1934 - 2013
"People don't realize how good an actor Dickie Briers really is." - Sir John Gielgud
As the star of the popular British sitcom THE GOOD LIFE, Richard Briers certainly gave audiences an inkling that he was something special. But given that his finest work was, by most accounts, done on the stage, it's possible that most of us never got to see the full range of the actor's gifts.
Briers, who passed away Sunday at the age of seventy-nine, was beloved in England for his performance as the self-sufficient Tom Good on THE GOOD LIFE. Having grown up in the U.S. (where THE GOOD LIFE never really caught on), I find myself recalling Briers's tragically overmatched Polonius in Kenneth Branagh's HAMLET (one of the film's highlights), the ludicrously homophobic Henry Wakefield in Branagh's underrated A MIDWINTER'S TALE, and most of all, the voice of Fiver in WATERSHIP DOWN. I've never been able to hear Briers's voice, or John Hurt's for that matter, without recalling that haunting animated adaptation of Richard Adams's classic novel. "Violet's gone." Still gives me chills. Briers was also a terrific Smee in P.J. Hogan's PETER PAN.
I so wish I could've seen Briers on the boards as the second-string theatre critic Moon in Tom Stoppard's THE REAL INSPECTOR HOUND, but I'm cheered to know that his celebrated work in Alan Ayckbourn's THE NORMAN CONQUESTS is well preserved and readily available. I feel that I've yet to find out how good an actor Mr. Briers really was.
My condolences to Richard Briers's family and friends. Judging from the outpouring of affection I've read today, he must've been a lovely gentleman.
Readers Talkbackcomments powered by Disqus
- HERCULES ON THE RADIO!! Ain’t It Cool’s TV Critic Chats Up BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER / ED WOOD Icon (And Hollywood Royalty) Juliet Landau!! Listen And Call In LIVE Saturday 10pm PT / Sunday 1am ET!! -- 356 total posts 329 posts
- Fox Renews For Next Season THE MINDY PROJECT, THE FOLLOWING, BROOKLYN NINE-NINE And NEW GIRL!! -- 59 total posts 5 posts
- Harry shares Day 1 of SXSW which stars Jon Favreau's utterly delicious CHEF!!! -- 134 total posts 5 posts
- Darker ZORRO Reboot Finds its Writer! -- 257 total posts 4 posts
- Learn What Happens Next On HBO’s GAME OF THRONES!! -- 140 total posts 3 posts
- ‘He’s Worse Than Anybody!!’ Sunday Brings HBO’s Season Finale Of TRUE DETECTIVE!! -- 3 total posts 3 posts
- The Friday Docback Is Chilly Towards ‘The Ice Warriors’!! DOCTOR WHO Story #39, HornOrSilk Reviews The ‘Dark Eyes’ 2.1 / 2.2 Big Finish Audio, And More!! -- 28 total posts 2 posts
- Karen Gillan has Night Terrors in this First OCULUS Clip! -- 22 total posts 2 posts
- SXSW 2014: Nordling Reviews NO NO: A DOCKUMENTARY! -- 6 total posts 1 post
- Michael Fassbender makes experimental music from behind a giant papier-mache head in this trailer for FRANK! -- 54 total posts 1 post