Sunday 14 June 2015

Happy Birthday Kenneth Cope!

Very many happy returns to that wonderful actor Kenneth Cope, who turns 84 today. Kenneth has had a long and varied career in film and television, famously starring in two classic Carry Ons of the early 1970s.

Who can forget the irritating, frustrated Union leader at Boggs' factory in Carry On At Your Convenience? As Vic Spanner, Kenneth had a difficult role to play but pulled it off with aplomb. He also made a great double act with series regular Bernard Bresslaw.

Kenneth returned for a much more sympathetic role in Carry On Matron. Playing low-grade gangster's son Cyril Carter, Kenneth spent most of the film in drag as a nurse at a maternity hospital. There were many great scenes with the gang featuring Kenneth, Sid James, Bernard Bresslaw and Bill Maynard. Kenneth also shared some touching scenes with Barbara Windsor.

It's a shame Kenneth Cope didn't appear in more films in the series but I imagine he was in great demand elsewhere. He was already a star by the time he appeared in the Carry Ons, appearing regularly in the satirical series That Was The Week That Was in the early 1960s, as well as a long-running part in Coronation Street, playing Minnie Caldwell's favourite Sunny Jim. Cope returned to Corrie in 2008, reprising the role he had last played back in 1966. Cope is also famous for the role of Marty in the classic 60s television series Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased). 

Kenneth has spoken frequently with great affection about his time working with the Carry On team. I hope he's had a very happy birthday!

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