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Thursday, June 11, 2015

The Ron Moody I didn't know

The death of Ron Moody has been announced. He was ninety-one.

Ron lived at the bottom of my road and I used to see him from time to time, returning from the shops or ferrying his kids around.

I always wanted to say something to him. I'm quite good at casual interactions with legends. Pick your place and time, don't do it when people are watching, shake the hand, say a few well-chosen words and make it clear that you'll be gone in less than a minute. In my experience the legend never minds and is every bit as much in need of bucking up as anyone else.

The problem with talking to Ron is that I knew I could never get my tribute beyond Fagin in "Oliver!", which was one of the greatest turns in the history of show business in these islands. Obviously I'd seen him in other things over the years but the memory of them would be bound to be over-shadowed by that one great role.  If you had one minute with Geoff Hurst you'd be talking to him about that hat-trick, wouldn't you?

But then Geoff is probably quite happy to be remembered for his exploits on that one particular sunny afternoon. Actors, in my experience, are a bit less happy to be defined by their performance in one part. But then, most of them never get to be this good and have cameras around to record the fact.