…just a pity “Mandarin” is misspelled.
…just a pity “Mandarin” is misspelled.
by Keith Flett
Morris Beckman, who has died aged 94, will be remembered by many as a courageous and principled anti-fascist
.He successfully opposed Oswald Mosley’s Blackshirts in the years immediately after the end of the Second World War. And in his book The 43 Group he passed on to later generations of activists the history and knowledge of that struggle.
Morris was born in Hackney, east London, in 1921 and enlisted to fight when the war started in 1939. Turned down for the RAF, he instead became a radio officer in the Merchant Navy. This was a dangerous job in wartime. Ships he was on were torpedoed more than once.
Returning to Hackney in 1946 after the defeat of the Nazis, Morris was amazed to find British fascists under Mosley openly campaigning on the streets.Attacks on Jewish shops by fascists were common, with slogans such as “they didn’t burn enough of them in Belsen”. And swastikas were to be found painted in areas such as Dalston and Stamford Hill.
Despite protests, the Labour home secretary James Chuter Ede refused to act and the leadership of Jewish organisations backed only peaceful protest.Enraged, in April 1946 Morris and others formed the 43 Group in Hampstead, north west London, to directly confront the fascists.
Most of these 38 men and five women were ex-service people who had fought in the war. Their aim was to disrupt and stop fascist meetings.IntelligenceLondon black cab drivers provided intelligence on where the Mosleyites were gathering.
By 1947 the 43 Group had grown to over 1,000 members around the country.Hackney remained a focus, with gatherings of many hundreds of fascists at Ridley Road market. They went to hear Jeffrey Hamm, leader of the fascist British League of Ex-Serviceman, and others including Mosley himself rant against the “alien” Jewish menace.
The tactics of the 43 Group were to form flying wedges of anti-fascists through the crowd. They would attack the platform of a meeting and cause the police to shut it down. Over time several thousand fascist gatherings were stopped in this way.
The Group was disbanded in 1950, taking the view that the immediate task of disrupting fascist activity was complete. However in 1962 a successor 62 Group was formed in its image to deal with the still active Mosleyites.
Morris went on to become a successful clothes manufacturer and author. In his retirement he wrote The 43 Group, and other books picking up on themes raised there. But he also recounted his post-1945 experiences and the successful tactics used to stop fascists in that period to audiences comprising a new generation of anti-fascists
.When I met Morris to discuss successor volumes to the 43 Group I was struck by someone determined to pass on his knowledge of fighting fascists and the wider movement.He was still analysing what had happened and what was happening. This wasn’t in the sense of lecturing me but discussing as an activist still in the fight. He supported Unite Against Fascism and spoke at many meetings about tactics, strategies and ideas.
Morris Beckman’s life stands as an inspiration to those continuing the fight against fascism now.
UCD – University College DublinUploaded on 10 Nov 2011
Sir Christopher Lee, at University College Dublin, discusses Gandalf and Saruman in J.R.R. Tolkein’s Lord of the Rings
Legendary British horror actor, Sir Christopher Lee who portrayed the blood-sucking vampire Dracula in the 1958 Hammer Horror Film was awarded Honorary Life Membership by the UCD Law Society.
“We are honoured to present Sir Christopher Lee with Honorary Life Membership of the UCD Law Society. His corpus of work is truly legendary,” says Francis McNamara, Auditor of the UCD Law Society.
“His dedication to his craft for more than half a century should serve as an inspiration to each and every one of us.”
“His portrayal of the blood-sucking vampire Dracula in the 1958 Hammer Horror production terrified audiences throughout the world, and as a result Christopher Lee, who stands at 6 foot 5 inches tall, became one of the most recognisable faces and figures of cinema.”
Previous recipients of Honorary Life Membership of the UCD Law Society include: Jessie Jackson, Bill Clinton, Jeremy Irons, and Seamus Heaney.
