William Shatner

Canadian actor, author, producer, and director William Shatner OC ( was born March 22, 1932 in the Notre-Dame-de-Grâce neighbourhood of Montréal, Québec, Canada. Shatner attended two schools in Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, Willingdon Elementary School and West Hill High School and is an alumnus of the Montreal Children’s Theatre. He studied Economics at the McGill University Faculty of Management in Montreal, Canada, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce degree. In June 2011, McGill University awarded him an honorary Doctorate of Letters.

After graduating from McGill University in 1952, Shatner became the business manager for the Mountain Playhouse in Montreal before joining the Canadian National Repertory Theatre in Ottawa, where he trained as a classical Shakespearean actor. Shatner began performing at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival in Stratford, Ontario, beginning in 1954. He played a range of roles at the Stratford Festival in productions that included a minor role in the opening scene of a renowned and nationally televised production of Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex directed by Tyrone Guthrie, Shakespeare’s Henry V, and Marlowe’s Tamburlaine the Great, in which Shatner made his Broadway debut in 1956. In 1954, he was cast as Ranger Bob on The Canadian Howdy Doody Show. Shatner was an understudy to Christopher Plummer;

His film debut was in the Canadian film Butler’s Night Off (1951). His first feature role came in the MGM film The Brothers Karamazov (1958) with Yul Brynner, in which he starred as the youngest of the Karamazov brothers, Alexei. In 1958, he appeared opposite Ralph Bellamy, playing Roman tax collectors in Bethlehem on the day of Jesus’ birth in a vignette of a Hallmark Hall of Fame live television production entitled The Christmas Tree, which featured in other vignettes such performers as Jessica Tandy, Margaret Hamilton, Bernadette Peters, Richard Thomas, Cyril Ritchard, and Carol Channing. Shatner had a leading role in the Alfred Hitchcock Presents episode “The Glass Eye. He also received good reviews when he played the role of Lomax in the 1959 Broadway production of The World of Suzie Wong. Shatner also portrayed detective Archie Goodwin in the cancelled Nero Wolfe series, and appeared twice as Wayne Gorham in NBC’s Outlaws (1960) Western series with Barton MacLane, he also appeared in another episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents “Mother, May I Go Out to Swim?”

In 1961, he starred in the Broadway play A Shot in the Dark with Julie Harris and directed by Harold Clurman. Walter Matthau (who won a Tony Award for his performance) and Gene Saks were also featured in this play. Shatner featured in two episodes of the NBC television series Thriller (“The Grim Reaper” and “The Hungry Glass”) and the film The Explosive Generation. Shatner was considered the Stratford Festival’s most promising actor, alongside Steve McQueen, Paul Newman, and Robert Redford. In 1962 Shatner had the lead role in Roger Corman’s movie The Intruder and appeared in the Stanley Kramer film Judgment at Nuremberg plus two episodes, of the science fiction anthology series The Twilight Zone “Nick of Time” and “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet,” In 1963, he starred in the Family Theater production called “The Soldier” and received credits in other programs of The Psalms series.

He also guest-starred in Route 66, in the episode “Build Your Houses with Their Backs to the Sea.” In 1964, Shatner guest-starred in The Outer Limits episode “Cold Hands, Warm Heart” as an astronaut returning from a mission and discussing a planned mission to Mars called “Project Vulcan”. He also appeared in an the drama The Reporter (“He Stuck in His Thumb”) and co-starred with Laurence Harvey, Claire Bloom, Newman, and Edward G. Robinson in the Western feature film The Outrage. In 1965, Shatner guest-starred in 12 O’Clock High as Major Curt Brown in the segment “I Am the Enemy” and in The Man from U.N.C.L.E. in an episode that also featured Leonard Nimoy (who would soon portray the above-referenced Mr. Spock). He also starred in the critically acclaimed drama For the People in 1965, as an assistant district attorney alongside Jessica Walter. In 1966 Shatner starred in the gothic horror film Incubus And also starred in an episode of Gunsmoke as Fred Bateman. He appeared as attorney-turned-counterfeiter Brett Skyler in a 1966 episode of The Big Valley, “Time To Kill.” In 1967, he starred in White Comanche as Johnny Moon and his twin brother Notah.


Shatner was cast as Captain James T. Kirk for the second pilot of Star Trek, titled “Where No Man Has Gone Before” and remained in the role for three seasons until 1969. In his role as Kirk, Shatner famously kissed actress Nichelle Nichols (Lt. Uhura) in the episode, “Plato’s Stepchildren”. In 1973 He also voiced Captain Kirk, in the animated Star Trek series. Shatner Appeared as the lead prosecutor in a 1971 PBS adaptation of Saul Levitt’s play The Andersonville Trial and also appeared in “schlock” films, such as Roger Corman’s Big Bad Mam, the horror film The Devil’s Rain and the TV movie The Horror at 37,000 Feet. Other television appearances included a starring role in the western-themed secret agent series Barbary Coast during plus guest roles on The Six Million Dollar Man, Columbo, The Rookies, Kung Fu, Ironside and Mission: Impossible. Shatner appeared on The $10,000 Pyramid and The $20,000 Pyramid once opposite opposite Leonard Nimoy billed as “Kirk vs. Spock”. Other appearances included The Hollywood Squares, Celebrity Bowling, Beat the Clock, Tattletales, Mike Stokey’s Stump the Stars and Match Game. Shatner was original choice to host the Family Feud pilot in 1976, but gave the job to Richard Dawson instead

