Sunday, November 3, 2013

November Three 1933 - Happy Birthday JB. (for Jeremy Brett & John Barry).

JB the Actor.
"Sometimes in this life you meet people who are what you might call 'large-souled' who are a privilege to know. Croker is one of those". (Mr Viviani, 'The Abbey Grange' Granada TV)

So, for me, were two men known by the same initials, born on the same day in 1933: Jeremy Brett and John Barry.

JB the Composer.
Neither is still with us but I doubt their legacy and memory will ever die. Both men dignified their respective professions and crowned them by embodying through performance and music the most authentic portrayals we have of Sherlock Holmes and James Bond. Both exuded a generosity of spirit and enduring commitment to their craft. They are deeply missed.

Next time you watch The Master Blackmailer  (Granada 1992) watch out for the Art Gallery Owner. The actor is David Scase. His wife is also in the cast: she is Rosalie Williams, Brett's Mrs Hudson. Rewind to 1954.

We are at The Library Theatre, Manchester. Jeremy Brett is playing Cassio to Rosalie Williams' Desdemona. The man she married, David Scase, is the director.

JB & Rosalie on Granada TV.

I think JB was well loved. Here's Rosalie Williams (quote via IMDb): "I used to call it embroidery. Jeremy used to embroider things for me in my part. There's very little in the actual writing for Mrs. Hudson, and he used to come up with lovely little inventions, like pieces, like when he gave me a flower in one episode. There were lots of moments like that, where Holmes revealed that Mrs. Hudson was so very close to him - which isn't in the stories, but is something that developed because it was Jeremy and me. I miss Mrs. Hudson very, very much. I got to love her very much. Once, I was on the set, I was her and it was my room and everything had to be just so. I flooded into her with great ease and great pleasure."

Sometimes words fail me. Thank God for music. Here in 2013, remembering two lovely, talented men I dip into that Good Old Youtube Index to find three pieces of music that express the inexpressible. Two were hit songs in 1933, the other is forever 1969.
Happy Birthday, Gentle Men.

1Stormy Weather sung by Ethel Waters (1933). 

2. 42nd Street sung by Ruby Keeler (1933).

3. We Have All The Time In The World instrumental (1969)


  1. Nice tribute to Brett, Ray.

    He will be missed.


  2. Thank you, Buddy. And thank God for film.