Tuesday, July 19, 2022

The mystery of Barry Evans

The actor Barry Evans died in the Leicestershire village of Claybrooke Magna in 1997. The circumstances of his death were mysterious, but no charges have ever been brought.

This video told me much I didn;t know about his career - in particular that he had grown up in care. It would be interesting to know how he managed to get to the Italia Conti Academy and then the Central School of Speech and Drama from such a background.

The clips of his early work here, and the fact that he acted at the Royal Court and the National Theatre, suggest he was capable of far more than the light comedy he became know for and eventually trapped in.

Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush is a likeable film, and not only because it has both Traffic and the Spencer David Group on its soundtrack, but after that things went downhill.

The Doctor sitcoms were popular, but they looked back to the Dirk Bogarde films of the Fifties. I never watched Mind Your Language, but it had a reputation for low-grade racism.

Meanwhile, the only films being made in the early Seventies were sex comedies or films of popular situation comedies.

Evans moved to Claybrooke Magna in the Harborough district in 1993 and became a taxi driver. Four years later he was dead.

A Harborough Mail story from a year ago said:

An author is writing a new book about a tragic TV star whose death at his home in a Harborough village is still a real mystery - and he wants your help.

Daniel Ward has carried out over 80 in-depth interviews with the former colleagues and co-stars of much-loved actor Barry Evans - who lived in Claybrooke Magna, near Lutterworth.

And he’s now asking for anyone who knew Barry after he moved here to Harborough to share their personal memories with him as he puts together his biography.

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