Sunday 12 April 2015

Peter Butterworth's This Is Your Life

Peter Butterworth has long been one of my comedy heroes. He is just superb in each of his Carry On film appearances and crops up in a myriad of other film and television roles during his long career.

Sometimes the forgotten man of Carry On, his substantial contribution to the films should never be underestimated or ignored. He was, simply, a comedy genius. Peter had wonderful comic timing and never missed an opportunity for visual clowning or unexpected comedy business. 

Tragically, Peter died at the incredibly young age of 59. He was performing in pantomime early in 1979 when he suffered a massive heart attack in his hotel room. The world was robbed of a terrific talent with a lot yet to give. Peter was married for over thirty years to the Scottish actress and impressionist, Janet Brown. They had two children together, Emma who sadly passed away in the 1990s and Tyler who is now an actor, just like his dad. Tyler, who I think has a strong resemblance to his talented father, appeared in the Carry On Forever documentary last Sunday. 

Away from acting, Peter Butterworth had a distinguished war record, spending time in a prisoner of war camp in Germany during the Second World War. He was part of the famous wooden horse escape attempt and it was while in the camp that he met and befriended future Carry On writer Talbot Rothwell. 

I recently tracked down Peter Butterworth's This Is Your Life tribute on Youtube. While the Carry Ons are not heavily featured it is a great opportunity to learn more about Peter the man and his life away from acting. I thoroughly recommend it to fans of both Peter and the Carry Ons in general. The video is available here and is well worth a watch.

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