Friday, February 03, 2006

Dead Celebrity of the Month, Febuary 2006: Paul Eddington

Paul Eddington was born into a Quaker/Catholic family of modest means in 1927. After his parents divorce he was raised primarily by his mother and moved around a lot. Eventually young Paul was enrolled in a Quaker school during the second world war (this was ironic as his mother was the Catholic of the family, Paul had also been an alter boy). The school was poor and apparently not high on the governments food recipient list (maybe because of Quaker pacifism) and young Paul suffered from malnurtition. In fact the health problems that started in school would be a token of the medical ailments that would follow Mr. Eddington through all his life. It was also at school that young Paul discovered acting. Spending many years as a struggling stage actor he eventually meet his wife of 43 years in the cast of one of his performances.

Paul worked some in television starting in the 1950's with small roles on the syndicated children's series The Adventures of Robin Hood, and later was the first 'Number 2' on Patrick McGoohans suireal spy program The Prisoner. True success came for Paul in 1975 with the break out role of martini swilling plastics executive Jerry Leadbetter on the britcom The Good Life. In the years that followed Paul Eddington was constantly employed on stage, television, and advertisments though never succeeding on film. In 1980 the political comedy Yes, Minister brought Paul even greater fame as the well intentioned but incompatent James Hacker, the show was also the break out program for co-star Nigal Hawthorne (who did do well in the movies). In 1986 a sequel series, Yes, Prime Minister was brought to television with critical and public acclaim. Paul even claimed that when traveling the world during the run of the later program he was often treated as a Prime Minister and reporters seemed very interested in his political opinions. In 1995 Paul Eddington died of a rare form of skin cancer while also suffering from arthritis and diabetes. He is survived by his wife and four children.


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