A revised Star Trek television series was planned in the 1970’s, tentatively titled Star Trek: Phase II. However, the phenomenal success of Star Wars (1977) led the studio to instead consider developing a Star Trek motion picture. Shatner and the other original Star Trek cast members returned to their roles when Paramount produced Star Trek: The Motion Picture, released in 1979. He played Kirk in the next six Star Trek films, ending with the character’s death in Star Trek Generations. He made Some later appearances in the role are in the movie sequences of the video game Starfleet Academy and the 2013 Academy Awards, as CaptIan Kirk during a comedic interlude with host Seth MacFarlane. Trekkies resurrected Star Trek after cancellation, in a 1986 Saturday Night Live sketch about a Star Trek convention. In 1998 Shatner also appeared in the film Free Enterprise and also parodied the cavalier, almost superhuman, persona of Captain Kirk in films such as Airplane II: The Sequel (1982) and National Lampoon’s Loaded Weapon. In 1994, he starred in the Columbo episode “Butterfly in Shades of Grey”.Shatner landed a starring role on television as the titular police officer T. J. Hooker, which ran from 1982 to 1986. He then hosted the popular dramatic re-enactment series Rescue 911 from 1989 to 1996 which won a People’s Choice Award for the Favorite New TV Dramatic Series. Shatner also directed numerous episodes of T. J. Hooker and the feature film Star Trek V: The Final Frontier. Shatner also appeared in 3rd Rock from the Sun as the “Big Giant Head” for which he earned an Emmy award and also starred as attorney Denny Crane in The Practice and Boston Legal, which earned him two more Emmy Awards. Shatner is currently filming the second season of the comical NBC real-life travelogue “Better Late Than Never.”

William Shatner has also written a series of books chronicling his experiences playing Captain Kirk and being a part of Star Trek, and has co-written several science fiction novels set in the Star Trek universe. He has also written a series of science fiction novels called TekWar published in 1989 Which became popular and were adapted into four TekWar television movies, in which Shatner played the role of Walter Bascom, the lead character’s boss. In 1995, a first-person shooter game named William Shatner’s TekWar was released. He also played as a narrator in the 1995 American documentary film Trinity and Beyond: The Atomic Bomb Movie directed by Peter Kuran. He narrated a television miniseries shot in New Zealand A Twist in the Tale (1998)

William Shatner has also appeared in a number of television commercials and adverts for many companies and products including Ontario-based Loblaws and British Columbia-based SuperValu supermarket General Motors, Oldsmobile and Promise margarine. He has also endorsed the Commodore VIC-20 home computer and done a series of commercials for the travel web site priceline.com. Shatner was also the CEO of the Toronto, Ontario-based C.O.R.E. Digital Pictures, a special effects studio that operated from 1994 to 2010. In May 1999, Simon & Schuster published Shatner’s book, Get a Life!, which details his experiences with Star Trek fandom, anecdotes from Trek conventions, and his interviews with dedicated fans, in particular those who found deeper meaning in the franchise.

In 2000 Shatner co-starred in the movie Miss Congeniality as Stan Fields alongside future Boston Legal co-star Candice Bergen. He reprised the role in the sequel Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous (2004), in which Stan Fields was kidnapped in Las Vegas along with the winner of the pageant of the previous year. (Shatner hosted the Miss USA Pageant in 2001 as a real presenter in Gary, Indiana.) In the live-action/animated film Osmosis Jones (2001), he voiced Mayor Phlegmming, the self-centered head of the “City of Frank”. In 2003, Shatner appeared in Brad Paisley’s “Celebrity” and “Online” music videos along with Little Jimmy Dickens, Jason Alexander, and Trista Rehn. Shatner also had a supporting role in the comedy DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story starring Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn.

Shatner also appeared in the final season of the legal drama The Practice portraying the eccentric but highly capable attorney Denny Crane, for which he won an Emmy.
Shatner then portrayed Crane in Boston Legal, and won a Golden Globe, an Emmy in 2005, and was nominated again in 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009 for his work. With the 2005 Emmy win. Shatner became one of the few actors (along with co-star James Spader as Alan Shore) to win an Emmy Award while playing the same character in two different series. Shatner and Spader each won a second consecutive Emmy while playing the same character in two different series. Shatner made several guest appearances on The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien, including cameos reciting Sarah Palin’s resignation speech, He also appears in the opening graphics of the occasional feature “In the Year 3000”. He also played the voice of Ozzie the opossum in DreamWorks’ 2006 feature Over the Hedge. In 2007, Shatner launched a series of daily vlogs on his life called ShatnerVision on http://www.LiveVideo.com which was renamed “The Shatner Project. Shatner also starred as the voice of Don Salmonella Gavone on the 2009 YouTube animated series The Gavones. Shatner did not appear the 2009 film Star Trek as Director J. J. Abrams could not think of a plausible reason for him to appear

Shatner had invented his own idea about the beginning of Star Trek with his 2007 novel, Star Trek: Academy — Collision Course. His autobiography Up Till Now: The Autobiography was released in 2008. He was assisted in writing it by David Fisher. Shatner has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (for television work) at 6901 Hollywood Boulevard. He also has a star on the Canada’s Walk of Fame. Shatner was the first Canadian actor to star in three successful television series on three different major networks (NBC, CBS, and ABC). He also starred in the CBS sitcom $#*! My Dad Says, and is also the host of the interview show Shatner’s Raw Nerve on The Biography Channel, and the Discovery Channel television series Weird or What. Shatner also appeared in Psych in The he episode, “In For a Penny” on the USA Network as the estranged father of Junior Detective Juliet O’Hara (Maggie Lawson).

