Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Liz Fraser and other characters

Liz Fraser and other Characters - my autobiography 

I really liked this book - it is very candid, although not sensationalist.
Liz Frazer had an absolutely prolific career - she did masses of live TV in the 1950's , became a film star in the 1960's and had a varied set of parts in the theatre.

At one time she had cornered the market is portraying a certain type of sexy and comic blonde, so much so that directors would ask for a "Liz Fraser type",
but there was clearly a lot more to her talents than just comedy. As one of her neighbours said to her - "I didn't know you could act"

As in all lives, there is the unexpected - born in 1930, she was evacuated to Kent, next door to Winston Churchill ! who used to sit her on his knee and allow her to collect acorns for his pigs.  Then of course people realised evacuating children to the part of England nearest Nazi occupied Europe was not entirely wise - so she was moved to another family in Devon.

Her father died when she was just 11 :-(

Liz has worked with almost anybody who was anyone, a veritable A-Z.  I counted 36 famous people just in the b section of the Index - but it is never done in a  name dropping way - just little pen portraits of what they were like to work with.  Liz's huge affection for Tony Hancock and Sid James is very touching.  She doesn't hold back from the less pleasant side of Peter Sellers or a few others, but never in a nasty way.

Ironic is too weak a word, it is truly unfair that someone who was sought by so many men had two unhappy marriages.  The first to someone who was a thief and a liar, a fantasist :-(  the second was to a TV producer who was also a womaniser and  an alcoholic.  He dropped dead aged 41.

Who would guess Liz Frazer was a volunteer for the Samaritans charity for years fielding calls form wold be suicides ? Or her battle with breast cancer? Her love of boxing, football, playing bridge and investing in the stock market ?  her Conservative politics ? That she wanted to have children but was unable to or that she wrote poems and her own lines for pantomines.
I haven't mentioned the Carry On films, as I hope she will be remembered for much more than that.

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