Mr Humphries-his spirit is certainly free. - Mercedes-Benz Forum

 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-08-2007, 06:04 AM Thread Starter
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Mr Humphries-his spirit is certainly free.

"I'm dead!"

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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-08-2007, 06:12 AM Thread Starter
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The old queen has gawn, gawd bless 'er!


Last Updated: Thursday, 8 March 2007, 12:06 GMT

Comedy actor Inman dies aged 71


Inman had been ill for some time

Actor John Inman, most famous for the comedy Are You Being Served?, has died in London aged 71, his spokesman said.
Inman made his name in the 1970s show as Mr Humphries, whose catchphrase "I'm free!" entered popular culture.
In recent years he was a pantomime regular, most often taking the role of the dame. He also made appearances in BBC comedy show Revolver in 2004.
The Preston-born actor died in hospital and had been suffering from a Hepatitis A infection for some time.

John was one of the wittiest and most inventive actors I've ever worked with


Wendy Richard






The infection, usually caused by eating contaminated food, forced him to cancel the opening of a pantomime in London in December 2004.
It was initially hoped he would be able to return to the production of Dick Whittington, in which he was due to play Wanda the Cook, but he never worked again.
His manager Phil Dale said: "John was known and loved throughout the world. He was one of the best and finest pantomime dames working to capacity audiences throughout Britain.
"John was known for his comedy plays and farces which were enjoyed from London's West End throughout the country and as far as Australia, Canada and the USA."
Inman's Are You Being Served? co-star Wendy Richard told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "John was one of the wittiest and most inventive actors I've ever worked with.
"He was a brilliant, brilliant pantomime dame and he was a very good all-round actor, really. He was a true professional."




Fans favourite
Are You Being Served? ran on the BBC from 1972 to 1985 and depicted the antics of the staff of Grace Brothers, an old-fashioned department store.
Mr Humphries became one of TV's best known characters, and in 1976 Inman was voted funniest man on television by TV Times readers. He was declared BBC TV's personality of the year the same year.
Trevor Bannister, who played Mr Lucas in the series, told BBC News 24: "The 'I'm free!' was something put in because that is what people in those stores really said.
"We didn't realise it would become a running catchphrase.
"It was that way about the whole show - we never realised it was going to as successful as it was."
'Innocent quality'
Actress Rula Lenska, who worked with him on TV and in pantomime, paid tribute to his comic style.
"It was suggestive but never in your face or aggressive. It had an innocent quality that you rarely find today.
"He was a joy to work with and even after an exhausting day in pantomime he would have time for the fans who crowded round the stage door."
Fellow pantomime dame Danny La Rue called him "irreplaceable".
The 79-year-old added: "John was wonderful in panto. The children adored him. He had a magic touch. Panto can be exhausting - but he loved it. "He was such a fantastic and inventive actor, and he could play serious roles too. He wasn't all about that flippant catchphrase 'I'm free!' But that's what made him. When that show first started he was just one of the salesmen, but they soon saw a star." Inman's long-term partner, Ron Lynch, is said to be "devastated" at his death.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-08-2007, 06:18 AM
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While I always empathized with "the Captain", Mr. Humphries was by far the funniest character on the show.

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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-08-2007, 06:26 AM Thread Starter
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^^^^^

What with you being 'in retail' an' all!

'Grace Bros.' was actually closely based on the London store 'Simpsons of Piccadilly'. I used to go there with my dad when I was a kid so I can attest to the accuracy.

I have a friend for whom whenever she is feeling blue, a quick " I'm free!" or "Menswear" (in a suitably deep voice) seldom fails to raise a giggle.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-08-2007, 06:43 AM
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I did a stint with Macy's back in the 80's and the movie "Mannequin" captured the flavor of the American 'upscale' department store quite well. Meshach Taylor as "Hollywood" was very true to life as far as the 'Visual Department' was concerned.

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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-08-2007, 07:30 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Digmenow
I did a stint with Macy's back in the 80's and the movie "Mannequin" captured the flavor of the American 'upscale' department store quite well. Meshach Taylor as "Hollywood" was very true to life as far as the 'Visual Department' was concerned.

I think by the late 80s Macy's was in steep decline as an 'upmarket' dept store, with Bloomies in hot pursuit. Even Sak's was becoming tacky by then. From memory, closest to the traditional, stuffy image of the genre, B.Altman was probably the benchmark and might well explain why it closed in 1989. I called-in on it's very last day and purchased some rather nice bath towels as a souvenir, which I still have.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-08-2007, 07:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deathrattle
I think by the late 80s Macy's was in steep decline as an 'upmarket' dept store
Not my fault!

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