Richard Hearne

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Richard Hearne
Richard Hearne as Mr Pastry.jpg
Richard Hearne as Mr Pastry
Born
Richard Lewis Hearne

(1908-01-30)30 January 1908
Norwich, Norfolk, England
Died23 August 1979(1979-08-23) (aged 71)
Resting place St Mary's Platt, Kent, England
OccupationComic actor

Richard Lewis Hearne OBE (30 January 1908 – 23 August 1979 [1] [2] ) was an English actor, comedian, producer and writer. He is best remembered for his stage and television character Mr Pastry. [3]

England Country in north-west Europe, part of the United Kingdom

England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to the west and Scotland to the north-northwest. The Irish Sea lies west of England and the Celtic Sea lies to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south. The country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain, which lies in the North Atlantic, and includes over 100 smaller islands, such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight.

Actor person who acts in a dramatic or comic production and works in film, television, theatre, or radio

An actor is a person who portrays a character in a performance. The actor performs "in the flesh" in the traditional medium of the theatre or in modern media such as film, radio, and television. The analogous Greek term is ὑποκριτής (hupokritḗs), literally "one who answers". The actor's interpretation of their role—the art of acting—pertains to the role played, whether based on a real person or fictional character. Interpretation occurs even when the actor is "playing themselves", as in some forms of experimental performance art.

Comedian person who seeks to entertain an audience, primarily by making them laugh

A comedian or comic is a person who seeks to entertain an audience by making them laugh. This might take many forms including jokes, satirical observations, amusing situations, acting foolish or employing prop comedy. A comedian who addresses an audience directly is called a stand-up comedian. Other practises include the sitcom, sketch comedy and improv genres.

Contents

Career

Hearne was born in Norwich, Norfolk, in 1908, the son of Richard and Lily May Hearne. Richard senior came from a theatrical family – his mother had been on the stage and he himself was a performing acrobat. Hearne worked on and off for the BBC for thirty years; he became the first performer to be known as a "television star" and also the first to have his own television series.[ citation needed ] The series, with the theme tune "Pop Goes The Weasel", had episodes lasting 25 minutes in which Hearne assumed the character of "Mr Pastry" – an old man with a walrus moustache, dressed in a black suit or raincoat and with a trademark bowler hat. Each week, the bumbling old man would have adventures, partly slapstick, partly comic dance, with two young friends. Jon Pertwee also starred in the show in a variety of roles.

Acrobatics

Acrobatics is the performance of extraordinary human feats of balance, agility, and motor coordination. It can be found in many of the performing arts, sporting events, and martial arts. Acrobatics is most often associated with activities that make extensive use of gymnastic elements, such as acro dance, circus, and gymnastics, but many other athletic activities — such as ballet and diving — may also employ acrobatics. Although acrobatics is most commonly associated with human body performance, it may also apply to other types of performance, such as aerobatics.

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters are at Broadcasting House in Westminster, London, and it is the world's oldest national broadcasting organisation and the largest broadcaster in the world by number of employees. It employs over 20,950 staff in total, 16,672 of whom are in public sector broadcasting. The total number of staff is 35,402 when part-time, flexible, and fixed-contract staff are included.

The Mr Pastry character had originated in the 1936 stage show Big Boy in which Hearne had appeared with Fred Emney. A Mr Pastry film was subsequently made but portrayed the lead character as a pathetic figure coming out of prison and totally different from the TV series' bumbling comic.

Fred Emney British actor

Frederick Arthur Round Emney was an English character actor and comedian.

His act first appeared on the US Ed Sullivan Show in 1954, and thereafter Hearne appeared on the show frequently. Buster Keaton was reportedly a fan. [4] Hearne was the subject of This Is Your Life in 1959 when he was surprised by Eamonn Andrews at the BBC Television Theatre. [5] In 1963, Hearne became President of the Lord's Taverners charity and he subsequently raised money for hundreds of hydrotherapy pools. In 1970, he was awarded an OBE for his charitable work.

<i>The Ed Sullivan Show</i> American television series

The Ed Sullivan Show was an American television variety show that ran on CBS from June 20, 1948, to June 6, 1971, and was hosted by New York entertainment columnist Ed Sullivan. It was replaced in September 1971 by the CBS Sunday Night Movie.

