Thursday 6 August 2015

George Cole dies aged 90

Sad news this lunchtime that the actor George Cole has passed away at the grand old age of 90. I grew up watching Cole star with Dennis Waterman in the wonderful comedy drama series Minder. While Cole will undoubtedly be best remembered as the dodgy car salesman Arthur Daley, the actor had a long, diverse career for decades before Minder first graced our screens and for many years afterwards too.

Although George Cole sadly never appeared in a Carry On film, he did work with the wonderful Joan Sims on several occasions. He appeared with Joan in two of her very earliest film roles, first of all in Will Any Gentleman? in 1953 and then again the following year in The Belles of St Trinian's which became a comedy classic, launched a series of sequels and gave Cole his famous Flash Harry character. Joan appeared as the glamorous Miss Dawn.

George Cole and Joan Sims would be reunited over forty years later, this time on the small screen. In 1995 Cole made a television series called My Good Friend, co-starring Richard Pearson. Joan popped up in a couple of episodes and it was great to see these two old pros together again.

Cole also starred with Carry On regulars Sid James and Bernard Bresslaw in the 1959 classic Too Many Crooks. 

It's always sad to see the passing of yet another familiar face from the golden age of British television and film, but what a wonderful career George Cole had. I think it might be time to break out the Minder box set. 

George Cole may be gone, but his legacy is over seventy years of glorious performances and the creation of many memorable characters. 

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