But it was not until the early 2000s that his career reached even higher heights from his appearances in two blockbuster film franchises: as Saruman the White in The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (2001-2003), and as Count Dooku in Star Wars: Episode II — Attack of the Clones (2002).
Born in 1922 in London, England, Christopher Lee is of noble Italian ancestry on his mother’s side (Carandini). His mother, Contessa Estelle Marie Carandini di Sarzano, was a noted Edwardian beauty and was painted by John Lavery, Oswald Birley and Olive Snell and sculpted by Clare Sheridan, a cousin of Winston Churchill.
The Carandini family is one of the oldest in Europe and traces itself back to the first century AD. It is believed to have been connected with the Emperor Charlemagne, and as such was granted the right to bear the coat of arms of the Holy Roman Empire by Emperor Frederick Barbarossa.
In 2009, Lee (89) was knighted by Prince Charles in recognition of his lifetime contribution to the film and television industries. And this year (2011), he received a BAFTA Fellowship.
- Standard YouTube Licence
French film actor who found stardom with Three Coins in the Fountain and Gigi, and whose later roles included a prince in the James Bond adventure Octopussy
For audiences in the 1940s and 50s, Louis Jourdan’s incredible good looks and mellifluous Gallic purr seemed to sum up everything that was sexy and enticing about Frenchmen. As a result, he became the most sought-after French actor since Charles Boyer. Though perhaps this hampered him, stymying opportunities to extend his dramatic range, any actor who was constantly in demand by both French studios and Hollywood producers had a lot to be grateful for.
When Jourdan, who has died aged 95, played the consummate bon vivant in Vincente Minnelli’s Gigi (1958), he became an international celebrity. The film, which co-starred Maurice Chevalier and Leslie Caron, won nine Oscars, including best picture. Though the best-known of its Lerner and Loewe numbers was Chevalier’s Thank Heaven for Little Girls, the title song went to Jourdan. He later widened the breadth of his work, and in old age was still one of the most handsome men on the screen, even if the films themselves seldom matched the fineness of his looks.
He was born in Marseilles, one of the three sons of Henri Gendre, a hotelier who organised the Cannes film festival after the second world war, and Yvonne, from whose maiden name, Jourdan, Louis took his stage name. The family followed Henri’s work, which accounted for the ease with which he was later able to perform overseas. He was educated in France, Turkey and Britain, where he learned to speak perfect English with an accent that he was clever enough to realise he should keep superbly French.
Jourdan, who knew from early on that he was going to be an actor, studied under René Simon in Paris. Admired for his dramatic talent and a certain polish that no one could readily explain, he was cast in his film debut, Le Corsaire (1939), which starred Boyer, though the outbreak of the second world war prevented its completion. He went on to appear in L’Arlésienne (1942) before his career was interrupted by the Nazi occupation of France.
His father was arrested by the Gestapo, and Louis and his two brothers were active members of the resistance, whose work for the underground meant that he had to stay away from the studios. But it also resulted in his becoming a favourite of the resurgent French postwar film industry. At a time when many had worked on films that had served to help Marshal Pétain’s propaganda campaign – and stars such as Chevalier were being accused of collaboration – it was easy to promote a star who had actively worked against the Nazis.
In 1946, Jourdan married Berthe Frédérique (known as Quique) and went to Los Angeles, having been persuaded by the movie mogul David O Selznick that he would be able to make more of himself in Hollywood than he ever could in Paris. He shone in his first American film, The Paradine Case (1947), directed by Alfred Hitchcock and starring Gregory Peck. This was followed by Max Ophüls’s masterly Letter from an Unknown Woman (1948), based on the story by Stefan Zweig. Jourdan played the debonair, womanising pianist with whom Joan Fontaine falls hopelessly and tragically in love. He invested the performance with a vulnerability that saved his character from being simply caddish.
