SOME OF THE PEOPLE THAT HAVE AND CONTINUE TO INSPIRE ME . . . .
The fantastic Katharine Hepburn, who I met in Connecticut and maintained a friendship with until her death, ironically on my birthday in 2003.
A charming, gentle, warm, funny, lady with a host of amazing memories and stories about the old studio days and film stars. She never really got over the loss of the love of her life, Spencer Tracy, with whom she maintained an almost secret relationship with from 1941 until his death in 1967. A wonderful example of true love. She was immensely proud of her own Scottish connections and claimed to have noble descent from James Hepburn, Earl of Bothwell, second husband of Mary Queen of Scots. Katharine played Mary Queen of Scots in "Mary of Scotland" filmed in 1936.
My favourite film with the amazing Miss Hepburn - "GUESS WHO'S COMING TO DINNER". Pure Gold !!
Stanley Baxter the most generous of mentors and giving of teachers. I met Stanley in 1981 at RSAMD and by 1984 I was contracted as his stage double and understudy. I cut my teeth as a singer and dancer and ASM in "Mother Goose" but my real training came in understudying. Stanley taught me comic timing - "pause before you hit that word and you will get the laugh". His years of pantomime and tv work were a treasury available to be consulted and drawn on. He is dedicated to his shows being the best they can be and willing to assist to meet those ends. Observing him night after night has equipped me in playing Dame and my gratitude is hereby noted. I worked with Stanley until he retired from pantomime in 1991 and have been in touch with him ever since. A LIVING LEGEND.
From Wikipedia....Stage Work
His exacting and demanding nature gave Scotland some of its most glittering pantomimes and Baxter nurtured the stage careers of Alyson McInnes, John Ramage and Euan McIver, who Baxter recalled "has a voice just like mine" Glasgow Evening Times as his understudy and stage stage stand in.
The actress, Bea Arthur, you just cant help loving her in The Golden Girls, or opposite Angela Lansbury in MAME, and who died in April 2009, included a $300,000 donation to New York's Ali Forney Center, an organization supporting homeless LGBT youth, in her will. The organization assists more than 1,000 people each year, providing shelter for those who had to leave home "for being who they are,"
Bea Arthur's relationship with the Centre went back to 2005, when the stage and screen star agreed to do a benefit at the request of a former set designer to help ease the center's growing pains.
She flew to New York to reprise her one-woman show, "Bea Arthur on Broadway: Just Between Friends" for one night only, raising more than $40,000 for the organization and contributing another sizeable personal donation.
But her generosity didn't stop once the curtain fell. Arthur consistently raised the issue of LGBT homeless youth in press interviews, such as her November 2005 interview with Next magazine.
"I'm very, very involved in charities involving youth," Arthur said in the interview. "These kids at the Center are literally dumped by their families because of the fact that they are lesbian, gay or transgender -- this organization really is saving lives."
A beautiful lady outside and inside.
Patrick Fyffe, (Dame Hilda Bracket) a true genius and a lovely man.
Millions watched Hinge and Bracket either on stage in The Good Old Days or on TV in their own series "Dear Ladies" and many believed them to be two eccentric elderly ladies. So accurate were the portrayals it was hard to believe they were not genteel ladies.
Patrick became a friend and a great source of inspiration and his untimely death on May 11th 2002 was a huge blow personally and nationally. Benefitting from the vast proportion of his stage costumes and having made a promise that his legacy would not die with him it took me until 2014 to bring Dame Hilda back to the public in my own one man show "Dragging Up the Past". This segment of the show caused a huge wave of memories and fondness from the audiences, the love for Patrick's creation goes on and due to public demand I intend to bring her back to the public again.
Peter Sherlock, tv presenter etc - if you want to see how to present, inform and educate just watch this man wax lyrical about fragrance ! A buyer for Harvey Nicks and a regular face on our shopping channels this is just one of life's good guys. He has taught me the art of looking at a camera and almost making love to the audience down the lens. Nothing phases him and even when disaster strikes on live television he can suavely and professionally deal with it. Now THAT'S a skill !
Peters keen olfactory senses means he has been able to create his own fragrances and he remains at the very top of his game. A great mate and a true pro.
The sensational BETTE DAVIS, who doesn't feel uncomfortable in her presence ? In the movies where she played the abrasive mother or the cruel sister you felt the tension !
Some of her work was certainly lurid and in the movie (and camp classic) What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962), she co-starred with Joan Crawford as a former child star caring for her disabled sister. She was featured in another horror film in 1964, Hush...Hush Sweet Charlotte, and then played a glittering eye-patch-wearing matriarch in the melodrama The Anniversary in 1968.
Despite health problems in her late years, including a fight against breast cancer, Davis continued acting. She appeared in the horror movie Burnt Offerings (1976) and was part of the all-star ensemble cast of the Agatha Christie mystery Death on the Nile (1979). One of her final film roles was that of a blind woman in The Whales of August (1987), appearing opposite Lillian Gish. She also appeared on television, winning an Emmy Award for 1979'sStrangers: The Story of a Mother and Daughter.
Davis received many awards later in life, including the American Film Institute Life Achievement Award in 1977 and the Kennedy Center Honors Award in 1987.
Bette Davis died on October 6, 1989, in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France, at the age of 81. At the time of her death, she was on her way home from a film festival in Spain, where she had just been honored for her work in film.
The marvellous Maggie Smith whose portrayals have me transfixed every time from Miss Jean Brodie to the Dowager Countess of Grantham. Everything she does seems to turn to gold and thankfully she shows no signs of letting up.
Having performed a dramatised reading of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie I know the work inside out and cannot think of anyone else playing the part - no wonder she won an Oscar !
Maggie Smith got her start on the English stage in the 1952, and it was there she earned her reputation as a mannered actress with wicked comic timing. Her forays into film were relatively few, but she did well, earning a best actress Oscar for 1969's The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie and a best supporting actress Oscar for 1978's California Suite. Smith has also won Emmys, one for 2003's My House in Umbria and two for her role in Downton Abbey (in 2011 and 2012). She won a Tony in 1990 for Lettice and Lovage. Smith was also nominated for the Academy Award for her roles in Othello (1965), Travels with My Aunt (1972), A Room with a View (1985) and Gosford Park (2001).
Finally two personal inclusions - excuse my indulgence....
My parents who supported my yearnings for the stage despite me being all set to go to Aberdeen University to study law !
Faithfully following my progress and attending everything I did until illness forced them to miss shows. Once in the early 80s when I was in a show called "Parliament of Women" by Aristophanes they both claimed not to have seen me and had to come back the next night to see if they could spot me - and my Mother knew me by my legs !
Thank you for your indulgence and support and always following me whatever I did and for allowing me to make my own choices in life.
RICK MONDEAU, singer, musician, business man - a shining light in my life and the greatest support you could wish to have.
In 2008 our paths crossed and in 2010 you moved your entire life, lock stock and barrel to Scotland. The greatest proof of commitment you could ask for.
Since then you have musically directed my shows, acted along side me in shows and sung in musical theatre with me. We started our own business together and have gone from strength to strength. In my opinion, everyone should have a Rick in their life !