05 May 2005

R.I.P.: Kay Walsh

      Sadly almost lost in the vapidity of what we now call "news" (at least in North America), the wonderful British actress Kay Walsh died at age 90 almost three weeks ago.   Her passing has a strange sense of ironic timing, coinciding at little too eerily with the death of her sometime co-star Sir John Mills, whose passing did manage to make at least a slight register in the North American media. Like Mills, she was one of the stars of Tunes of Glory, a film that seems oddly to be warranting quite a bit of mention of late, especially on this blog.   Her other films-- Oliver Twist (as Nancy), The Last Holiday, In Which We Serve, Stage Fright, and the marvellous comic adaptation of Joyce's Cary's The Horse's Mouth-- are well-worth searching out and savouring.   I have to say, finding decent images of Ms Walsh online has been a task, and I wound up just reaching into my own library and scanning the picture at right.   It galls me, though, that we have to endure countless hours of coverage of the actions and prattlings of Michael Jackson's lawyers, but the passing of a very fine actress should be left to go unnoticed.   We're such a self-involved, disrespectful culture, aren't we?  

      For those of you unfamiliar with Ms Walsh-- she was also the second wife of David Lean, director of Lawrence of Arabia-- I recommend this article from the Telegraph in the UK. Sad to think that (I'm more or less sure) all of the great Brits from the movies of the forties are gone.   I can't think of a major one still around, which really is pause for thought on this sixtieth anniversary of VE-Day.

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