Sunday, 16 August 2015

George Cole 1925-2015

So sad to learn that the wonderful George Cole is no longer with us.

He died on 5th August 2015 and I cannot understand why I did not hear of this before today, some 11 days after his death. Today I discovered it because I recently heard Dennis Waterman say something that indicated George Cole was no more and decided to check on Google.

George Cole was one of my favourite actors.  He was born in Tooting, South London, not far from my home town of Croydon.  He left school at age 14, (same as I did). At age 18 he joined the RAF, again as did I.  He even seemed to speak a bit like me at times!

He is best remembered as Arfur Daley, the wheeler dealer dodgy car bloke in "Minder", along with Dennis Waterman as Terry, the 'minder'. 

But he was a great character actor in many other roles and he was befriended by the comedic actor Alastair Sim and his wife Naomi after appearing in the film "Cottage to Let". Cole played a cheeky young Cockney evacuee in this film and lived with the Sims in their Oxfordshire house during the Blitz. He would have been about 15 when he played this part.

75 years as an actor, a highly respected one too, for a lad who left school with no qualifications, is what makes him one of the greatest, in MY book.

He leaves behind his wife, Penny Morrel, (aka 'Er indoors), whom he married in 1967.

R.I.P. dear chap, and thanks for all the laughter you gave us over the years.



PhilipH said...

I'm REALLY sad, on this bright summer's day after writing this short piece.

Sparkling Red said...

I'm afraid that I'm not familiar with this actor. My mum and dad, being anglophiles living in a former colony (Canada), were devoted to BBC television programs, however we did not watch many British feature films. Maybe someday I'll have a chance to become better acquainted with his work.

Fram Actual said...

Some entertainers are special to us, which make their departure from this world more difficult to accept -- more like the loss of a friend. I understand your feelings here, Philip.

I am on the move again this week, and down to one-handed typing .... so this comment is really short. I am glad when you post .... keep it up.

PhilipH said...

Hi Sparkles. George Cole was not known very well overseas; never worked outside the UK as far as I know. He, like all good actors, was a one-off. Lovely chap.

Hello Fram. Too true, it's very easy to genuinely mourn the loss of a friend whom one has never actually met. I still remember the shock and real loss I felt when King George VI died. Never met HIM either but my generation held him in high regard - almost like a father - and his death really hit hard.

In the midst of life ... etc.

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

Lovely tribute to a fine actor. I only remembered him because it's a family name. And here in Canada we are blessed with many British TV and movie favourites. Thanks for visiting IWSG, Philip. I knew about wash-up liquid because while visiting this summer my DIL had to ask a neighbour how to find dish-soap on the grocery delivery list.

the walking man said...

Them whose lives mirror our own are the ones we hate to lose. It is like watching a piece of "me" taken off.

Snowbrush said...

I'm sorry that he died. I looked him up on IMDB, and realized that I don't seem have seen anything that he was in, although he was in so much that maybe I overlooked something.

PhilipH said...

Hi Mark. You're so right. Loss of friends, however remote, is always hard to accept.

Snowy, George Cole is probably unknown outside the UK, and possibly Australia and a few EU countries. His long-running series 'Minder' was his main claim to fame for many. Doubt he would have been appreciated in the States as much of his words would have been completely lost on those with no understanding of the London wide-boy dialect.

All Consuming said...

I too felt a sadness at hearing of his passing. He was a great actor, with a brilliant capability for comic timing. He was 'Flash Harry'!! My mother used to say all the time "who do you think you are? Flash Harry?!" and I always thought of him then. Minder of course,, but I saw him in many other roles too. I've always thought how kind Alistair Sim and his wife were to take him in and love him as a son. A long, well lived and happy life methinks. R.I.P George. x

PhilipH said...

Hi Michelle. 'Flash 'Arry ..' great character in the St. Trinians stories. Even had its own little tinkly-piano tune as he emerges from the background. A sad loss but he played the game beautifully in his long innings.

If there IS a Heaven then he will be livening up the place. Probably trying to flog a few used harps and stuff like that and making 'em all laugh again.

Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet superstar! said...

Greetings human, Philip,

A thoughtful tribute to a wonderful, comedic actor. My human, Gary, can tell you that "Minder" was shown on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and had a cult following in Canada.

Thank you for this and your kind comment on my pawst.

Pawsitive wishes,