Rumpole and the Angel of Death.
July 24, 2002 5:45 AM   Subscribe

Rumpole and the Angel of Death. Leo McKern dies at 82. "Author John Mortimer created Horace Rumpole with only one actor in mind, and as the blustering, grumbling barrister, McKern did not disappoint."
posted by mcwetboy (11 comments total)
July 24: The Return of Deathfilter. That grouse bein groused, it rots that #2 dropped over.
posted by Perigee at 6:06 AM on July 24, 2002

He was my favourite character actor: a crinkly, glass-eyed, claret-quaffing genius who could be King Lear, Ryan's daughter's father or irrepressible Rumpole, always stoutly defending the "golden thread" of British justice.

His face reminded me of the description once given of W.H. Auden's - like a wedding cake left out in the rain.

And by the way, Perigee - MetaFilter being unique, I think it's far more appropriate to salute those easily forgotten, who miss all the usual media filters (like Alan Lomax) than those who are formally mourned and lamented on the usual channels.

You'd like the guy if you'd had the pleasure of seeing him work, believe me. :)
posted by MiguelCardoso at 6:17 AM on July 24, 2002

With Leo McKern, Brian Blessed, and (arguably) Zero Mostel gone are there any of these portly, blustering, loud, deep-voiced and thoroughly entertaining actors left? Or are they an outdated type?
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 6:24 AM on July 24, 2002

Zero Mostel died in 1977 (not much argument there), but has something happened to Brian Blessed that I should know about?
posted by picopebbles at 6:29 AM on July 24, 2002

You know what? I'm an idiot. I was conflating Brian Blessed and Valentine Dyal (who really only met the loud, deep-voiced and thoroughly entertaining qualifications). Brian Blessed is just fine.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 6:41 AM on July 24, 2002

Brian Blessed is just fine

Phew, thank God. Jim Broadbent can be portly, blustering, loud, deep-voiced and thoroughly entertaining when he wants to. So can Richard Griffiths.
posted by Summer at 6:47 AM on July 24, 2002

When I was on a detectives kick some time back, I read all of the Rumpole stories, but only after I'd seen McKern play Rumpole. And that was it: I couldn't read Rumpole without seeing and hearing McKern, just as I always saw and heard Basil Rathbone when I read Sherlock Holmes.
posted by pracowity at 7:00 AM on July 24, 2002

He was also the greatest #2 in the prisoner - and I think the only #2 to appear more than once. (~too lazy to walk over to DVD shelf and check~)
posted by djacobs at 7:06 AM on July 24, 2002

"A,B,&C" and "The General" have the same #2, and are usually presented in sequence.

It's too early to be this geeked up.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 7:08 AM on July 24, 2002

Have seen, and I do love the guy, Mig- went through the whole Rumpole thing, and I came up with him way back in 'The Prisoner' days on Public Broadcasting, where I learned to be an antisocial joik. ~Grin~ I actually raised a glass to him last night at the local watering hole. Like I said, it really rots that he dropped - especially that he dropped in a nursing home. I never would have thought he'd go that way.
posted by Perigee at 8:08 AM on July 24, 2002

I also admired John Thaw: Inspector Morse, who died five months ago.
posted by Mack Twain at 10:10 AM on July 24, 2002

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