In Minnelli’s 1949 film of Gustave Flaubert’s Madame Bovary, he starred as the lover of the adulterous anti-heroine, played by Jennifer Jones. He returned to France for Rue de l’Estrapade (1953) and La Mariée Est Trop Belle (The Bride Is Too Beautiful, released with the title Her Bridal Night, 1956), the latter with Brigitte Bardot, while in Italy he appeared in Three Coins in the Fountain (1954), its title referring to the Trevi fountain in Rome. His image as the light romantic lead was burnished in that film, and his status as such was sealed by Gigi, which made him the No 1 pin-up of sophisticated American women.
He had a similar role in Can-Can (1960), which starred Frank Sinatra, Shirley MacLaine and Chevalier. There followed continental roles in Hollywood productions: as a playboy in The VIPs (1963) and a fashion designer in Made in Paris (1966).
He had made his Broadway debut, playing a repressed gay man embarking on marriage, in an adaptation of André Gide’s The Immoralist, in 1954. The production co-starred Geraldine Page and James Dean, before Dean’s movie breakthrough. The following year, Jourdan returned to the New York stage in Tonight in Samarkand. He soon let it be known that he wanted more serious film roles and was not getting enough of them. In 1961 he took the lead in Claude Autant-Lara’s Le Comte de Monte Cristo and, in 1975, he appeared in a British TV movie production of Alexandre Dumas’s novel, this time playing De Villefort to Richard Chamberlain’s Count. Two years later, he was D’Artagnan in The Man in the Iron Mask on TV, again opposite Chamberlain.
He played Dracula in a 1977 BBC TV adaptation and an Afghan prince in the James Bond adventure Octopussy (1983), but few of his later roles showed the range of his talents. Certainly, Swamp Thing (1982) and The Return of Swamp Thing (1989) were not the sort of movies that the Gigi star would want to be remembered for. In the mid-80s he returned to Gigi, this time in Chevalier’s role, for a touring show; he replied to the criticism that he lip-synched songs by saying: “If I sang them live, the fragile little voice I have would go.”
Jourdan’s final film appearance came as a suave villain in Peter Yates’s caper about a rare bottle of wine, Year of the Comet (1992). In 2010 he was appointed to the Légion d’Honneur.
His wife died last year. Their son, Louis Henry, died in 1981 from a drug overdose.
• Louis Jourdan (Louis Robert Gendre), actor, born 19 June 1919; died 14 February 2015
Key figure in scandal that rocked Harold Macmillan’s Tory government in the 1960s dies after cancer battle
Mandy Rice-Davies, famous for her role in the 1960s Profumo affair that almost toppled the British government in 1963, has died at the age of 70.
A statement from the Hackford Jones PR agency said: “It is with deep sadness that the family of Marilyn Foreman, also known as Mandy Rice-Davies, have confirmed that she passed away yesterday evening after a short battle with cancer.
“They have asked for their privacy to be respected and no further comment will be made.”
Rice-Davies, then a night-club dancer, was responsible for one of the best-known quotations of modern time: “He would, wouldn’t he?”, made during the Old Bailey trial of Stephen Ward, an osteopath charged with living off the immoral earnings of Christine Keeler and her friend Rice-Davies.
Rice-Davies’ comment came when she was asked in court whether she knew that Lord Astor had denied having sex with her.
Keeler had had an affair with the then war secretary John Profumo and had also had sex with the Soviet naval attache in London who was a spy. Profumo’s disgrace followed a false denial that he had slept with Keeler, and the resulting furore probably played a part in the Conservatives’ defeat at the general election the following year.
Rice-Davies remained a public figure after the scandal, singing and acting, and earlier this year added her voice to claims that Ward had been made a scapegoat in the affair. He killed himself at the flat of a London friend after he was found guilty.
Rice-Davies was born in Solihull, Warwickshire, to Welsh parents in 1944. She later said that at school she won so many prizes that she had to give some of them back to give the other children a chance. She said her twin loves when she was young were her Welsh mountain pony, Laddie, and the medical missionary Albert Schweitzer. “I wanted to hug lepers, hug trees and to join him if I could. But then I did some research and changed my mind.”
