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Gorden "Gay" Kaye
Born Gordon Fitzgerald Kaye
7 April 1941 (1941-04-07) (age 68)
Huddersfield
West Yorkshire
England, UK
Other name(s) Gordon Kay
Gordon Kaye
Occupation Actor
Years active 1968-present

Gorden Kaye (born as Gordon Fitzgerald Kaye on 7 April 1941 in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire) is a BAFTA-nominated English comic actor of Maltese descent, best known for playing René Artois in the British TV comedy 'Allo 'Allo!.

Contents

Early life

As a youngster, he played Rugby League for Moldgreen ARLFC before studying at King James's Grammar School in Almondbury, Huddersfield.

Career

After first coming to prominence playing Elsie Tanner's nephew Bernard Butler in the UK's long-running soap opera Coronation Street in 1969, he later made an impression on producer/writer David Croft following memorable guest roles in It Ain't Half Hot Mum, Are You Being Served? and Come Back Mrs Noah.

Croft offered him the lead role in a series he had written called Oh, Happy Band! but Kaye was unavailable and the part went to Harry Worth. Oh, Happy Band! disappeared after one series and, in 1982, Croft sent Kaye the script for the pilot episode of 'Allo 'Allo! inviting him to play the central character of René Artois. He accepted and went on to appear in each of the show's 85 episodes and many productions of the hit stage version.

Gorden Kaye had a small part in Terry Gilliam's Film Brazil as a Desk clerk

Kaye is the author of a 1989 autobiography, Rene & Me: A Sort of Autobiography (with Hilary Bonner, ISBN 0-283-99965-9) in which he describes his experiences as a shy, gay, overweight, typecast youth. The unusual spelling of the name Gorden (usually spelt Gordon) was due to an Equity typing error.

Kaye suffered serious head injuries in a car accident during a storm on 25 January 1990.[1] Although he cannot remember any details of the incident, he still has a scar on his forehead from a piece of wooden advertising boarding that smashed through the car windscreen.

While recovering in hospital from emergency brain surgery to treat injuries sustained in the accident, Kaye was photographed and "interviewed" by Sunday Sport journalist Roger Ordish. The Sunday Sport was sued by Kaye, but despite clearly being unable to give consent to such behaviour, the British Court of Appeal held that his privacy had not been invaded — a decision often said to be the low point of British privacy law.[2]

Kaye returned as Rene Artois in a 2007 one-off television revival of 'Allo 'Allo and in a stage show in Brisbane, Australia at the Twelfth Night Theatre in June and July, alongside Sue Hodge as Mimi Labonq and Guy Siner as Lieutenant Gruber. The other characters were portrayed by various famous Australian actors including Katy Manning, Steven Tandy, Chloe Dallimore, Jason Gann, Tony Alcock and David Knijnenburg.

References

  1. ^ On This Day: 25 January, 1990 - BBC Online [1]
  2. ^ Anna Carboni, Wilberforce Chambers. "Privacy Law from Prince Albert’s Etchings to Prince Charles’ Journals", (ITMA Conference – March 2006). [2]

External links

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