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

By Anthony Slide | Go to book overview

R

WENDY RICHARD

In recent years, public television audiences have had the unique opportunity to see Wendy Richard in two distinct periods of her career, fifteen years apart, and in two very different roles, as Shirley Brahms in Are You Being Served? and as Pauline Fowler in EastEnders.

Based on her work in those two long-running shows, one might well imagine that Wendy Richard is one of the busiest actresses under contract to the BBC, and in many respects this is true, with other series including Not on Your Nellie, Please Sir!, and Dad's Army. In 1991 she took a brief hiatus from EastEnders to tape a six-part sequel to Are You Being Served?, titled Grace and Favour, followed in May 1992 with a second series of episodes. The original series of Grace and Favour, which brings not only Wendy Richard, but also Mollie Sugden, John Inman, Frank Thornton, and Nicholas Smith back to their roots, began airing on some PBS stations in 1992.

Watching Wendy Richard's work is to see her develop from what might be considered little more than a blonde bimbo to a character actress of strength and determination, while at the same time never losing her strong working-class accent or the streak of common sense with which all her characters are imbued. It was with a great deal of pleasure that I accepted an invitation to spend some time with Wendy at her local London pub, which is also the "local" of neighbor John Inman, and to chat about her career, which began in 1960 and still has, one suspects, new heights to reach.

Born in the north of England, Wendy Richard trained at the Italia Conti Stage School before obtaining one of her first television roles in an episode of Dixon of Dock Green, starring Jack Warner and based on the character he played in the 1949 film The Blue Lamp. Her first big break came in

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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
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