Friday 16 December 2016

Jane Freeman

Jane Freeman:

† Jun 12 1935 – Mar 9 2017

Jane Freeman's acting career has been pretty much defined by one role, that of Ivy, the permanently disgruntled proprietress of the cafe in 'Last Of The Summer Wine'. She appears, fully formed, in 'Of Funerals and Fish', the play which became the pilot for Roy Clarke's interminable series of geriatric misadventures, and then went on to repeat much the same lines in another 273 of the programme's 295 episodes. Only Peter Sallis has been in more - all of them, in fact.     

'Last Of The Summer Wine publicity shot,
with screen hubby Sid (the late John Comer) 
Beyond her epic 1973-2010 stint in Holmfirth, there have been a few interesting interludes: several outings of 'Play For Today' (including 'The Fishing Party' in 1972, which also featured her LOTSW co-star John Comer), and roles in 'Within these Walls', 'Silas Marner' (the 1975 BBC adaptation starring Ben Kingsley), 'Prince Regent' and 'The Black Adder'. It seems her sole cinematic outing was in the tough girl drama 'Scrubbers' (1982).
As the guest house tyrant Audrey in 'The Fishing Party'
In some ways it seems a shame that she didn't get to play a few more varied parts over all those years, she would have been good as a jolly farmer's wife, a crooked clairvoyant or a merry widow. But I'm sure many actors would (and did) jump at the chance of decades of such regular work and she's certainly become, if not a household name, a very familiar face.  

Jane Freeman

Monday 12 December 2016

Ken Bones

Ken Bones:

A great name for this vaguely familiar skull-headed actor with a mix of doomy gravitas and steely intensity, Ken Bones has appeared in many TV favourites, from 'Doctor Who' and 'Doctors' to portentous religious epics like 'Bible' and 'AD: The Bible Continues'. 

In Jack The Ripper (1988)
Ken Bones in 'Spooks'
Other TV credits include cosy stuff like 'New Tricks', The Inspector Lynley Mysteries', 'Bergerac', 'The Hour', 'Heartbeat' and six different roles in six episodes of 'The Bill'. These are nicely balanced by medium-heavy historicals ranging from 'The Virgin Queen', 'Henry VIII: Mind Of A Tyrant' (in which he plays the theologian Erasmus), and 'Medici: Masters Of Florence' to the Nazi dissenter Otto Strasser in 'Inside The Mind Of Adolf Hitler'. 

In the 50th anniversary episode of 'Doctor Who'
On the big screen, his major appearances were in 'Troy' (2004) and 'Exodus: Gods And Kings' 2014', but he also shows up in 'Bellman And True' (1987), 'Split Second' (1992) and as the 13th landlord in 'The World's End'.  

He seems like a natural for a JK Rowling franchise, but in fact you'll only see him if you visit a thrill ride at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park in Florida where he appears as Salazar Slitherin in the short 'Harry Potter and The Forbidden Journey'.    

Ken Bones-imdb

Thursday 8 December 2016

Peter Jonfield

Actor Peter Jonfield in the 1973 Play For Today 'Blooming Youth'

Peter Jonfield:

With a memorable debut in the 1979 Sherlock Holmes movie 'Murder By Decree', Peter Jonfield's acting career swung into action. The film, starring Christopher Plummer and James Mason, is rather dated, apart from its fashionably '70s conspiracy theme, and it's surprising to find it was shot simultaneously with the groundbreaking 'Alien' at Elstree.    

Shutting the gate behind Natasha Richardson and Joss Ackland in the
1985 'Adventures of Sherlock Holmes' episode, 'The Copper Beeches'

Peter Jonfield's television career includes a lot of crime series, for instance: 'Bulman', 'Wycliffe', 'Widows 2', 'Bergerac', 'Spender' and a good few episodes of 'The Bill', in which he plays tough coppers, concerned citizens and shifty villains with equal aplomb. 

He also appears in TV comedy such as 'Smith & Jones' and 'Mornin Sarge', and period drama from 'Age Of Treason', 'Foyles War' and 'Bramwell' to 'The Adventures Of Sherlock Holmes' and 'Sharpe's Regiment'.       

Throttled to death at the docks, attempting to
escape justice in 'Murder By Decree' (1979) 
His film CV includes roles in 'Clockwise' (1986), 'Pink Floyd: The Wall' (1982), 'McVicar' (1980), 'Time Bandits' (1981), 'A Fish Called Wanda' (1988), and in a slightly different mature role as Mr Andrews in 'Pierrpoint: The Last Hangman' (2004).

In 'Pierrepoint: The Last Hangman' (2004)