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Stephen Moore RIP

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  • Stephen Moore RIP

    Marvin the Paranoid Android in Hitch-Hicker's Guide to the Galaxy and Adrian Mole's father - amongst many other things. No news site has announced his death yet, but HHGTG and Dr Who sites are mentioning it with tributes from Geoff McGivern (Ford Prefect) and Dirk Maggs (director).

  • #2

    A great actor, who I recently watched in Rock Follies, playing the part he often did, the cynical but louche and slothful intellectual.


    • #3
      The Guardian obituary



      • #4
        Moore was one of those actors that popped up in all sorts of things, and just was a natural at them - his resigned officer in A Bridge Too Far, or the hapless teacher in Clockwise.

        I didnt realise, until I read the obituary, just how much stage work he did. And was very pleasantly surprised to discover that he had played the Chaplin in Mother Courage along side Judi Dench with the RSC. In about 1985, I was lucky enough to see this production at the Barbican, and had no idea he had been in it. I was also interested to discover that Tilda Swinton was in it as well.


        • #5
          Stephen Moore, actor cherished by fans of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy for playing the glum android Marvin – obituary

          Stephen Moore as George in The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole
          CREDIT: THAMES TV14 OCTOBER 2019

          Stephen Moore, who has died aged 81, was one of Britain’s busiest stage actors with a career ranging from the Royal Shakespeare Company to the West End and Broadway, but he made his biggest impact voicing Marvin the paranoid android on radio and television in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

          In the writer Douglas Adams’s cult sci-fi comedy adventure, following the travels of its hapless dressing-gown-clad protagonist Arthur Dent (Simon Jones) after the destruction of Earth, Marvin is a failed prototype robot among those aboard a stolen spacecraft that rescues Arthur and his friend Ford Prefect (Geoffrey McGivern on radio, David Dixon on television).

          With a brain the size of a planet but scant opportunity to use it, Marvin struggles with depression – as well as a “terrible pain in all the diodes down my left side” – but Moore’s vocal skills made the miserable character endearing.

          Other memorable characters in the show included Zaphod Beeblebrox (Mark Wing-Davey) and Trillian (Susan Sheridan on radio, Sandra Dickinson on television), with Peter Jones, as The Book, narrating both versions.

          Moore, who had an innate flair for comedy, also provided other voices in the original BBC Radio 4 series (1978-80), including those of Gag Halfrunt and the Ruler of the Universe.

          When The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy moved to television in 1981 Moore continued to voice Marvin, although David Learner appeared in its costume, and Moore was also heard as Frankie Mouse and a sperm whale. The show won a Royal Television Society Award as Most Original Programme.

          Cult fame also led Moore to record two novelty singles in 1981, Marvin, which hovered just outside the Top 50 with lines such as “You know what really makes me mad? They clean me with a Brillo Pad” sung to a synthesiser backing, and the double A-side Reasons to be Miserable and Marvin I Love You.

          Moore’s face became familiar in popular television comedies. He played George, father of the teenage diarist in Thames TV’s The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13¾ (1985) and The Growing Pains of Adrian Mole (1987). On the BBC he featured in Harry Enfield and Chums (1997-98) as the father of Enfield’s Kevin the teenager, and as Arthur Parker, Harmony’s father, in The Queen’s Nose, a children’s series based on a Dick King-Smith novel, between 1995 and 2001.

          Moore shone in many roles on stage. With the National Theatre, he switched effortlessly from drama as Raymond Brock in David Hare’s Plenty (1978) and Major Thomas Chichester in Howard Brenton’s The Romans in Britain (1980) to comedy as Trevor in Alan Ayckbourn’s Bedroom Farce (1977) in the West End and later on Broadway.

          Moore achieved his ambition to appear alongside his hero Ralph Richardson in the John Osborne play West of Suez at the Cambridge Theatre in 1971 – and was given a lift home on the great actor’s motorcycle one day.

          “He had the rather unnerving habit of looking over his shoulder at me and using the stem of his pipe as a pointing device in order to describe the finer points of his BMW,” Moore recalled. The experience turned him into a lifelong biker himself.

          Stephen Vincent Moore was born on December 11 1937 in Brixton, south London, to Stanley Moore, a solicitor, and the former Mary Bruce-Anderson.

          On leaving Archbishop Tenison’s School, Kennington, he trained at the Central School of Speech and Drama (1956-59), where he won the Laurence Olivier Medal.

          Moore with Gian Sammarco in 'The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole'

          After making his professional debut as an immigration officer in A View from the Bridge at the Theatre Royal, Windsor, in 1959, Moore made his first appearance on the London stage as William in As You Like It at the Old Vic Theatre, where he stayed from 1959 to 1962.

          Although he appeared in the West End, he preferred lengthy stints with the National Theatre and Royal Shakespeare Company. “I’ve always enjoyed being in companies,” Moore once reflected.

          His other roles with the National included Cassio in Othello (1980) during a long run with the company between 1975 and 1980, the Mayor in Enemy of the People (1998) and the inspiring teacher Hector in a 2007 revival of Alan Bennett’s The History Boys on tour and at Wyndham’s Theatre.

          When he played Colonel Pickering in Trevor Nunn’s revival of My Fair Lady (Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, 2003), Charles Spencer wrote in the Telegraph: “Stephen Moore makes a lovely Pickering, a deliciously silly old buffer with an unmistakably generous heart.”

          Moore as Hector in 'The History Boys' at Wyndham's Theatre in 2007

          With the Royal Shakespeare Company at the Barbican Theatre between 1981 and 1985, Moore went from playing Parolles in All’s Well that Ends Well (1982, and the next year on Broadway), Sir Toby Belch in Twelfth Night and Cardinal Wolsey in Henry VIII (both 1984) to narrating Peter Pan (1982-3), in which he also portrayed Captain Hook and Mr Darling.

          Somehow he managed to find time to compile a lengthy television CV. Roles included Jack, Julie Covington’s Left-wing teacher husband, in Rock Follies (1976); Danny, Felicity Kendal’s boyfriend, in the first two series of the Carla Lane sitcom Solo (1981-82); Dr “Bill” Wilson in the seven-part, real-life “Scott versus Amundsen” adventure The Last Place on Earth (1985); the English professor Philip Swallow in Small World (1988), based on David Lodge’s novel; Mayor Vincy in Middlemarch (1994); the bank cashier Geoffrey Parkes in the sitcom The Peter Principle (1995-2000); and Chief Constable Mike Bishop in the first two series (2001-2) of Merseybeat. In 2010 he appeared as the Silurian Eldane in Doctor Who.

          Moore’s first three marriages to Barbara Mognaz (1959), Celestine Randall (1964) and Beth Morris (1974), ended in divorce. In 1990 he married Noelyn George, who died in 2010. He is survived by a son and four daughters.

          Stephen Moore, born December 11 1937, died October 4 2019
          Last edited by Maurice; 14th October 2019, 06:45 PM.