In 2011, Shatner starred in The Captains, a feature-length documentary which he also wrote and directed. The film follows Shatner as he interviews the other actors who have portrayed starship captains within the Star Trek franchise. Shatner’s interviewees included Patrick Stewart, Avery Brooks, Kate Mulgrew, Scott Bakula, and Chris Pine. In the film, Shatner also interviews Christopher Plummer, who is an old friend and colleague from Shatner’s days with the Stratford Shakespeare Festival.

In 2012, Shatner performed in a new one-man show on Broadway, called Shatner’s World: We Just Live in It. And was the guest presenter on the British satirical television quiz show Have I Got News for You, during which he coined the portmanteau “pensioneer”, combining the words “pensioner” and “pioneer”. The TV channel Epix premiered Get a Life!, a documentary on Star Trek fandom starring Shatner that takes its title from his infamous Saturday Night Live line and his 1999 book on the topic. Shatner also portrayed the home plate umpire in the music video “At Fenway” by crooner Brian Evans. In 2014 he performed for one night only an autobiographical one-man show on Broadway, which was later broadcast in over 700 theaters across Canada, Australia, and the United States. In 2015, he played Mark Twain in an episode of the Canadian historical crime drama series Murdoch Mysteries. And also played Croatoan—main character Audrey Parker’s interdimensional, dangerous father—in the last episodes of the fifth and final season of SyFy channel’s fantasy series Haven. In 2016, Shatner appeared in the NBC reality miniseries Better Late Than Never, which documented the adventures of Shatner and three other aging celebrities (Henry Winkler, Terry Bradshaw and George Foreman) as they travel to Japan, South Korea and Southeast Asia. He also co-founded the comic-book company Shatner Singularity, whose titles include the graphic novel Stan Lee’s ‘God Woke’ by Stan Lee and Fabian Nicieza which won the 2017 Independent Publisher Book Awards’ Outstanding Books of the Year Independent Voice Award. Shatner then appeared in the animated television series My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic as the voice of Grand Pear, the estranged maternal grandfather of Applejack and her siblings, in the episode “The Perfect Pear”.

Shatner has also worked as a musician and began his musical career with the spoken-word 1968 album The Transformed Man, delivering exaggerated, interpretive recitations of “Mr. Tambourine Man” and “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.” He performed a reading of the Elton John song “Rocket Man” during the 1978 Science Fiction Film Awards that has been widely parodied. Ben Folds, who has worked with him several times, produced and co-wrote Shatner’s well-received second studio album, Has Been, in 2004. His third studio album, Seeking Major Tom, was released on October 11, 2011. The fourth, Ponder the Mystery, was released in October 2013. Shatner also has done a concert tour with CIRCA:, which includes an ex and current member of Yes, Tony Kaye and Billy Sherwood. Shatner also recorded a wake-up call that was played for the crew of STS-133 in the Space Shuttle Discovery on March 7, 2011, its final day docked to the International Space Station. Backed by the musical theme from Star Trek, it featured a voice-over based on his spoken introduction from the series’ opening credits: “Space, the final frontier. These have been the voyages of the Space Shuttle Discovery. Her 30-year mission: To seek out new science. To build new outposts. To bring nations together on the final frontier. To boldly go, and do, what no spacecraft has done before.” William Shatner is also an author; screenwriter and director; celebrity pitchman; and a passionate owner, trader, breeder, rider, and aficionado of horses.


Edgar Rice Burroughs

Prolific Adventure & Science Fiction Novelist Edgar Rice Burroughs sadly passed away on March 19, 1950 after suffering a Heart Attack. He wrote almost seventy novels during his career and created many popular enduring characters but he is perhaps best known for his creation of the jungle hero Tarzan and the heroic Mars adventurer John Carter.

Edgar Rice Burroughs was born on September 1, 1875, in Chicago, Illinois (he later lived for many years in the suburb of Oak Park). he was educated at a number of local schools, and during the Chicago influenza epidemic in 1891, he spent a half year at his brother’s ranch on the Raft River in Idaho. He then attended the Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, and then the Michigan Military Academy. Graduating in 1895, and failing the entrance exam for the United States Military Academy (West Point), he ended up as an enlisted soldier with the 7th U.S. Cavalry in Fort Grant, Arizona Territory. After being diagnosed with a heart problem and thus ineligible to serve, he was discharged in 1897. Some drifting and ranch work followed in Idaho. Then, Burroughs found work at his father’s firm in 1899. He married childhood sweetheart Emma Hulbert (1876-1944) in January 1900. In 1904 he left his job and found less regular work; some in Idaho, later in Chicago.By 1911, after seven years of low wages, he was working as a pencil sharpener wholesaler and began to write fiction. By this time, Burroughs and Emma had two children, Joan (1908–72), who would later marry Tarzan film actor James Pierce, and Hulbert (1909–91).During this period, he had copious spare time and he began reading many pulp fiction magazines. In 1929 he recalled thinking that …if people were paid for writing rot such as I read in some of those magazines, that I could write stories just as rotten. As a matter of fact, although I had never written a story, I knew absolutely that I could write stories just as entertaining and probably a whole lot more so than any I chanced to read in those magazines.

