CULT FACTION

For all your cult film, tv, cartoon, comic and video game needs

George Cole passes away aged 90

Cult Faction is sad to report that George Cole has died at the age of 90.

Cole’s career spanned 70 years, and he will be best remembered for his portrayal of “Flash” Harry in the St Trinians movies and as small-time wheeler dealer and crook Arthur Daley in the TV show Minder, alongside his likeable bodyguard Terry McCann, played by Dennis Waterman. The show, which ran from 1979 to 1994, brought the criminal underworld of west London to millions of homes up and down the country.

Cole was given up for adoption at the age of ten days and adopted by the Cole family. He left school to be a butcher’s boy but landed a part in a touring musical, and chose acting as a career. He appeared in a film with British stage and film actor Alastair Sim, and Sim and his family took in Cole and his adoptive mother when he was 15. They helped him lose his Cockney accent and he stayed with the Sim family until he was 27.

Cole began appearing in films in the early 1940s, debuting in the 1941 film Cottage to Let. He attributes the success of his career to Alastair Sim, who became his mentor. Cole appeared in a total of 11 films with Sim, starting with Cottage to Let, and ending with the somewhat obscure 1961 independent film The Anatomist.

He also acted opposite Laurence Olivier in The Demi-Paradise (1943) and Olivier’s film version of Henry V (1944). He is the last surviving member of the large cast of Henry V. His career was interrupted by his service in the Royal Air Force from 1944 to 1947.

He was well known for his lead role in the 1953-1969 radio comedy A Life of Bliss where from the eighth episode (David Tomlinson played Bliss in the first seven episodes), he played an amiable but bumbling bachelor, David Alexander Bliss, with his dog Psyche, voiced by Percy Edwards. It lasted for six series and just 34 of the 118 episodes made of the radio series now survive. This became a TV series in 1960.

He became familiar to audiences in British comedy films in the 1950s. Cole appeared with Sim in Scrooge (as the young Scrooge) in 1951, but his best known film role was as “Flash Harry” in the St Trinian’s films (two of which also star Sim), and in the comedy Too Many Crooks (1959). He also starred in the 1973 film Take Me High alongside Cliff Richard and Deborah Watling.

His most memorable television role was as crooked used-car dealer Arthur Daley in the Thames Television series Minder which he played from 1979 to the show’s conclusion in 1994. Prior to this, he had played a struggling writer in the BBC sitcom ‘Don’t Forget To Write!’ (1977-79). Another memorable role was that of Sir Giles Lynchwood in the BBC’s 1985 adaptation of the Tom Sharpe novel Blott on the Landscape, which also starred Geraldine James. David Suchet, Julia McKenzie and Simon Cadell.

George has recently been cast in a new crime-horror film called Road Rage, in the role of Cyril, which will be released in cinemas in 2015.

Cole died in hospital with his family at his side, according to agent Derek Webster, who represents Waterman.

Mr Webster said: “It is with deep regret that I have to announce the sad death of one of our most loved and respected actors.

“George Cole passed away yesterday at the Royal Berkshire Hospital after a short illness. His wife Penny and his son Toby were with him at his bedside.”

Related Posts
Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century (1999)

Based on Marilyn Sadler and Roger Bollen's book of the same name, Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century was directed by Kenneth Johnson and set in the year 2049. It Read more

Yatterman

Originally running between 1977-1979 for 108 episodes, Yatterman succeeded Time Bokan and followed what happened after fragments of a mysterious stone known as the Skull Stone are scattered across the Read more

Who really were the N.W.A. in Hot Fuzz?

It was 2007 when director Edgar Wright dropped Hot Fuzz on us. The film was written by Wright and Simon Pegg and featured long time collaborator Nick Frost. It is Read more

What ever happened to Bill and Ted’s Excellent History Presentation?

Back in 1989 two dudes known as Bill S. Preston Esq. (Alex Winter) and Ted "Theodore" Logan (Keanu Reeves) - together they were known as Wyld Stalyns -  needed to Read more

Welcome to Paradox

Debuting in 1998 and running for thirteen episodes, Welcome to Paradox was an anthology show where all the stories took place in the fictional future city of Betaville although the Read more

Timecrimes (2007)

Written and directed by Nacho Vigalondo, Timecrimes (aka Los Cronocrímenes) is a Spanish science-fiction thriller. In the documentary Future Shock! The Story of 2000 AD Nacho Vigalondo credits 2000 AD comic magazine Read more

The Rise of Skywalker – One 40 Something’s ‘Obsessed Fanboy’ pre-release thoughts…

No one likes an 'I told you so', so let's get the unpleasant bit out of the way. I told you so. Back in Feb 2018, whilst I was still Read more

The Paper Lads

The Paper Lads was a children's television series created by J.G. Holland and produced by Tyne Tees Television and broadcast from 1977 to 1979. It lasted two seasons (14 episodes in total). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KLEIE8WD0X4 Read more

The Maze (1953)

Directed by William Cameron Menzies, The Maze was 3-D horror film that deals with teratology and prenatal phylogenetic evolution. It begins when Scotsman Gerald MacTeam (Richard Carlson) abruptly ends his Read more

The legacy of Santa Claus: The Movie

Santa Claus: The Movie was supposed to be the holiday hit of 1985. Such was the confidence that farther and son producers Alexander and Ilya Salkind had managed to get Read more

Founded Cult Faction in 2014. Some would describe him as a teacher, writer, dream weaver, and visionary... some would not...

%d bloggers like this: