Header Ads

Breaking News

Patrick Jordan obituary | Television & radio


When the actor Patrick Jordan, who has died aged 96, was in Star Wars he had a choice. Did he want a guaranteed fee for his part as an Imperial Officer, or a tiny share of the royalties?

He got the part through his friend Alec Guinness with whom he had worked in the Old Vic theatre company in the 1940s. Jordan shared Guinness’s contempt for Star Wars, and was dubious about the film’s prospects, so he took the one-off fee. He regretted the decision ever after with rueful humour, claiming that had he chosen a cut he would never have had to work again.





Patrick Jordan, standing in uniform behind the camera next to George Lucas, far left, on the set of Star Wars



Patrick Jordan, standing in uniform behind the camera next to George Lucas, far left, on the set of Star Wars

As it was, he continued accepting whatever roles came his way. These included parts in some of the most popular TV series of the 1970s and 80s, including Minder, Angels, Terry and June, Shine on Harvey Moon, Poirot and a stint as Mr Darby in the ITV soap opera Crossroads. His last TV job came in a 1995 episode of The Bill.

Such work meant he was never away for long from the cottage in Alpheton, Suffolk, which he shared with his wife, Margery Gill, the prolific children’s book illustrator.

Paddy, as he was known, was usually around when called upon to pose for Margery’s drawings. Many of the men in her books had a Paddy look to them. He was also there to save her work when she occasionally threatened to burn it in frustration.

He was also my childhood neighbour and built me and my siblings a climbing frame, a go-kart and a swing in the back garden we shared.





Patrick Jordan, left, with Kirk Douglas in The Heroes of Telemark, 1965



Patrick Jordan, left, with Kirk Douglas in The Heroes of Telemark, 1965

The son of Albert, a regimental sergeant major who met his wife, Margaret, when she was a cook in the officers’ mess, Paddy was born and grew up in Harrow, north London. He met Margery in a bookshop in 1943, when he was a drama student. They married three years later and went on to have two daughters. After the second world war he joined the Old Vic company when it was performing at the New Theatre while the bomb-damaged Old Vic was being restored.

He appeared alongside Guinness and Renée Asherson in Taming of the Shrew, and was directed by Ralph Richardson in Richard II. Paddy corresponded with Asherson until her death in 2014, and reflected that they were last two actors still living from that celebrated company.

Paddy secured roles in a number of war films, notably The Battle of the River Plate (1956), The Longest Day (1962), The Heroes of Telemark (1965), Play Dirty (1969) and Too Late the Hero (1970). He played dependable soldiers who were also expendable – his characters tended to be shot quite soon after they appeared on screen. A scar on his right cheek gave him added authenticity in these roles.

He got the scar as a boy playing bows and arrows with his two brothers in the street near the family home. He would vividly act out what happened and how his mother fainted when her youngest son came to her with an arrow sticking out of his cheek.

Margery died in 2008. He is survived by his daughter, Tessa, four grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. His other daughter, Ros, predeceased him.

Source link

No comments