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Let`s keep Catweazle the way it was back in 1970 in a word "Innocent"
2 years ago I discovered that I have an unconventional connexion to Neil McCarthy.
I would like to do a 'In memory' page for him on Facebook.
Please respond if anyone out there has known him. I would like to do justice to this sweetly gentle man. Thank you
I'm afraid I never met Neil, I only wish I had. An "In Memory" tribute sounds like a great idea though, I wish you luck with it.
I always enjoyed his appearances, he was in many (probably most) of my favourite programmes: Catweazle, Freewheelers, The Avengers. He was often cast as a villain or "heavy" but Catweazle and one of his last TV appearances Only When I Laugh showed how good he was at comic roles too.
Out of interest, what is your connection?
The episode which you referenced "Only when I laugh, Escape" was particularly poignant.
Neil died of (I think a nasty) disorder called Motor Neuron Disease. It slowly robs you of all motor functions including at the end, not being able to swallow or breathe. It generally kills within 4 - 5 years.
To the best of my knowledge, "Escape" was Neil's last professional appearance. It was aired 12-2-82 and he died Feb 1985. So . . . when you watch that episode, it is either highly ironic or deliberately scripted for him. Perhaps to say a last goodbye?
What I wonder is, did he and or anyone on that crow know his condition? I find some of the acting, especially by Peter Bowles (he played Archie Glover), so striking, as if this is a friend saying goodbye. At times it seams (to me) that some of the actors could barely hold it together, but I could be anthropomorphising.
I offer you another gem, a light bit of fluff of a comedy from 1973 in which he was featured and i can just imagine that you will LOVE IT .
"Some Mothers Do 'ave 'em, Have a Break, Take a Husband"
As to my connexion to Neil.
I am an ordinary person and know no famous people.
2 years ago I watched a film called "Clash of the Titans 1981" where he played a "baddest bad dude ever" Calibos.
I remember someone telling me, that movie was studded with superb stars and I didn't believe it, because I thought they were all pretty bad (LOL sorry stars), except for one, who must be a highly trained Shakespearian actor.
(I have to explain a bit more about myself, I am mostly blind and I do not know one actor /actress from another. It's not in my spear of interest.)
So I decided to look up the cast to see if I recognize any names. His name came up with the date of his death. What happened next has no rhine nor reason.
I fell into such a depth of grief and sorrow for him, which made no sense, since I have never heard of him nor knew anything about him at all, yet, I grieved as I have done for my beloved grandma and other close family.
Someone told me that it may be, because in some way our souls are linked.
(I don't go in for mysticism or spiritualism, but I can not deny the avalanche of jumbled emotions and despair, I experienced for him.)
THere is little known about him which I can find, but it seems to point to Neil being a gentle, quiet, funny, multi-talented sweet man. It sorrows me that he has no comprehensive memorial, so I will do one as I am able.
Thank you for responding to me,
Hi again, Re: Page for Neil McCarthy
I am slowly working on a Facebook page for Neil. 2 pages at this point as I am learning my way around FB. I am mostly blind so ….
Here is one of them so feel free to visit and join.
If that doesn't work, when on Facebook type in the (Find friends) field Neil McCarthy 1933 and choose the category (person)
Thank you and have fun at the Catweasle event !!!
Did you know that Neil was a teacher before he took up acting?
Yes I did know.
He was fascinated and quite talented with languages. He was, I think the correct British English word is, certified to teach Latin and French. I know he was fluent in Greek and loved poking around in old manuscripts. I just wonder what he would have made of my birth language : )
I suspect, he learned as much as he could, while on location there for "Operation Daybreak 1976" in Prague Czechoslovakia. And I am willing to bet, he learned PERFECT pronunciation of one of our most difficult letters. : ) " ř "
Neil McCarthy and Geoffrey Bayldon share other screen credits.
After Catweazle,Neil worked with Mr. Bayldon in 2 movies.
"Steptoe and Son Ride Again" 1973, where Mr. Bayldon played 'Vicar' and Neil played 'Lenny' I wish I knew how to post the picture that is featured for Mr. Bayldon, it's priceless ! I will put it on Neil's Facebook page later.
They also worked on "The Monster Club" 1980
Mr. Bayldon playing 'Psychiatrist' and Neil played 'Watson'
Both films are lighthearted and Catweazle fans may enjoy discovering them if they haven't already.
He was also a pianist.
At this point I have 2 Facebook pages for Neil McCarthy. Eventually I will reconcile them into one, or let one go.
We have some lovely people sharing a bit of trivia and pictures.
Please feel free to stop by and if you wish, friend request us.
Yes he was! A very accomplished one, apparently he loved to play Bach.
He played other instruments as well but alas, not in a professional capacity.
I notice that there have been a lot of confusion about Neil McCarthy's true birthdate and his time / place of death.
Through the kindness of 2 friends, we can now put that mystery to rest.
Here are the facts.
Neil was born 7-26-1932.
He passed away at his home in Fordingbridge UK on 2-6-1985.
This is the inscription on his grave.
"In loving memory of Eugene Neil McCarthy
Beloved son of E.C & B.A McCarthy
Passed away 6th Feb 1985
Aged 52 years"
I've posted photos of his grave on Neil's Facebook page.
You are all welcome to come and 'friend' us.