So he wrote The exciting science-fiction exploits of Barsoom which debuted in 1912 and featured a Confederate American Civil War veteren from Virginia named John Carter, who inexplicably finds himself transported to the planet Mars and discovers that far from being dead, Mars, which is known as “Barsoom” by the locals) is actually inhabited by 12-foot tall barbarians called Tharks, Intelligent & scientifically minded red skinned people from the neighbouring City of Helium, villainous Warlords, Pirates, Giant White Apes and vicious thugs named Warhoons. Carter discovers that the land is in turmoil and the various inhabitants are at war with each other over th planets dwindling resources and the situation is being manipulated by shadowy forces. So he undertakes a perilous journey across Barsoom, encountering many dangers along the way, in order to unite the population against a common enemy and fairly soon he finds himself in the midst of all-out war between the forces of civilization on Mars and those of destruction and the outcome will determine the fate of everyone on Barsoom.

Burroughs also produced works in many other genres including The Land That Time Forgot (1918),and had his first story, “Under the Moons of Mars”, serialized in All-Story Magazine in 1912. Burroughs soon took up writing full-time and by the time the run of Under the Moons of Mars had finished he had completed two novels, including Tarzan of the Apes, which was published from October 1912 and which went on to become one of his most successful series. Burroughs also wrote popular science fiction and fantasy stories involving Earthly adventurers transported to various planets (notably Barsoom, Burroughs’ fictional name for Mars, and Amtor, his fictional name for Venus), lost islands, and into the interior of the hollow earth in his Pellucidar stories, as well as westerns and historical romances. Along with All-Story, many of his stories were published in The Argosy. Many of his novels have also been adapted from film including Tarzan of the Apes, Land that time Forgot and John Carter (which was made by Disney but did not do as well as I thought it would for some reason, I still think it is possible to do an Epic Barsoom series of films

Thanks to the enduring popularity of the Barsoom and Tarzan series of novels Burroughs set up his own company, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc In 1923 and began printing his own books throughout the 1930s.Then In 1941 At the time of the attack on Pearl Harbor, Burroughs was a resident of Hawaii and, despite being in his late sixties, he applied for permission to become a war correspondent. This permission was granted, and so he became one of the oldest war correspondents for the U.S. during World War II. After the war ended, Burroughs moved back to Encino, California, where, after many health problems, he died of a heart attack on March 19, 1950, having written almost 80 novels.

Arthur C.Clarke CBE FRAS Sri Lankabhimanya

British science fiction author, inventor Sir Arthur Charles Clarke, CBE, FRAS, Sri Lankabhimanya, sadly passed awa on 19th March 2008, born 16 December 1917. He was famous for his short stories and novels, among them 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), Profiles of the Future, Rendezvous with Rama and The Fountains of Paradise. He was also a host and commentator in the British television series Mysterious World. For many years, Robert A. Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, and Clarke were known as the “Big Three” of science fiction. Clarke served in the Royal Air Force as a radar instructor and technician from 1941 to 1946. In 1945, he proposed a satellite communication system—an idea that, in 1963, won him the Franklin Institute Stuart Ballantine Gold Medal. He was the chairman of the British Interplanetary Society from 1947–1950 and again in 1953.

Between 1937 and 1945, Clarke had a few stories published in fanzines, his first professional sale appeared in Astounding Science Fiction in 1946: “Loophole” was published in April, while “Rescue Party”, his first sale, was published in May. Along with his writing Clarke briefly worked as Assistant Editor of Science Abstracts (1949) before devoting himself to writing full-time from 1951 onward. Clarke also contributed to the Dan Dare series published in Eagle, and his first three published novels were written for children.Clarke corresponded with C. S. Lewis in the 1940s and 1950s and they once met in an Oxford pub, The Eastgate, to discuss science fiction and space travel. Clarke, after Lewis’s death, voiced great praise for him, saying the Ransom Trilogy was one of the few works of science fiction that could be considered literature. In 1948 he wrote “The Sentinel” for a BBC competition. Though the story was rejected, it changed the course of Clarke’s career. Not only was it the basis for 2001: A Space Odyssey, but “The Sentinel” also introduced a more cosmic element to Clarke’s work. Many of Clarke’s later works feature a technologically advanced but still-prejudiced mankind being confronted by a superior alien intelligence. In the cases of The City and the Stars (and its original version, Against the Fall of Night), Childhood’s End, and the 2001 series, this encounter produces a conceptual breakthrough that accelerates humanity into the next stage of its evolution. In Clarke’s authorised biography, Neil McAleer writes that: “many readers and critics still consider Childhood’s End Arthur C. Clarke’s best novel.”

