Legendary British TV, Stage & Film actor George Cole has passed away at the age of 90.
Ok, so this is slightly out of the norm for Maximum Volume to pay tribute to non-music stars but George Cole, and inparticular his character of Arthur Daley in Minder between 1979 – 1994 and made a huge and long-lasting impression on Don and Andy.
We still consider it to be the best TV programme of all-time, even the Gary Webster years!! Nothing compares to the george Cole-Dennis waterman partnership though. The Plant & Page of TV!! George Cole oozed class whatever role he was required to play.
Cole played the Flash Harry, a early version of Arthur Daley in many aspects, in four St Trinian’s films, between 1954-66.
He began his career on the stage in the early 1940s, appearing alongside the great Lawrence Olivier in The Demi-Paradise, and also a role in Olivier’s star-studded Henry V.
In 1944 he joined the Royal Air Force, before resuming his acting career when WWII ended.
His affable nature and talent ensured he was never short of opportunities in work. He appeared with Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton in mega-blockbuster Cleopatra.
Following Minder he appeared in several guest roles in the likes of Midsomer Murders, Heartbeat and New Tricks, which also starred old pal Waterman.
Cole was made an OBE in 1992.
In terms of his relationship with music, Arthur Daley, was not adverse to getting involved in the murky world of the music industry. In the first series of Minder, an episode entitled “Monday Night Fever” he attempted to launch and manage the career of a tone-deaf club singer called Sharon. As with most of his schemes it never quite worked out.
Series 4 saw him attempt to cash in on the disapperance of pop star Zac Zolar. Arthur buys a discarded master tape of Zolar’s unreleased early recordings, and tries to sell it at a high price to the record company.
Cole’s agent Derek Webster said he had died at the Royal Berkshire hospital following a short illness, surrounded by his family.
Rest in peace George and a thousand thank you’s for the great memories and performances.