Buster Keaton American actor and filmmaker

Joseph Frank Keaton, known professionally as Buster Keaton, was an American actor, comedian, film director, producer, screenwriter, and stunt performer. He was best known for his silent films, in which his trademark was physical comedy with a consistently stoic, deadpan expression which earned him the nickname "The Great Stone Face". Critic Roger Ebert wrote of Keaton's "extraordinary period from 1920 to 1929" when he "worked without interruption" on a series of films that make him "the greatest actor-director in the history of the movies". His career declined afterward with a loss of artistic independence when he was hired by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, his wife divorced him, and he descended into alcoholism. He recovered in the 1940s, remarried, and revived his career to a degree as an honored comic performer for the rest of his life, earning an Academy Honorary Award.

<i>This Is Your Life</i> (UK TV series) television series

This is Your Life is a British biographical television documentary, based on the 1952 American show of the same title. It was hosted by Eamonn Andrews from 1955 until 1964, and then from 1969 until his death in 1987 aged 64. Michael Aspel then took up the role of host until the show ended in 2003. It returned in 2007 as a one-off special presented by Trevor McDonald, which to date was its most recent airing.

He was interviewed for the starring role of the BBC series Doctor Who after the departure of Jon Pertwee, but a disagreement over his interpretation of the role (he wanted to play the Doctor as Mr Pastry) led to no offer being made by the producer, Barry Letts. The role was subsequently offered to Tom Baker. [6] In 1976, he appeared as Mr. Pastry on the BBC's old time music hall show, The Good Old Days . [7]

<i>Doctor Who</i> British science fiction TV series

Doctor Who is a British science fiction television programme produced by the BBC since 1963. The programme depicts the adventures of a Time Lord called "the Doctor", an extraterrestrial being, to all appearances human, from the planet Gallifrey. The Doctor explores the universe in a time-travelling space ship called the TARDIS. Its exterior appears as a blue British police box, which was a common sight in Britain in 1963 when the series first aired. Accompanied by a number of companions, the Doctor combats a variety of foes while working to save civilisations and help people in need.

Jon Pertwee English actor

John Devon Roland Pertwee, known professionally as Jon Pertwee, was an English actor, comedian, entertainer and cabaret performer.

Barry Leopold Letts was an English actor, television director, writer and producer.

Hearne died in Bearsted, Kent, in 1979, aged 71, leaving a widow, Yvonne, and two children. He was buried in the churchyard in the village of St. Mary's Platt, near Borough Green in Kent. He had lived at Platt Farm, a fifteenth-century property in Long Mill Lane in the village, from the 1940s, and ran a market garden there. [8]

Bearsted village and civil parish in Kent, England

Bearsted is a village and civil parish with railway station in mid-Kent, England, two miles (3.2 km) east of Maidstone town centre.

Platt, Kent village in United Kingdom

Platt, or St. Mary's Platt is a village in the local government district of Tonbridge and Malling in Kent, England. The village contains a church which was built in 1843 and which stands on a hill overlooking the village centre. The architects were Whichcord and Walker of Maidstone.

Borough Green farm village in Kent, England

Borough Green is an unclassified English urban community and a civil parish in the Tonbridge and Malling district of Kent. The central area is situated on the A25 road between Maidstone and Sevenoaks, with the M26 motorway running through it within a mile of the centre.

Selected filmography

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References

  1. GRO Register of Births: MAR 1908 4b 170 NORWICH – Richard Lewis Hearne
  2. GRO Register of Deaths: SEP 1979 16 1269 MAIDSTONE – Richard Lewes Hearne, DoB = 30 January 1908
  3. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 7 April 2017. Retrieved 28 November 2016.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  4. "The Time of His Life - Film from RadioTimes".
  5. "Richard Hearne".
  6. "BBC - Archive - The Changing Face of Doctor Who - Nearly Who".
  7. "The Good Old Days[18/03/76] (1976)".
  8. "The Television Annual for 1952", ed. by Kenneth Baily, Odhams Press, p. 94.