Clarke lived in Sri Lanka from 1956 until his death, having emigrated there when it was still called Ceylon, first in Unawatuna on the south coast, and then in Colombo. The Sri Lankan government offered Clarke resident guest status in 1975. He was an avid scuba diver and a member of the Underwater Explorers Club. In addition to writing, Clarke set up several diving-related ventures with his business partner Mike Wilson. In 1956, while scuba diving in Trincomalee, Wilson and Clarke uncovered ruined masonry, architecture and idol images of the sunken original Koneswaram temple — including carved columns with flower insignias, and stones in the form of elephant heads — spread on the shallow surrounding seabed. Other discoveries included Chola bronzes from the original shrine, and these discoveries were described in Clarke’s 1957 book The Reefs of Taprobane. In 1961, while filming off Great Basses Reef, Wilson found a wreck and retrieved silver coins. Plans to dive on the wreck the following year were stopped when Clarke developed paralysis, ultimately diagnosed as polio. A year later, Clarke observed the salvage from the shore and the surface. The ship, ultimately identified as belonging to the Mughal Emperor, Aurangzeb, yielded fused bags of silver rupees, cannons, and other artefacts, carefully documented, became the basis for The Treasure of the Great Reef. Living in Sri Lanka and learning its history also inspired the backdrop for his novel The Fountains of Paradise in which he described a space elevator. This, he believed, would make rocket based access to space obsolete and, more than geostationary satellites, would ultimately be his scientific legacy.

His many predictions culminated in 1958 when he began a series of magazine essays that eventually became Profiles of the Future, published in book form in 1962. A timetable up to the year 2100 describes inventions and ideas including such things as a “global library” for 2005. The same work also contained “Clarke’s First Law” and text that became Clarke’s three laws in later editions. Clarke Sadly passed away on 19th March 2008 in Sri Lanka. He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1998 & was awarded Sri Lanka’s highest civil honour, Sri Lankabhimanya, in 2005.

Sylvia Anderson

English television and film producer, writer and voice actress, Sylvia Anderson sadly died 15 March 2016 at age 88, following a short illness. She was born in South London, England on 27 March 1927 and After graduating from the London School of Economics with a degree in economics and sociology, she became a social worker. She emigrated to the United States to live with her first husband, an American golfer. While in America, she worked as a journalist. She Returned to the United Kingdom with her daughter, Dee And joined the newly founded and short-lived Polytechnic Films as a secretary in 1957 and met Gerry Anderson, an editor and director. That year, when Anderson and Arthur Provis created AP Films following Polytechnic’s collapse, she joined them on the board of directors of the new company, alongside their colleagues John Read and Reg Hill.In 1960, the couple married, after which she played a wider role in production duties. Gerry Anderson and AP Films went on to create many popular and enduring classic television shows such as Fireball XL5, Joe 90,Stingray, Captain Scarlet and Thinderbirds using a technique dubbed Supermarionation. In addition to serving as co-creator and co- on their TV series during the 1960s and early 1970s, Anderson’s primary contribution was character development and costume design .She regularly directed the bi-weekly voice recording sessions, and provided the voices of many female and child characters, in particular Lady Penelope in Thunderbirds.


Sadly the The Andersons’ creative partnership ended when their marriage broke down during the production of the first series of Space: 1999 in 1975. Gerry announced his intention to separate on the evening of the wrap party, following which Sylvia ceased her involvement with the company, which by this time had twice been renamed and was now called Group Three. The Andersons divorced at the start of the 1980s, following a 5-year separation. In 1983, she published a novel titled Love and Hisses and in 1994, she reprised her voice role as Lady Penelope for an episode of Absolutely Fabulous. She worked as a London-based talent scout for HBO for 30 years.

Her autobiography Yes M’Lady was first published in 1991; in 2007, it was re-published as My FAB Years with new material to bring it up to date with the latest developments in her life, such as her role as a production consultant for the 2004 live-action film adaptation of Thunderbirds. Of the film, Anderson commented, “I’m personally thrilled that the production team have paid us the great compliment of bringing to life our original concept for the big screen. If we had made it ourselves (and we have had over 30 years to do it!) we could not have improved on this new version. It is a great tribute to the original creative team who inspired the movie all those years ago. It was a personal thrill for me to see my characters come to life on the big screen. My FAB Years was re-released as a spoken CD, narrated by Anderson, in 2010.

In 2013, Anderson worked with her daughter Dee, a jazz singer, on a concept for a new TV series named “The Last Station”. They set up a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo for followers to contribute and be a part of the series. In 2015, Anderson traveled to Italy to receive a Pulcinella Award in recognition of her career in television production. Anderson was also known for her charity work, particularly in support of Breast Cancer Care and Barnardo’s.

Jasper Carrott OBE- Has anybody seen my camel?

English comedian, actor, television presenter and personality.Jasper Carrott OBE (Robert Norman Davis was born in Acocks Green, Birmingham, England on 14 March 1945. In February 1969 he started his own folk club, “The Boggery”, in nearby Solihull with his friend Les Ward. Here, Carrott performed folk songs and MC duties. Before long, his banter with the audience overtook the actual songs; he became known more as a comedian than a singer. He toured the UK, appearing in rugby clubs. He independently recorded an album, financed by himself, called Jasper Carrot – In the Club, which he sold from the back of his van, and contained the original “Magic Roundabout”. Released in 1973, the LP is quite rare, although it mainly consists of material later used in his first three official LPs (such as “Hare Krishna”, “Car Insurance”, “Bastity Chelt”, and “Hava Nagila”) plus the Fred Wedlock song “The Folker”.

