Sunday, 15 April 2012

Remembering Arthur Lowe 1915-1982

Arthur Lowe 1915-1982

Arthur Lowe died 30 years ago today on 15 April 1982.

I  recall Arthur Lowe’s death at the age of 66 quite vividly as I saw him interviewed on the BBC1 lunchtime show Pebble Mill At One earlier that day discussing his new stage play Home at Seven which was running in Birmingham.

Jimmy Perry paid tribute to Arthur in The Guardian
-with thanks to Andy Walmsley
With hindsight it is easy to note the whole awkwardness of the interview; Arthur doesn’t appear to be focused and uncomfortable with the whole setup. Watching the interview now it is clear he is unwell, a sad moment and unfortunately the only British TV interview of him that appears to survive.

However it seemed almost ridiculous to hear of his death the following day, the actor whose clipped pompous portrayal of Captain Mainwaring was no more, but his performances would endure.

Dad's Army scriptwriter Jimmy Perry wrote of Arthur in The Guardian newspaper the following day: "Arthur Lowe was Captain Mainwaring and Captain Mainwaring was Arthur Lowe. He revelled in the part and as the years went by David and I wrote so intimately for him taking in every little quirk of his personality that the man and the character became one."

The BBC repeated the Dad’s Army episode A Man of Action in way of a tribute shortly afterwards and Dad’s Army continues to raise laughs 30 years on from his death.

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