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Funeral Directors and services   -   Roy Kinnear

Roy Kinnear, who died on September 20 1988, aged 54, was one of Britain 's most loved character actors who enjoyed a career in both film and theatre, Although a talented actor who excelled in drama, he is probably best known for his comic roles, where he played rotund, jolly characters. While a dependable lead, his most famous parts were in supporting roles in films such as Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory , A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to the Forum and Help , where he starred alongside The Beatles. Mr Kinnear was much loved by a general public who sympathised with the beleaguered characters he often played, and was held in high esteem by his fellow actors. Roy Kinnear was born in Wigan, Lancashire . His father was a prominent rugby league player who represented Great Britain. Mr Kinnear was educated at George Heriot's School, Edinburgh before studying at RADA from the age of 17. His theatrical career was put on hold, however, as National Service intervened. In the fifties he resumed his career, mostly in repertory theatre in Scotland. In 1959 he joined Joan Littlewood's Theatre Workshop in London's East End. He was part of many of the group's most successful plays, before he got his big break on the popular TV show That Was The Week That Was. The programme was controversial due to its frequent pillorying of the establishment, and was extremely successful. Now in the public eye, Mr Kinnear was able to accept roles in high profile films, and in the sixties forged a fruitful relationship with director Richard Lester with whom he made Help, A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum and How I Won The War. In 1971 he starred alongside Gene Wilder as the father of Veruca Salt in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, perhaps the role he is best known for. In the seventies he starred in episodes of The Goodies and The Avengers and lent his voice to the children's television show Bertha. Mr Kinnear kept working in television in various sitcoms up until his death in 1988, when he bled to death after breaking his pelvis falling off a horse during the shooting of Richard Lester's film The Return of the Musketeers. Mr Kinnear was warmed to by the public for his ordinariness, particularly on That Was The Week That Was, where he was a simple, likeable character surrounded by intellectuals satirising about the government and media. While often remembered as a character actor and a comic, in his early stage roles he played serious roles with some success, but due to his physicality and natural sense of comedy, moved into comedy. Such was the affection felt towards him within show business, Richard Lester, traumatised by Mr Kinnear's death, quit the film industry altogether. In 1994 the Roy Kinnear Trust was formed, a charity organisation helping young adults with multiple disabilities.


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Originally printed on September 20, 1988 in the Family Announcements.
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Sadly missed, a great actor and comedian

I did not know Roy had died so long ago. I am shocked and very upset. He was greatly loved and admired, and was a part of my childhood. Would he were still with us.

By Colin Smith on 23 Dec 2011

roy

rip roy loved you

By mike davies on 04 Sep 2011

I grew up with...

I grew up with Roy Kinnear. I was just a 10-year-old when the first episode of TW3 was shown. I was being looked after by my two elder brothers (18 & 16) who let me watch it. I never missed an episode thereafter. I came to appreciate Roy's contribution to the show as well as other members of the cast. Roy always seemed so natural and self-effacing and brought a good deal of credibility to the various sketches. Well, as a kid I always thought so. Forty-seven years on I can still remember many of the sketches. I am a writer myself now and realise the value of actors such as Roy whose professionalism and immaculate timing gave life to the writer's art. His work on film, television and the stage was honest and workmanlike and I was greatly saddened when he died. We are blessed however, with the invention of CDs and recording devices that enable us to continue to view Roy's work. I have seen Roy's son Rory in various productions and, whilst he is an accomplished actor in his own right, there is no doubting he is a chip off the old block. God bless you, Roy.

By Paul Foster on 28 Dec 2009

Roy was one of...

Roy was one of the many supporting actors I admired. Not sure if I first noticed him in "That Was the Week That Was" or, more likely, "The Avengers" (who can forget his tramp living off airforce base dust bins!). But I've seen every movie (and a few commercials and short films) he's been in and have most of them in my collection. A tragedy about his falling off a horse and dying during the making of "The Return of the Musketeers." Also a tragedy that his last film was not better. Roy is greatly missed.

By Gary Dunlap on 29 Mar 2009
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Roy Kinnear in 1982
Roy Kinnear - his Lasting Tribute
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