George Cole RIP

I was sorry to hear about the death of actor George Cole today. Another figure from my youth (and not so youth) gone. Mind you at 90 he’d had a good innings.

In his two most famous roles, Flash Harry in the St Trinian’s films and Arthur Daley in Minder Cole was always intensely watchable.

He had the advantage of learning at the feet of a master. The clip from St Trinian’s I saw on today’s News had Flash Harry in dialogue with the headmistress, played by Alastair Sim (who in real life more or less adopted him,) and I couldn’t resist a giggle.

According to a piece on the radio Cole was well liked by film crews as he behaved like a gentleman to them. Courtesy is never a hindrance.

It struck me on listening to the eulogies that the character of Arthur Daley – in which incarnation Cole delivered the immortal line, “What is occurring, Terence?” as something unforeseen went on – might have been an inspiration for Del Boy of Only Fools and Horses.

George Edward Cole: 22/4/1925 – 5/8/2015. So it goes.

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  1. Denis Cullinan

    I and my equally archaeological-minded brother have been scanning the obituaries since we were kids–morose, morbid little neurotics we were, and are–to keep track of the survivors of some of our most cherished films, “Scrooge” being among them. When Patrick MacNee entered upon his reward, no doubt striding past St. Peter in his favored disrobed state–MacNee, not St. Peter–we were worriedly telling our beads (Hey, we’re R.C. around here, like the Poles end Mexicans who surround us) for the well-being and long life of George Cole. I trust that in the afterlife he will be supplied with a sufficiency of hotties provided from the cast of the St.Trinian’s cycle. After all, why should the Muslims have all the fun? Okay, maybe not virgins, but, lookiit, we’ll throw in a few extra hotties as a makeweight.
    When I was that terrible life form known as an adolescent, I saw my first St. Trinian’s movie on the misery box, and I was floored to see that BRITISH WOMEN WERE PERFECTLY CAPABLE OF BEING HOT AS A FIRECRACKER, I mean firecrackers. What a revelation.
    Ronald Searle, another pillar of the graphic-art universe and creator of the image of the Trinianian nymphomaniac schoolgirl with black garters, as you prolly know passed (we say “passed” in this hemisphere, dunno why) December 30, 2011. Requiescant in pace, men.

  2. jackdeighton

    Denis,
    I see you know your Latin plurals.
    It seems to be that a lot of people have been “passing” recently. Is it just that I’m getting older?

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