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Ian Hendry
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Neil Hendry
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Joined: 20 Jun 2013
Posts: 19
Location: Suffolk, England

PostPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2013 9:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've just joined up with forum and wanted to firstly say thanks to all the people here who are helping to keep The Avengers alive.

Thanks also to the many people who have posted about my late uncle, Ian Hendry.

As many of you already know, a biography has recently been published entitled 'Send In The Clowns, The Yo Yo Life of Ian Hendry' by Gabriel Hershman. Gabriel has created a detailed and thoroughly well researched biography that many, including myself, thought would never see the light of day. This includes many interview with friends and former colleagues including Sir Roger Moore, John Nettles, Dame Judi Dench and many more.

To help support the publication of the biography and also to provide better resources online, we have created the following, which may be of interest to forum members:

Official Website of Ian Hendry

http://ianhendry.com

Official Ian Hendry Facebook Page

http://facebook.com/ianhendry.actor

Official Ian Hendry Youtube Channel

http://youtube.com/ianhendryactor

The above are all works in progress and we will continue to add to them as time permits and new information/ material becomes available.

Thanks again and all the best for now.

Neil Hendry
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Neil Hendry
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Official Website of Ian Hendry
Ian Hendry Facebook Page
YouTube Channel
http://youtube.com/IanHendryActor


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Last edited by Neil Hendry on Wed Jul 03, 2013 5:03 am; edited 1 time in total
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Frankymole
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2013 4:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Congratulations on your first post, Mr Hendry! Thank you for creating and maintaining such excellent sites (and for the book which is a marvellous idea and long overdue). Ian Hendry deserves to be remembered forever for his truthful and exiting performances. And making sure the series we love was popular enough to last all through the 60s - and beyond.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2013 5:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is an honor to have you aboard. Thank you for the post and keeping your uncle's memory alive.
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denis rigg
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2013 6:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am very glad to see you, Mr. Hendry, on the international Avengers forum.
You made ​​an excellent site about his uncle, it is a great work.
Recently I ordered a book 'Send In The Clowns, The Yo Yo Life of Ian Hendry' by Gabriel Hershman.
For me, this is a grand surprise. I've always been interested in personality Ian Hendry, but found little information about his early years and early career. I am sure that with the help of this book I will be able to expand their horizons. Thank you, Mr. Hendry! Very Happy
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Neil Hendry
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Joined: 20 Jun 2013
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Location: Suffolk, England

PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2013 9:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Franky, Denis and anti-clockwise for the welcome!

It's good to be here and to be able to share with you all...

Gabriel contacted me at the end of 2011 about his intention
of writing the biography on Ian. As mentioned above he has been
meticulous in his research and I do feel he has created a unique portrait of
his life. I am grateful that I also had the opportunity to provide some input
and give some background to his family and the early years in Suffolk.

Thanks for purchasing and please feel free to give some feedback here.

Yes, he certainly had his problems too (as many will know) and these
are not side-stepped in the book. It is a very 'human' story at times,
but he was also a very gifted actor and the book aims to
address his tremendous body of work and achievements as well.

I've also been in touch a lot with Alan Hayes from The Avengers Declassified
site and it's exciting to see that the first series is being given some more exposure
now with his latest book (A Strange Case of the Missing Episodes) and
that a separate full cast audio production is also in the works.

Thanks again for the welcome and please feel free to interact on any of the sites we have set up as well as here.

Oh, and one last thing....no more of this Mr. Hendry.......Neil will do just fine:)

Best

Neil
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Official Website of Ian Hendry
Ian Hendry Facebook Page
YouTube Channel
http://youtube.com/IanHendryActor


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Alan
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2013 1:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome along, Neil!

A vote of approval for both Neil's site and for Gabriel's book, which in my opinion is essential reading for any fan of The Avengers.
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anti-clockwise
The Bird Who Wrote Too Much


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2013 3:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well big hello Neil. Can I set up a thread for you to answer questions when you have the time? I think that would be thrilling to hear your perspective as well as the excellent books and websites you listed.