He had a surprise UK Top 5 chart hit in August 1975 with the novelty record “Funky Moped”, written by Chris Rohmann and produced by Jeff Lynne. The B-side of this single was a risqué monologue parodying the animated children’s TV series The Magic Roundabout. This track was banned by the BBC, which is widely believed to have contributed to the single’s commercial success, which in turn, ironically, led to his appearance on the BBC’s Top of the Pops. By the late 1970s, Carrott had developed a number of anecdotal sketches which he still performs in similar form some thirty years on. Often these sketches purported to be auto-biographical; many of them celebrate Birmingham accent and culture, including his support of his beloved Birmingham City. His sketches were captured on records such as Jasper Carrott Rabbitts on and on and on… and Carrott in Notts which were recordings of live performances. Notable hits were “Bastity Chelt” a complete song in Spoonerism, “The Football Match” describing a visit to Old Trafford, “The Nutter on the Bus” including the well known cry of “Has anybody seen my camel?”), “The Mole” (“There’s only one way to get rid of a mole – blow its bloody head off!”) and “Zits” – an explanation of an American slang word for spots that brought the word into use in England In 1979 he published A Little Zit on the Side, which purported to be a humorous autobiography. The follow-up, Sweet and Sour Labrador, mixed sections of his stand-up routines with similar autobiographical material, much of it related to his world travels.

His first appearance on television was a half hour show for BBC Midlands on August 11th 1975 in a programme about local football called “The Golden Game”. Then in 1976, A Half Hour Mislaid with Jasper Carrott recorded at Pebble Mill. His big break came two years later when he was invited by Michael Grade to make a pilot for LWT. It was well liked by Grade; a five further shows were recorded and became his first TV series, An Audience with Jasper Carrott, in 1978, this successful partnership with LWT lasted until 1981, The Unrecorded Jasper Carrott (1979) and Beat the Carrott (1981) are the two best known live stand-up performances from his time with LWT. This was followed by a move to the BBC and Carrott’s Lib – a Saturday night comedy show broadcast live – and then by a string of BBC shows. The most notable of these were Carrott’s Commercial Breakdown, which broadcast weird and wonderful adverts from around the world, and the sketch and stand-up shows Carrott Confidential, 24 Carrott Gold, The Jasper Carrott Trial and Canned Carrott, some of which also gave TV exposure to the comedy partnership of Steve Punt and Hugh Dennis.

In addition to his television work, Carrott made a foray into cinema, when he played Heinrich in the 1987 British comedy Jane and the Lost City. The next television series Canned Carrott also featured a regular police drama spoof called The Detectives, co-starring Robert Powell, which was spun off into its own series. Between 2002 and 2004, he starred in the sitcom All About Me. He performed in several of the Secret Policeman’s Ball charity concerts for Amnesty International, and returned to the stage in 2004 for several sell out shows at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham featuring classic routines from his career. He returned to a singing role for the musical Go Play Up Your Own End (written by Malcolm Stent, songs by Harvey Andrews).In 2005, he appeared in and put on the first of Jasper Carrott’s Rock With Laughter concerts. He appeared alongside performers such as Bill Bailey, Bonnie Tyler, Lenny Henry, Bobby Davro, the Lord of the Dance troupe and Bev Bevan. This has become a regular event at the NEC in Birmingham, usually staged in December and some times alternating with his “Jasper Carrott’s Christmas Crackers” events, but there have also been a few summer shows too.

Jasper also was one of the comperes for the Birmingham Heart Beat Charity Concert 1986, which featured many local bands such as Electric Light Orchestra and the Moody Blues, with a finale that included George Harrison from the Beatles.On 15 September 2007 he was inducted into the Birmingham Walk of Stars at a presentation as part of the Arts Fest 2007 celebrations. The award was presented by the Lord Mayor of Birmingham. Carrott is the second inductee, following Ozzy Osbourne. Jasper Carrott was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the British Comedy Awards on 6 December 2008. he also hosts the Endemol-produced game show Golden Balls for ITV1. Promising ratings led to a recommission, and the second series began in January 2008. A third series began in April 2008, and a fourth series started in October 2008. A fifth and six series were shown in 2009. He was also the host of the Sunday night interactive national pub quiz, and was ranked 20th in Channel 4′s 100 Greatest Stand-Up Comedians show.

Sir Michael Caine CBE

Cokney actor Sir Michael Caine CBE (Maurice Micklewhite), was born 14th March, 1933 in Rotherhithe, Southwark in South East London In 1944, he passed his eleven plus exam, winning a scholarship to Hackney Downs Grocers’ School. After a year there he moved to Wilson’s Grammar School in Camberwell (now Wilson’s School in Wallington, South London), which he left at sixteen after gaining a School Certificate in six subjects. Caine’s acting career began at the age of 20 in Horsham, Sussex when he responded to an advertisement in The Stage for an assistant stage manager who would also perform small walk-on parts for the Horsham-based Westminster Repertory Company who were performed at the Carfax Electric Theatre. In July 1953 he was cast as the drunkard Hindley in the Company’s production of Wuthering Heights. He moved to the Lowestoft Repertory Company in Suffolk for a year when he was 22. It was here that he met his first wife. He has described the first nine years of his career as “really really brutal.” When his career took him to London after his provincial apprenticeship, his agent informed him that there was already a Michael Scott treading the boards in London and that he had to come up with a new name immediately.

