Tuesday, 24 January 2017

'Allo 'Allo! actor Gorden Kaye dies

Gorden Kaye with his ‘Allo ‘Allo wife Edith played by Carmen Silvera (L) and mistress Yvette, Vicki Michelle.
Gorden Kaye with his ‘Allo ‘Allo wife Edith played by Carmen Silvera (L) and mistress Yvette, Vicki Michelle. Photograph: Rex/Shutterstock




Gorden Kaye, the actor best known for his role as René François Artois in the BBC sitcom ‘Allo ‘Allo, has died in a care home aged 75.Kaye’s most memorable role was as the owner of Cafe René in the hit BBC1 comedy, which made light of the German occupation of France during the second world war.
The series, which ran from 1982 to 1992, was based around his character’s struggle with daily life in the French town of Nouvion: maintaining a friendly face for the German soldiers, getting dragged into the French resistance and having numerous affairs with his waiting staff.
Kaye appeared in all 84 episodes of the popular series and was nominated for a Bafta. He appeared more than 1,000 times in the stage version.
Vicki Michelle, who played Yvette Carte-Blanche, paid tribute to her co-star. “So sad to hear news of Gorden Kaye. A brilliantly talented actor, consummate professional, loved the world over,” she said. “There’ll never be another René.”
Shane Allen, the controller of BBC comedy commissioning, said Kaye was a “terrific comic actor whose signature role, René Artois, earned his place in the comedy hall of fame”, adding: “He was instrumental in making ‘Allo ‘Allo! such a long-running and well-loved series.”
Born in Huddersfield in 1941, Kaye described himself in his autobiography as a “shy, gay and overweight boy” who turned to acting to help his self-confidence. He began with small film roles, including The Party’s Over in 1965 starring Oliver Reed, but he found his true calling in television, first landing a role in Coronation Street. In 1982, he was cast as the lead character in ‘Allo ‘Allo.
aye suffered serious injuries in the Burns’ Day storm of January 1990 when a plank smashed through his windscreen and knocked him unconscious. During his stay in hospital following five hours of brain surgery, two journalists from the Sunday Sport posed as doctors to sneak into his room, an incident that caused national uproar and was described by the appeal court as a “monstrous invasion of privacy”.
Despite the severity of his injuries, Kaye went on to film two more series of ‘Allo ‘Allo after the accident.
Kaye is survived by most of the cast, although Carmen Silvera, who played his wife Edith, died in 2002 and Richard Marner, who played Colonel von Strohm, died in 2004.
Kaye’s last television role was in the BBC sketch show Revolver, but he returned to the screen in 2007 for a one-off revival of ‘Allo ‘Allo to reprise his best known role.
(Story The Guardian)


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The ‘Allo ‘Allo! cast on location in Mundford, Norfolk in 1986. Photograph: United News/Popperfoto/Getty Images
Vicki Michelle, who played Yvette Carte-Blanche, paid tribute to her co-star. “So sad to hear news of Gorden Kaye. A brilliantly talented actor, consummate professional, loved the world over,” she said. “There’ll never be another René.”

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