Some Joe You Don't Know: An American Biographical Guide to 100 British Television Personalities

By Anthony Slide | Go to book overview

J

GORDON JACKSON

For much of the first half of the twentieth century, the British butler was represented to Americans by the character of Ruggles of Red Gap in the Harry Leon Wilson novel of the same name and, on screen, in the performances of Eric Blore and Robert Greig. All that changed when Upstairs, Downstairs first aired on Masterpiece Theatre on January 6, 1974. The perfect British butler was no longer English but Scottish, and he was personified in the performance of Gordon Jackson as Mr. Hudson.

Upstairs, Downstairs was the idea of two actresses, Eileen Atkins and Jean Marsh, whose parents had worked as servants; the concept was developed by producer John Hawkesworth and story editor Alfred Shaughnessy. Of all the characters introduced in the series none had the same lasting impact on the American psyche as Mr. Hudson, a butler who ruled the lower floor with an iron hand and was far more concerned with ritual and the upkeep of standards than his masters and mistresses above stairs. American viewers were so enamored of Mr. Hudson that Gordon Jackson received lucrative offers to perform the duties of a butler on both a full- and a part-time basis.

Gordon Jackson rejected all such proposals, and he was quick to point out, "I don't like the character of Hudson. He represents everything I don't like about human beings." In 1980 he explained, "I created Hudson from Scottish bank managers and Lord provosts, people who had risen to positions of authority but who had retained traces of their humble origins." Prior to playing Mr. Hudson, he had never met a butler.

The quintessential British butler was born in the Scottish working-class city of Glasgow on December 9, 1923. After leaving school, he worked as a draftsman, and in 1939 he began playing small dramatic roles in productions on local BBC radio. When Ealing Studios needed a young Scots-

-123-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Some Joe You Don't Know: An American Biographical Guide to 100 British Television Personalities
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • A 1
  • B 13
  • C 39
  • D 55
  • E 59
  • F 67
  • G 75
  • H 85
  • Bibliography 117
  • I 121
  • J 123
  • K 141
  • L 147
  • M 161
  • Bibliography 181
  • O 191
  • P 193
  • R 203
  • Bibliography 232
  • T 235
  • W 243
  • General Bibliography 257
  • Index 259
  • About the Author 273
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 278

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.