This, is the start of a series of blogs looking at some of the less well known, but still great, citizens of this nation. For one reason or another each person on this list is a personal hero of mine, be it because they are great at what they do, or simply because the are batshit insane.
Whatever the reason I am going to take time to salute them.
And we start with this guy.
I love the “Carry On” films, they are a throwback to a simpler time when the word pussy could still mean a cat or something more saucy (and not the other way around). Where Barbara Windsor was a sex symbol because of her laugh and where Syd James was a legend because of his. But for me one man stood head and shoulders above the rest and that man was Kenneth Williams.
Born in 1926 and he had a career that went on well into the late 80’s. Apart from the afore mentioned Carry On’s he was the Voice of Willow the Wisp, and S.I.D in Galloping Galaxies (although these are both kids shows they are well worth checking out). He also had a wide ranging Radio and stage career, working alongside the likes of Dame Maggie Smith and Tony Hancock.
However he is most remembered for his numerous roles in Carry On films and for me, uttering one of the best lines ever in a comedy film. “Infamy! They‘ve all got it in for me!” A line which has no right to be a funny as it is but somehow Williams makes it work.
In his private life, Kenneth was a loney and often melancholy man. His diaries talk often of his suicidal thoughts and his depression seems to be an affliction that he suffered along with other comedy greats. He died in 1988 from an overdoes of Barbiturates which may or may not have been suicide.
But, I don’t want to leave this blog on a sad note, although he had a clearly troubled personal life he gave me (and the world) so much joy through his work and I am proud to call him a personal hero.
So Mr Williams, not only do you have a great first name you will always be a great comedy actor and an under appreciated legend.
May you always be running from Matron in that big hospital in the sky.