What I was wondering is if you ever got to see your uncle perform live such as on any of the tv shows he starred in? Were family members permitted to go backstage on the Avengers or just cast and crew? You might have been too young--but just wondered.

Also wondered what your uncle would say was his favorite role?
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hersheybar
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Joined: 13 Jun 2013
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2013 11:44 pm    Post subject: IAN HENDRY Reply with quote

I tried to cover almost everything Ian appeared in during his extremely long career in the biography that I have written.
I agree that he was particularly good in The Hill (Michael Jayston told me he thought that Ian should have had an Oscar nomination at least) and of his TV appearances he was especially good in guest appearances on series like Return of the Saint and Van Der Valk.
But, contrary to what someone said here, Ian was not working right until the end. Between mid-1981 and mid-1983 he was out of work and nobody would touch him. That sealed his fate. He came back in Jemima Shore Investigates in the summer of 1983 but by then his health was poor and he later developed a throat tumour.
It's all covered extensively in my book. http://www.lulu.com/shop/gabriel-hershman/send-in-the-clowns-the-yo-yo-life-of-ian-hendry/paperback/product-20974696.html
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hersheybar
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2013 11:50 pm    Post subject: Ian hendry Reply with quote

I'm very grateful to Neil Hendry for his extensive help with the book. There was no point in brushing over painful episodes in Ian's life and Neil, by the way, made no attempt to persuade me to do so.
Having said that,I hope the book is also a celebration of a great but much underrated actor.
I think - to answer the question - that Ian's favourite roles were in The Hill and Live Now Pay Later. But as Roger Moore told me (nothing like a little bit of name-dropping!!!) Ian was brilliant in everything he did. You can't say the same of Finney or Caine or O'Toole or Harris or Reed etc
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hersheybar
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 04, 2013 12:12 am    Post subject: IAN HENDRY Reply with quote

I had a nice email from actress Elizabeth Shepherd (who almost starred in The Avengers herself) about my book. I will quote if for you.

"Gabriel Hershman's book, Send in the Clowns: The Yo Yo Life of Ian Hendry, is valuable not only for its timely championing of Ian's unique talent, but also for its vivid recreation of that whole era in British film and television history. It took me down the memory lane of my own beginnings, when I had the pleasure of working with Ian twice. The 60s and 70s were exciting decades when all the very best writers were writing for television, and gritty film classics were being created.

Gabriel's sympathetic character study of Ian's life is heart-breaking in its honesty about the terrible price Ian paid for his compulsive drinking. It is a tragedy that a man who was so generous to others could be his own worst enemy. But through it all, the integrity and brilliance of Ian's work shines through, and this book is a worthy tribute to an actor who had become in danger of being underestimated. I was glad to have this opportunity to get to know Ian Hendry better, and to appreciate him all over again."
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Frankymole
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 04, 2013 1:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gosh, yes, I remember seeing The Hill in the 1980s on television and it was a stunning film. Very memorable. I'd love to see it again, though.
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Neil Hendry
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Joined: 20 Jun 2013
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Location: Suffolk, England

PostPosted: Thu Jul 04, 2013 2:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi anticlock-wise

Thanks for the questions and interest. I think it's perhaps best to keep the posts in this thread, to keep everything in one place and also because many people have already shared posts here on Ian. But I am happy to answer questions here as best I can.

I was born in 1967, so I was not even 'a glint in someone's eye' when the first series of The Avengers was being made:) I do know that my parents visited and stayed with Ian and his then wife, Janet Munro, in the early 60's when they lived on Pharoah's Island in the Thames and went to see them filming at Shepperton Studios nearby. They also attended some of the film premieres, along with their parents.

I was fortunate to see Ian perform live in 1976, when he was in the play The Motive with George Cole and Honor Blackman at the Theatre Royal in Norwich. After the show I went backstage to meet George, Honor and of course, get their autographs! It was an exciting time. Gabriel discusses this more in the book. Also, my parents and grandparents saw him in other pays he did around that time as well.

