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Jeremy Kemp RIP

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  • Jeremy Kemp RIP

    The Guardian obituary


  • #2
    Sad news. I recall his last Z Cars episode as Bob Steele. Sgt Watt (Frank Windsor) trying to talk him out of leaving the force.
    He was a marvellous actor with a great presence. R.I.P.


    • #3
      Sad news indeed. Also saw his Z Cars stint. Loved his German accent in both The Blue Max and Operation Crossbow.



      • orpheum
        orpheum commented
        Editing a comment
        And also in the spy spoof Top Secret 1984

    • #4

      Will never forget his amazing performance in Colditz as the officer determined to build a glider that would fly.


      • #5
        oh no . a fine fine actor in uniform of much authority .


        • #6
          Jeremy Kemp, actor best known for ‘The Winds of War’ and ‘The Blue Max’– obituary

          Jeremy Kemp in 'The Winds of War' CREDIT: WALT DISNEY TELEVISION VIA GETTY IMAGES

          26 JULY 2019 • 6:00AM

          Jeremy Kemp, the actor, who has died aged 84, first came to public notice as PC Bob Steele in Z Cars, before making his name in two war dramas, The Winds of War and The Blue Max.

          He was born Edmund Jeremy James Walker at Chesterfield in Derbyshire on February 3 1935.

          His mother, Elsa May, was the daughter of a Sheffield doctor, James Kemp, while his father, Edmund Walker, was an engineer who came from a Yorkshire landowning family.

          He attended the Central School of Speech and Drama, where one of his contemporaries was Judi Dench, who recalled returning to her digs late one night to find herself locked out.

          Kemp was with her, and kept her company: “We sat on the doorstep the entire night until the door was opened in the morning. Jeremy stayed with me – gallant
          to the last."

          Kemp with Robert Mitchum in 'The Winds of War' CREDIT: WALT DISNEY TELEVISION VIA GETTY IMAGES

          In 1958 he joined the Radio Drama Company after winning the Carlton Hobbs Bursary for drama school graduates. He went on to secure a few small television parts before landing the role in 1962 of the wife-beating PC Bob Steele in Z Cars, the gritty, groundbreaking police series set in New Town – a fictionalised Kirby – that swept away the relative cosiness of Dixon of Dock Green.

          But after 35 episodes, stretching into 1963, Kemp quit the show, afraid of being typecast. There was a string of roles in one-off television dramas (and an uncredited bit part in the blockbuster Cleopatra), then in 1965 he starred as a former secret service agent turned Nazi hunter in the series Contract to Kill.

          The following year, in The Blue Max, he co-starred as a German First World War pilot, an arrogant aristocrat who takes the film’s hero, played by George Peppard, under his wing, only to find that they become rivals both in the air and on the ground. Critics were divided but the film was a box office hit.

          Kemp in 'The Blue Max' CREDIT: SUNSET BOULEVARD

          Kemp returned to hard-nosed policing in the 1968 film The Strange Affair, playing a paranoid sergeant who blackmails a young recruit (Michael York) into helping him frame a drugs ring.

          There were further war games in 1974 when Kemp played a squadron leader, Tony Shaw, in the fondly remembered prisoner-of-war series Colditz. A highly decorated aerial reconnaissance pilot, Shaw becomes obsessed with his plan of escaping the castle by building a glider.

          He played another military man, an RAF briefing officer, in A Bridge Too Far (1977), then the following year, for the final episode of Z Cars, he joined other former cast members returning to play cameos – in Kemp’s case as a vagrant.

          The Winds of War 1983 miniseries was based on the Herman Wouk novel which told the story of a naval officer, Victor “Pug” Henry (played by Robert Mitchum), in the run-up to the US’s entry into the Second World War. Henry is sent as a US Naval Attaché to Berlin, where he strikes up a tentative friendship with General Armin von Roon (Kemp), who becomes the lens through which the German side of the war is viewed as he witnesses the increasingly barbaric treatment of the Jews.

          Kemp reprised the role in the sequel, War and Remembrance (1988-89), which followed the character through to the end of the war. Von Roon is wounded in the assassination attempt on Hitler, and observes the Fuhrer’s disintegration as Germany’s situation becomes increasingly hopeless.

          In 1990 Kemp played the gruff wine-growing brother of Patrick Stewart’s Jean Luc Picard in an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, and four years later played a knight of the realm in Four Weddings and a Funeral. His final role was as the principal baddy in the television series Conan The Adventurer, as Hissah Zul, an evil sorcerer who rules Conan’s homeland with a tyrannical grip.

          Jeremy Kemp was the partner for many years of an American woman, Christopher Harter; she predeceased him.

          Jeremy Kemp, born February 3 1935, died July 19 2019
          Last edited by Maurice; 26th July 2019, 03:45 PM.


          • #7
            A fine actor of great power and presence.
            Fondly remembered in the Jeremy Brett adaptation of the Speckled Band and as Tony Shaw in Colditz.