Wednesday, 2 March 2011

The Death of Eric Blore...

... which took place on this day in 1959, was no ordinary death.
Blore - in case the name doesn't ring a bell - was a fine English comic actor who enlivened many a Fred and Ginger movie with his knowing, faintly camp, slightly caddish butler act (his last words in the role were 'If I were not such a gentleman's gentleman, I could be such a cad's cad'). Here he is in action.
In 1959, the critic Kenneth Tynan, writing in The New Yorker, made a mistaken reference to 'the late Eric Blore', which somehow got past the army of fact checkers and made it into print. Infuriated, Blore demanded through his lawyers that the magazine print a retraction - the first in the history of the New Yorker - and a disgraced Tynan duly wrote a grovelling and abject retraction, to appear prominently in the next issue. Then, with the edition printed and ready for delivery, Blore - ever the master of comic timing - fell down dead in Hollywood with a heart attack. The retraction was pulled, to be replaced with a discreet down-page apology, and, wonderfully, the egg never reached the face of the august New Yorker.


  1. An inspiration to Harry Enfield by the look of it. Anyway, I think Ken Tynan had him whacked.

  2. You may well be right Gaw - wouldn't put it past him...