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RICHARD HEARNE Mr Pastry 1908~1979

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  • RICHARD HEARNE Mr Pastry 1908~1979

    Well its nearly time for our annual birthday celebration film evening we have her each year for dear Richard Hearne aka Mr Pastry born 30th January 1908 Norwich Norfolk and passed 23rd August 1979.
    Richard was a man who gave much joy to the country making people laugh in his light hearted films and also with live performances and also with his charity work for disabled children raising large sums for Hydro pools and more. We've been holding our small annual gathering for local fans for a good few years now and enjoy watching some material of Richard and sharing any new stories anyone has gleamed or collectables we have obtained which adds to the fun.

    2018 then is a bit of a milestone celebration so you may like to pop on one of his films at home and join in the fun if you are also a fan.

    I certain TV channels such as Talking Pictures will be showing more Richard Hearne material during this year and long may it continue!

    Richards Charity work

  • #2
    I watched "Glimpses" on Talking Pictures" recently which showed a charity cricket match played at Barnet during the 1950's. Among the celebrity's playing were MacDonald Hobley, Sydney Tafler, Edmundo Ross, Cardrew Robinson and Tommy Cooper. The star turn however came from Richard Hearne in full Mr Pastry kit batting, bowling and generally causing havoc all over the place. With less sport on TV in those days over 6ooo people turned up to watch.


    • #3
      Hi. Yes that was The Lords Taverners charity match a record on 16mm film which was also back in the day available to hire and project at home. Richard was so committed to charity fund raising he used to open up his large Kentish garden and organise a garden party for anyone to attend a record in blazing colour can be seen on youtube.
      Had a wander around his garden a few times which is featured in the film, some of it has changed but quite a few features are still in place which was a really nice surprise.

      It would be wonderful if Talking Pictures would track down 'Mr Pastry Comes Home' shown on TV one Christmas Day where Richard returns to Norwich not just creating havoc on its streets but showing us around where he was born and all filmed by Anglia TV.

      Our celebration gathering went of well yesterday and we also included FRANK RANDLE who was born on the same day as Richard quite a day really.


      • #4
        I know the name is a constant on here, but I have to admit I am terribly ignorant about Mr Pastry, and a quick look through YouTube and Amazon hasn't helped as there seems to be so little of his work available ... Where should I start?


        • #5
          Originally posted by Seaton View Post
          I know the name is a constant on here, but I have to admit I am terribly ignorant about Mr Pastry, and a quick look through YouTube and Amazon hasn't helped as there seems to be so little of his work available ... Where should I start?
          This might help.
          "Along with such names as Sylvia Peters and Humphrey Lestoq, Richard Hearne has a place in British TV history. Born to a theatrical family in Norwich, in 1908, Hearne took to the boards at the age of 6 months in his actress mother's arms. The play was called For The Sake Of A Child and the child was Richard Hearne.
          His early showbiz career was as an acrobat in the travelling circus but soon found that comedy embellishments earned more popularity than ordinary tumbling, much in the way that in later years, Tommy Cooper found more fame and endearment as a comedian rather than a conjuror.
          He began his movie career in 1934, appearing with Syd Crossley (replaced by Oliver Hardy in Duck Soup) in Give Her A Ring, a romantic comedy based in a telephone exchange. Two more films followed before WW2.
          He developed a much-loved comedy act for the stage. As was normal at the time, this involved considerable travelling and in 1936, when the Baird television system was being tested at London's Alexandra Palace, Hearne was a willing volunteer. He agreed to appear in a cookery programme (nothing changes) called Take Two Eggs. A movie version of this footage was released by the BBC in 1939.
          Hearne and seasoned comedy actor Fred Emney started working together and in 1936 developed a routine called Big Boy. Hearne played an upper-class bumbling anti-hero in a creative style he called "refined slapstick". He named that character Mr. Pastry and his future was assured.

          Meanwhile - in 1937 - the BBC had begun regular broadcasts and Hearne was one of the first performers to be signed and certainly the first comedy performer to have his own show, simply called Mr. Pastry. New series were produced right up to 1961.
          But one of his most celebrated routines - The Lancers - was not original to him at all. It was a one-player mime comedy based on a popular dance, with imaginary partners. It was the original idea of comedian Tom D. Newell, who had worked with Harry Lauder and Wee Georgie Wood. Tom's widow gave Hearne permission to take over the routine and Hearne founded his career on it as Mr. Pastry. The act's popularity spread far and wide and resulted in Mr. Pastry being interviewed on the Ed. Sullivan show in the USA.
          The BBC television series was magic for young and old alike. Knockabout humour, with a hint of satire; the notion of the "upper class twit" would have been impertinent in those days, but certainly inspired at least some elements of Monty Python in later years.
          For Hearne, Mr. Pastry had taken over. All his (many) film roles after that were as Mr. Pastry, and when offered the part of Dr. Who as a replacement for Jon P'ertwee he insisted on being Mr. Pastry and was rejected. Hearne and Pertwee had worked together in several productions in earlier years, and indeed Pertwee had appeared in the Mr. Pastry TV series.
          Hearne was also offered several Shakesperian roles, but again insisted on being Mr. Pastry, however unrealistic, and again rejected.
          For a time in the 1950s he tried to escape his alter-ego with a new character called Billy McQuirtle, but Mr. Pastry was here to stay.
          There are few showbiz characters who were genuinely beloved in their time, legends afterwards and remembered as great people, but Richard Hearne OBE was one of that kind. His charity work and armed forces entertainments were kept private and largely unknown until his death in 1979. He kept a nation laughing throughout some of the most difficult times in British history and his films and shows live on. albeit in black and white. A truly remarkable and unforgettable giant of the world of entertainment."

          As far as I know, the only source of his films is Renown Pictures, who sometimes offer value packs of certain movies, and it could be that his few films might be available from them as a pack for £20 or so, but if you only want to try one, I would recommend Something In The City. There are some clips of his various films on Youtube. Try:


          • #6
            Thank you so much, Judge Foozle, and sorry for the late reply. This all sounds very interesting. And that Renown site is a dangerous place!
            I will research, form an opinion, and get back to you.
            Thanks again.