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Clive Swift: Keeping Up Appearances star dies at 82

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https://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-47095343

Actor Clive Swift, known to millions as Hyacinth Bucket's hen-pecked husband Richard in BBC One's 90s sitcom Keeping Up Appearances, has died aged 82.

Swift, who spent 10 years at the RSC before breaking into television, also acted in such series as Peak Practice, Born and Bred and The Old Guys.

He spent six years playing Richard opposite Dame Patricia Routledge.

The role saw him patiently tolerate her ham-fisted and invariably thwarted attempts at social climbing.

Off-screen he co-founded The Actors Centre, a meeting place for members of his profession in central London.

Born in Liverpool in 1936, he had three children with his ex-wife, the novelist Margaret Drabble.

Swift's many roles included a part in Alfred Hitchcock's 1972 film Frenzy and as King Arthur's adopted father in 1981 film Excalibur.

Many years later, he would play Hitchcock in a BBC radio play called Strangers on a Film.

Swift made a number of appearances in Doctor Who, most recently in the 2007 episode Voyage of the Damned.

According to his agent, the actor died at his home on Friday after a short illness, surrounded by his family.

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Patricia Routledge is one of the greatest sitcom actress to ever come out of British television or for that matter any television.

But you don't get that honor on your own. You have to have top-notch professional support every inch of the way. And Clive Swift was Patricia's number one support on television.

To do that he had to be equal to her in ability, stamina and professionalism.

We cannot imagine Hyacinth without a straight man who was her long-suffering husband.

If the role of Hyacinth's husband was a thankless one, it was still one that was full of comic relief, punctuated with brilliant minimalist acting by Clive Swift.

For 6 years Clive Swift kept up appearances as Richard Bucket, pronounced " bouquet ", to the Delight of millions of britcom lovers all over the world.

 

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Swift also had a supporting role in A PASSAGE TO INDIA (1985), though most of his work was on stage and TV.

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14 hours ago, Princess of Tap said:

Patricia Routledge is one of the greatest sitcom actress to ever come out of British television or for that matter any television.

But you don't get that honor on your own. You have to have top-notch professional support every inch of the way. And Clive Swift was Patricia's number one support on television.

To do that he had to be equal to her in ability, stamina and professionalism.

We cannot imagine Hyacinth without a straight man who was her long-suffering husband.

If the role of Hyacinth's husband was a thankless one, it was still one that was full of comic relief, punctuated with brilliant minimalist acting by Clive Swift.

For 6 years Clive Swift kept up appearances as Richard Bucket, pronounced " bouquet ", to the Delight of millions of britcom lovers all over the world.

 

I've almost bought the boxed set of that show numerous times but it is one of the highest priced dvd sets around at about 150 bucks, but I might just have to cut loose and do it now. Swift was hilarious as Hyacinth's long suffering spouse for sure. Thanx.

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1 hour ago, GordonCole said:

I've almost bought the boxed set of that show numerous times but it is one of the highest priced dvd sets around at about 150 bucks, but I might just have to cut loose and do it now. Swift was hilarious as Hyacinth's long suffering spouse for sure. Thanx.

You and me both; the last time I looked it was well over $100.

But for the most part I have bought cast offs from the public library collection and also have found a few separate DVDs at Barnes & Noble, which weren't too expensive. 

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While all of the actors and actresses on " Keeping Up Appearances" are first-rate experienced professionals and certainly beloved By Their audience, my two special favorites were Rose and Onslow. Those extreme characterizations always made me laugh no matter what the plot was.

Sadly Mary Millar who played Rose with Sublime physical comedy died in 1998 and the wonderful Geoffrey Hughes who played Onslow died in 2012. Both of them died of cancer.

Like any great sitcom there were all these running gags. But the one that I loved the most is Hyacinth inviting her next-door neighbor, Elizabeth, for morning coffee.

 Hyacinth made Elizabeth so nervous that she was always managing to Spill her coffee cup in some bizarre way. The physical comedy was so well-timed and outlandish that I found myself laughing even before Elizabeth touched the cup, or I should say beaker. Hyacinth always gave Elizabeth a beaker because she didn't trust Liz with her Royal Doulton China coffee cups with the hand-painted periwinkles.

Elizabeth was played by Josephine Tewson who was Hyacinth's reluctant and refined Ethel Mertz.

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Nice to see they remembered Sir Ector from Excalibur (1981):

 

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