Saturday, January 17, 2009

RIP: A Man of Words ...

More than once, someone has pointed out that celebrity deaths always happen in threes. That seemed to be the case this past week - though that may depend upon your definition of 'celebrity.'

One of the deaths that made headlines this past week was a writer whose work I have enjoyed, both in print and in television adaptations of his works. "Dramatist and author Sir John Mortimer, who created enduring character Rumpole of the Bailey, has died aged 85 after a long illness. Sir John, who began working as a barrister in the 1940s, went on to become one of the most prolific writers of books and screenplays ..."
Read the rest of this story from the BBC

He was also a prolific lawyer and advocate. A lifelong supporter of Britain's Labour Party and self-proclaimed “champagne socialist,” Mortimer took up several high profile freedom of speech cases.

For myself, I only began sampling his writing after enjoying - on PBS' "Mystery" series - the television adaptations of "Rumpole of the Bailey" that featured Leo McKern as Mortimer's curmudgeonly criminal lawyer (at right, a PA Photo of author and actor on the set).