Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Norman Wisdom 1915 - 2010

Norman Wisdom has died in a nursing home on the Isle of Man.

Long ago I was an extra in a film with him. His part involved pushing me out of the way as I descended from a plane at what was then Speke airport.  Thinking back to these couple of days, I'm sure us 'passengers' alighted from that plane around 4,000 times - or maybe it was just 40.  After each 'take' he would come and ask if we were all right and hoped he hadn't shoved me too hard.  The film wasn't a hit - probably because he was too well known by then for his comedy and his part as the straight man in a light-hearted comedy didn't gel with the British public.

He stayed locally during the filming with his family and his children were a delight.  The wee lad always sported a bow tie while his daughter wore the prettiest velvet frocks.  She was so proud of them and told anyone who would listen that they'd come 'all the way from New York'.

Norman, (as he insisted on being called), had impeccable manners and great respect for his fellow man. He treated everyone equally.  I remember him saying to someone, "Please call me Norman, I'm just an ordinary bloke." He was wrong.  He was extraordinary and the pleasure he brought to millions will never be forgotten by my generation.

RIP Norman and thank you for some wonderful memories.


Anon said...

Norman Wisdom was better than all the others.

Are you still in films?

- Aangirfan.

subrosa said...

Aangirfan, no I was never in films. I was invited by Norman to take part in this one as he was staying at the hotel where I was finishing my management training.

Dramfineday said...

Good stuff even up to the end with the cameo's in "Last of the summer wine". A sad loss of a much loved comic

subrosa said...

Indeed Dram, but I'm sure he would agree he had a fulfilling life.

Pavlov's Cat said...

What a lovely story, thanks for sharing.

I have had heard stories related down the years of what a thoughraly nice man he was.

I remember being incredibly moved when seeing him on a chat show or maybe "This is your life" Many years back.
When he talked about begging from the food vans in London when he was living rough at 14 and how ashamed he was at having to beg he would go days without eating before summoning up the courage to go ask. It still made him cry that he was forced to beg for food and that he could not find some other way of supporting himself.

Even at a young age, I wanted to give hima hug and say "It's alright Norman, let it go now, it wasn't your fault"

subrosa said...

I never saw his This Is Your Life Pavlov. Maybe I'll look and see if it's on Youtube.

Somehow I thought he was always a little sad but maybe that's because when I saw him most, he was relaxing.

Demetrius said...

Did you come across Norman Lambert who was an extra in a couple of Norman Wisdom's films? Tall and beginning to lose his hair early.

subrosa said...

Sorry Demetrius, no I didn't. This film I was in was the first and last attempt of Hammer films into romantic drama. Perhaps Norman Lambert was part of Norman Wisdom's successful films.

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