from the 1987 sci fi series 'Star Cops'  
Other fertile areas include period drama, with appearances in 'Bramwell', 'Mr Selfridge', 'Houdini' (as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle), 'The Mayor Of Casterbridge', 'Beethoven', 'Miss Marple', the recent 'Father Brown Mysteries' and commanding the ill fated liner in the 2012 TV mini-series 'Titanic'.   

In 'Hitler: The Rise Of Evil (2003)
As a TV comedy fan, you might have spotted him in the supermarket-set 'Trollied' or in the Greg Davies vehicle 'Cuckoo', or perhaps 'The New Statesman' or 'The Wrong Mans', but that seems like a minor section of his CV.

In 'Waking The Dead: Cold Fusion II'
On the big screen he has some mildly impressive credits, such as 'The World Is Not Enough' (1999), 'Perfume: The Story Of A Murderer' (2006), 'The Lady In The Van' (2015), and the Chinese addition to the Mummy franchise, 'The Mummy: Tomb Of The Emperor' (2008). He's also in the Hunt-Lauda F1 movie 'Rush' (2013). But, despite what imdb seems to claim, I'm pretty sure it's not him in the little-known US gay exploitation flick 'The Meat Rack' (1970)... 
A typical role, tweeded up in 'Midsomer Murders'

By way of consolation, here he is brazenly impersonating a Crime Prevention Officer in a Public Information Film, using an intermittent all-purpose reassuring Northern accent.

David Calder-imdb