ABSOLUTE PANDEMONIUM: A Memoir

Book number: 93442 Product format: Hardback Author: BRIAN BLESSED

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Bibliophile price £8.50
Published price £20


Notorious for his booming voice and unprintable language, Brian Blessed is a classical actor with major Shakespearean roles to his credit as well as being a superb entertainer and famous all-round good bloke. The son of a coal-heaver, Brian worked his way up from the bottom, attending Bristol Old Vic theatre school where he commenced his lifelong love-hate friendship with Peter O'Toole. Apart from Lawrence of Arabia, O'Toole's most famous role was his disastrous Macbeth at London's Old Vic. On the first night Blessed, who was playing Banquo, had to get the plastered O'Toole into something like a costume and propel him onstage. Blessed had become a household name with his first big role as the young PC Fancy Smith in Z-Cars. In those days he was still aiming to be a Shakespearean actor and was devastated to receive a call from Orson Welles asking him to play Hotspur in Henry IV just after he had started Z-Cars. A major film role was playing Talthybius opposite Katharine Hepburn's Hecuba in Cacoyannis's Trojan Women. As an aficionado of Hepburn's films he managed to give as good as he got, surprising her with his analysis of where her leading man and partner Spencer Tracy had been ad-libbing, and he finally told her he was bored sick of hearing about Spencer all the time. Hepburn took it well. Although she stridently claimed to be an atheist, saying her farewells Hepburn showed Brian her religious side. Kenneth Branagh's Henry V took Blessed to Tokyo, where he was asked to escort Princess Anne on a state visit to meet the emperor and other dignitaries. Neither of them knew which was the emperor and Blessed's tale of their collusion in trial and error is a great royal story. Brian's dad was spotted taking illegal photos but was forgiven because of his vintage Japanese camera. 376pp, photos.

Additional product information

ISBN 9780283072314

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