Speaking to his agent from a telephone box in Leicester Square, London, he looked around for inspiration, noted that The Caine Mutiny was being shown at the Odeon Cinema, and decided to change his name to “Michael Caine”. (Humphrey Bogart was his “screen idol” and he would later play a part originally intended for Bogart in John Huston’s film “The Man Who Would Be King”. His big break came when he was cast as Meff in James Saunders’ Cockney comedy Next Time I’ll Sing To You and was visited backstage after one performance by Stanley Baker, his co-star in A Hill In Korea, who told him about the part of a Cockney corporal in his upcoming movie Zulu, which he was producing and starring in.

After dozens of minor TV roles, Caine finally entered the public eye as the upper class British Army officer Gonville Bromhead in Zulu. Caine’s agent also got him cast in the BBC production Hamlet at Elsinore (1964) as Horatio in support of Christopher Plummer’s Hamlet. Caine also starred in classic comedy crime caper The Italian Job alongside Noël Coward in 1969 and also as RAF fighter pilot Squadron Leader Canfield among the all-star cast of Battle of Britain. Caine then played the lead role in the British Gangster Film “Get Carter”. Caine then played opposite Sir Laurence Olivier in the film Slueth and his next film was The Man Who Would Be King (1975) co-starring Sean Connery and directed by John Huston. In 1976 he appeared in the screen adaptation of the Jack Higgins novel The Eagle Has Landed as Oberst (Colonel) Kurt Steiner, the commander of a Luftwaffe paratroop brigade disguised as Polish paratroopers, whose mission was to kidnap or kill the then-British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, alongside co-stars Donald Sutherland, Robert Duvall, Jenny Agutter, and Donald Pleasence. In 1978 he starred in The Silver Bears, an adaptation of Paul Erdman’s 1974 novel of the same name and was part of an all-star cast in the film “A Bridge Too Far” (1977).

He then moved to the United States, and appeared in the BAFTA Award-nominated The Magus (1968), the Academy Award-nominated The Swarm (1978) and Ashanti (1979), Beyond the Poseidon Adventure (1979), The Island (1980)and The Hand (1981). He also starred with his Sleuth co-star Laurence Olivier in The Jigsaw Man and had a BAFTA-winning turn in Educating Rita (1983), and an Oscar-winning one in Hannah and Her Sisters (1986) and a Golden Globe-nominated one in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (1988) . His next films were Little Voice, which won him a Golden Globe Award and The Cider House Rules (1999), which won him his second Oscar. In the 2000s, Caine appeared in Miss Congeniality, Last Orders, The Quiet American, for which he was Oscar-nominated. Several of Caine’s classic films have been remade, including The Italian Job, Get Carter, Alfie and Sleuth. In the 2007 remake of Sleuth, Caine took over the role Laurence Olivier played in the 1972 version and Jude Law played Caine’s original role. Caine also starred as Austin Powers father in Goldmember and in 2003 he co-starred with Robert Duvall in Secondhand Lions. He also appeared in “Children of Men”, The Prestige, Flawless and “Is Anybody There?”.

in 2005, he was cast as Bruce Wayne’s butler Alfred Pennyworth in Batman Begins, Directed by Christopher Nolan, while in 2008 he reprised his role as Alfred in Nolan’s critically acclaimed Batman sequel, The Dark Knight and in the The Dark Night Rises, alongside Christian Bale, Tom Hardy and Anne Hathaway. Caine has been Oscar-nominated six times, winning his first Academy Award for the 1986 film Hannah and Her Sisters, and his second in 1999 for The Cider House Rules, in both cases as a supporting actor. He was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 1992 Queen’s Birthday Honours for his Contribution to Cinema, and in the 2000 New Year Honours he was knighted as Sir Maurice Micklewhite CBE. On 5 January 2011, he was made a Commander of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by France’s culture minister, Frédéric Mitterrand. In 2008, he was awarded the prize for Outstanding Contribution to Showbusiness at the Variety Club Awards and is one of only two actors nominated for an Academy Award for acting in every decade from the 1960s to 2000s, the other being Jack Nicholson.

Sir Ken Dodd OBE

English Comedian and entertainer Ken Dodd sadly died 11 March 2018. He was born on 8 November 1927 in Knotty Ash, Liverpool, Lancashire, in an old farmhouse. He went to the Knotty Ash School, and sang in the local church choir of St John’s Church, Knotty Ash. He was to live in Knotty Ash all his life, and often referred to it in his act.

He attended Holt High School in Childwall, but left at the age of 14 to work for his father, a coal merchant. Around this time he became interested in show business after seeing an advert in a comic: “Fool your teachers, amaze your friends—send 6d in stamps and become a ventriloquist! and sending off for the book. Not long after, his father bought him a ventriloquist’s dummy and Ken called it Charlie Brown. He started entertaining at the local orphanage, then at various other local community functions. His distinctive bucked teeth were the result of a cycling accident after a group of schoolfriends dared him to ride a bicycle with his eyes closed.