My cousin Corrie appeared in a cameo role at the beginning of The New Avengers, 'To Catch A Rat' episode in 1976. She is seen on the swing with her father, Ian.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T8DcyZieQhk

In 1978, aged 10, I went with my family to London to appear on This Is Your Life, produced at that time by Thames Television. It was quite an experience and I was fortunate to meet Patrick Macnee, Tommy Cooper, Eamonn Andrews and all before the show for rehearsals (without Ian of course....it really is a secret/ surprise!) as well as afterwards in the Green Room.

It's the only recording of Ian being 'himself' that I have seen. The only other film that exists is of Pathe newsreels from the 60's which show footage of him at events, but he does not speak in them.

The full programme is on Youtube below (all videos clips are being uploaded to the Official Ian Hendry Youtube Channel)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fK4ZlYKsibI

My original autograph book can be seen here:

http://ianhendry.com/this-is-your-life-1978/this-is-your-life-1978-autograph-book/

And stills from the show can be seen here:

http://ianhendry.com/this-is-your-life-1978/this-is-your-life-stills-gallery1978/


Gabriel mentions that The Hill (1965) was one of his favourite roles. I'd have to agree with this. Much later on, in 1975, Ian visited us in Ipswich and gave me the hat he wore in the role he played of Staff Sergeant Williams in the film. He'd obviously kept it as a souvenir through all the subsequent years. I've retold the story in the following article:

http://ianhendry.com/staff-sergeant-williams-hat-the-hill-1965/

I've also interviewed Alan Hayes and Richard McGinlay who, along with Alys Hayes, have writen the book The Strange Case of The Missing Episodes, which provides much needed detail on the first series of The Avengers:

http://ianhendry.com/the-avengers-tv-series-1-1961-a-case-reopened/

All the articles can be found here:

http://ianhendry.com/articles/

Thanks again for the interest.

Best

Neil
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Neil Hendry
Editor,
Official Website of Ian Hendry
Ian Hendry Facebook Page
YouTube Channel
http://youtube.com/IanHendryActor


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Last edited by Neil Hendry on Thu Jul 04, 2013 11:40 am; edited 1 time in total
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anti-clockwise
The Bird Who Wrote Too Much


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 04, 2013 8:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you Neil. First of all your website is just wonderful! I recently saw That's Your Life episode with your uncle. How exciting to have been there and get the autographs! Wasn't your uncle on That's your Life with Patrick Macnee maybe all to briefly as well?
And what an impressive hat and lovely present your uncle gave you! I can imagine that was very special!
Do you know what your uncle's thoughts were about the Avengers? I know he rewrote many scripts and I read what Patrick Macnee said about it. But just wondered.
Also wondered if you might know. Would he have wanted to go back to the Avengers or did he regret perhaps even leaving the show?
Thank you so very much for all of your insights. It is such a pleasure to have you here!
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mousemeat
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 04, 2013 11:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Frankymole wrote:
Congratulations on your first post, Mr Hendry! Thank you for creating and maintaining such excellent sites (and for the book which is a marvellous idea and long overdue). Ian Hendry deserves to be remembered forever for his truthful and exiting performances. And making sure the series we love was popular enough to last all through the 60s - and beyond.


ditto...welcome aboard..
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Neil Hendry
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Joined: 20 Jun 2013
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Location: Suffolk, England

PostPosted: Fri Jul 05, 2013 1:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Alan and mousemeat for the welcome!

Now to try and answer your questions anti-clockwise.

Note: I've also turned this response into an article for the website:

http://ianhendry.com/ian-hendry-and-the-avengers

I think Ian left the Avengers for two main reasons. Firstly, production of The Avengers had stopped due to industrial action at ABC which lasted several months. I am sure if there hadn't been a strike he would have appeared in the second series and then who knows how the story would have developed and how The Avengers would have been affected. Would there even have been a Cathy Gale? It's fun to imagine what might have happened as a consequence.

The second factor though is that Ian's 'star was rising' at that time. Ian was both talented and ambitious and there were film offers that were coming his way. I am sure at that time he saw film as a huge opportunity to establish himself further and make a 'break-through'.