She left school without qualifications and took a job in the china department at Marshall & Snelgrove in Birmingham, modelling at the store during teatime. She then moved to London, where she got a job as a dancer at Murray’s cabaret club in Soho, where she began mixing with the rich and famous.
The Earl of Dudley, one of Murray’s oldest clients, took such a shine to Rice-Davies, who by 17 had had her first offer of marriage. “I could have been a dowager duchess by the time I was 22,” she said.
She also began her association with Keeler, a fellow dancer, and with Ward, leading to high society sex parties, particularly at Cliveden, the Berkshire mansion of the Astors.
She said later: “As soon as I realised that the whole thing was about to blow up, I went and told my parents absolutely everything that could possibly come out, and they were very supportive. Looking back on it, I was remarkably naive.”
Later, she lived with notorious landlord Peter Rachman for two years. Rachman died soon after they split up.
After the Ward trial, she accepted an offer to sing in a cabaret in Germany, and met a half-French, half-Italian baron, Pierre Cevello.
She moved to Spain and then to Israel, still singing in cabaret, marrying a businessman, Rafael Shaul, running restaurants with him, a dress factory and she acted in a Hebrew theatre.
They had a daughter, Dana, but after ten years they divorced. She then married a Frenchman called Jean Charles – for about a week, she claimed.
Soon afterwards she met her third husband, British businessman Ken Foreman, marrying on a private island and living on Grove Isle, Miami. They had other homes in the Bahamas and Virginia Water, Surrey.
After seeing Edward Fox starring as Harold Macmillan in the play Letter of Resignation, which focused on the Profumo scandal, in 1999, she said: “We left in frustration at the end of the first act, because I couldn’t understand a word he was saying,” she said.
She was to say later: “If I could live my life over, I would wish 1963 had not existed. The only reason I still want to talk about it is that I have to fight the misconception that I was a prostitute. I don’t want that to be passed on to my grandchildren. There is still a stigma.”
She also insisted she had no secrets to take to the grave. “Everything is out. That is why I have no concerns whatsoever about anything.”
by Gagandeep Singh Chaney
"Houston, *nasa static* We have contact..."
The View From the Sinister Side of Life
This WordPress.com site is the bee's knees
A journey through history via forgotten books, by Roger Pocock.
Austerity: The ugly truth
Ideas for a new age
from sorrow to serenity
For Peace On Earth In This Generation
This blog is devoted to legal, historical and human rights matters, in which issues of general concern are addressed freely and spontaneously. It is intended to further an informal exchange of views in the democratic spirit of freedom of opinion and respect for the opinions of others, in an effort to understand rather than condemn, to propose constructive solutions rather than grandstand. The perspective is both from inside and outside the box and the added value lies more in the questions than in the answers.
Authors, Artists, Geeks, Husbands
Culture, Art & Architecture
Breathing on the embers of a dying Republic.
A Brief History of Music
images for a free world
myth, metaphor, subversion ....
Photos of life in the Windy city
Interior Designer - Stylist - DIY'er - Architectural Drafter - Mommy - Party Starter - Spartan Racer
'It is not what you look at that matters. It's what you see.' - Henry David Thoreau
Dotting down my feelings, experiences and imaginations.
New Social Network Tsu — Which Pays Users Who Post — Raises $7 Million .
The Study of International Relations
The Perry County Historical and Cultural Arts Society
a photoblog by Martin Dzurjaník
Photography....... Techniques and Oddities
Cognition incarnate, a responsibility.
Campaigning for U.S. compliance with international norms
A site of history's odds and ends, and lots of books.
My life in a snapshot
A Candid Travel & Photo Blog!!
The Wildlife in Nature
working through the digital world of blogging with visuals
THINKING BY THE HEART AND PHOTOGRAPHY WITH THE SMARTPHONE, BOTH BRING GENIALITY
Marine Biologist, Sci-fi Author, Surfer
Trying everything twice since 1984
Archaeology, landscape and history
by May K.
Commons and everyday commoning