Ken Dodd got his big break in 1954 at age 26 When he made his professional show-business debut as Professor Yaffle Chucklebutty, Operatic Tenor and Sausage Knotter at the Nottingham Empire. Then in 1955 he appeared at Blackpool, in “Let’s Have Fun”. His performance at the Central Pier was part of a comedy revue with Jimmy James and Company. Also on the same bill were Jimmy Clitheroe and Roy Castle. Dodd gained top billing at Blackpool in 1958. He has guested on a number of television and radio shows and made several appearances on BBC TV’s music hall revival show, The Good Old Days.

Dodd had been described as “the last great music hall entertainer”. His stand-up comedy style was fast and relied on the rapid delivery of one-liner jokes. He said that his comic influences included other Liverpool comedians like Arthur Askey, Robb Wilton, Tommy Handley and the “cheeky chappy” from Brighton, Max Miller. He interspersed the comedy with occasional songs, both serious and humorous, and, ventriloquism. Part of his stage act featured the Diddy Men (“diddy” being local slang for “small”).

Dodd worked mainly as a solo comedian, although he occasionally appeared in dramatic roles, including Malvolio in William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night on stage in Liverpool in 1971; on television in the cameo role of ‘The Tollmaster’ in the 1987 Doctor Who story Delta and the Bannermen; and as Yorick (in silent flashback) in Kenneth Branagh’s film version of Shakespeare’s Hamlet in 1996. Dodd was renowned for the length of his performances, and during the 1960s he earned a place in the Guinness Book of Records for the world’s longest ever joke-telling session: 1,500 jokes in three and a half hours (7.14 jokes per minute). Ken Dodd also appeared on many Royal Variety Performances. The last was in 2006, in front of Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, at the London Coliseum. In 1987, Dodd officially opened the Arndale shopping centre in Accrington.

Dodd continually toured throughout his professional career, performing lengthy shows that frequently did not finish until after midnight. In 2012 at the age of 84, he played the Princes Theatre in Clacton-on-Sea, Essex on 7 July. Starting at 7.15 pm he continued until just before 9.00 pm when Sybie Jones took to the stage. Returning at 9.30 pm he continued until 10.00 pm. The second support act performed until Dodd’s return just before 11.00 pm when he continued until 00.25 am. During 2017 Dodd continued to tour the UK extensively, with his comedy, music and variety show.

Dodd also released eighteen hit records, Including “Love Is Like a Violin,”Happiness”, “Tears”,”The River (Le Colline Sono In Fioro)”, and “Promises”, plus numreous comedy novelty records, including the 1965 EP Doddy and the Diddy Men, featuring the song “Where’s Me Shirt?” which Dodd co-wrote.

In 1989 Dodd was charged with tax evasion. The subsequent trial, with the prosecution case led by Brian Leveson QC, produced several revelations. The Diddy Men, who had appeared in his stage act, were often played by local children from stage schools, and were revealed never to have been paid. Dodd was also revealed to have very little money in his bank account, having £336,000 in cash stashed in suitcases in his attic. When asked by the judge, “What does a hundred thousand pounds in a suitcase feel like?”, Dodd made his now famous reply, “The notes are very light, M’Lord. Dodd was represented by George Carman QC, who in court famously quipped, “Some accountants are comedians, but comedians are never accountants”. Dodd was eventually acquitted. Despite the strain of the trial, Dodd immediately capitalised on his new-found notoriety with a successful season running from Easter to Christmas 1990 at the London Palladium. It was there he had previously broken the house record for the longest comedy season at the theatre, in 1965, with a residency lasting 42 weeks. Some of his subsequent material mocked the trial and tax in general. For a while he introduced his act with the words, “Good evening, my name is Kenneth Arthur Dodd; singer, photographic playboy and failed accountant!

Ken Dodd was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 1982 New Year Honours for services to show business and charity and was knighted in the 2017 New Year Honours for services to entertainment and charity. The award was formally conferred by Prince William, Duke of Cambridge in a ceremony at Buckingham Palace on 2 March 2017. In 2002, Dodd appeared in the TV special An Audience with Ken Dodd. Dodd was voted 36 amongst the ‘Top 50 Comedy Acts Ever’ In a 2005 poll of comedians and comedy insiders to find the ‘Comedians’ Comedian’ and was made an honorary fellow of Liverpool John Moores University in 1997. A statue depicting Dodd with his trademark “Tickling Stick” was unveiled in Liverpool Lime Street railway station in June 2009. Dodd was inducted into the exclusive show business fraternity, the Grand Order of Water Rats. Dodd was made an honorary fellow of the University of Chester in 2009, having been awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters at a graduation ceremony in Chester Cathedral. He was awarded a Doctorate of Letters at Liverpool Hope University in 2010 during the university’s Foundation Day celebrations. In 2016, Dodd was awarded the Aardman Slapstick Comedy Legend Award, in honour of his lifetime’s contribution to the world of comedy. He received the award as part of the Slapstick Festival in Bristol.

Dodd sadly died at his home in Knotty Ash aged 90 after recently being hospitalised for six weeks with a chest infection. He had been touring with his stand-up stage show until 2017. Two days before his death he had married his partner of 40 years, Anne Jones. Numerous stars paid tribute, including fellow Liverpudlian Paul McCartney.