Sunday, 7 February 2010
Ian Carmichael - a fine comic actor and, by all accounts, a thoroughly decent man - has died at the age of 89. His performances in a clutch of comedies in the late 50s and early 60s - Private's Progress, I'm All Right Jack, Lucky Jim, School for Scoundrels, Heavens Above - were vintage stuff (and I'm of a vintage to remember seeing some of them in the cinema when they were released). Carmichael's playing of Bertie Wooster on TV, oposite Denis Price's magnificent Jeeves, was also very fine, even though he was too old for the role. There's an obit here - but what caught my eye in the coverage of his death was a remark by Richard Briers that Carmichael was 'never pushy. He sort of wandered through the world of film.' Quite so, and that was true of most actors of that generation, who, having just been through a world war, knew better than to take acting, let alone fame, seriously.