In 1962, could anyone have predicted how The Avengers would evolve into being such a cult phenomenon?. Probably not. Also would The Avengers have evolved in the way it did with Ian still in the lead role? Maybe not. The New Avengers did work with two males and a strong female character in lead roles, so you could argue that Patrick (Steed), Ian (Keel) and Honor (Gale) could have been developed to work as well? But then again. if Ian had stayed, would the idea of having a strong female role in the series become a reality? Interesting to consider what might have been.

I think when you see Ian talk with Patrick and Eamonn about the first series (on This Is Your Life 1978) that it played a a very important part in both their careers, for quite different reasons. I think they both had very fond memories of that time

But there is no doubt that being associated with a series for a long spell can be beneficial to an actors career. Roger Moore played The Saint throughout much of the 60's and ended up playing Bond. John Nettles long spell as Bergerac no doubt created stability and established him as a leading actor. Patrick Macnee's long-time association as Steed. The list goes on and on. The public likes familiarity. They form a kind of relationship with their 'stars' and the characters they play. It becomes comfortable, like seeing an old friend again, albeit on the screen. Acting ability is just one aspect of becoming successful as an actor. Establishing a 'public', a following which helps guarantee viewing figures for programmes is just as important. Playing a familiar role for a long period of time certainly helps no end in this aspect.

Ian once mentioned to me that sometimes it is better to be in a supporting role, than be cast as the lead, as there is less chance of being type-cast. I think that was something that concerned him.

Also, I am not sure whether Ian would have been satisfied playing the same character in the same show for a large chunk of his career. He liked change and new challenges. So with that in mind I am not sure he would have wished to go back.

In hindsight, would he have wished he had stayed longer in The Avengers? Only Ian could answer that. My guess is probably not, during the 60's at least. After leaving The Avengers, Ian had leading roles in a number if British films, including Live Now Pay Later (1962), Girl In The Headlines (1963), This Is My Street (1964), The Beauty Jungle (1964) and Children Of The Damned (1964). In 1965, he starred in two film classics, The Hill directed by Sidney Lumet and Repulsion directed by Roman Polanski. By the end of the 60's he was on the cusp of breaking through in Hollywood. The Southern Star (1969) starred the legendary Orson Welles, George Segal, Ursula Andress and Harry Andrews was maybe as near as he came to doing so.

Maybe later on in his career he would have wished for something more stable. The 1970's was a difficult time for many as the British film industry was in decline. Without an international breakthrough in film, the main source of work was television. The decade also coincided with his personal problems with drink becoming increasingly an issue.

Many colleagues have said though that Ian should have become an international film star. And he did so nearly make that breakthrough.

I think that is what he was aiming for when he left The Avengers all those years ago.

Best

Neil
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anti-clockwise
The Bird Who Wrote Too Much


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 05, 2013 7:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you so much Neil for the most thorough reply. It is easier for me to put things into perspective. I will be thinking of more questions to post. That is unfortunate he was working at a time that was economically more difficult for the British Film industry.. It's hard enough being an actor!
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Frankymole
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 05, 2013 7:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

An excellent answer and article. It also reminds me - I have "The Girl in the Headlines" but have not yet watched it.
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hersheybar
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 05, 2013 10:06 am    Post subject: Ian Hendry Reply with quote

Bruce Montague told me, after I had completed the biography of Ian, that Ian had once confided to him that he did regret leaving The Avengers too soon. But, as we know, that is with the benefit of hindsight.
When Ian left he felt - as Neil has pointed out - that he was on the brink of a lucrative film career. Ian was not the type of actor to stay too long in any one role. He always believed in moving on but I'm sure that he had some misgivings about his decision AFTER the event when he realised that The Avengers had become such a worldwide cult show.
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anti-clockwise
The Bird Who Wrote Too Much


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 05, 2013 11:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I suppose the usual path is leaving TV to act in movies, especially back in the 60's. So it makes logical sense that Ian would do that.

I have heard that Ian would be rewriting scripts for series 1. In fact, from Ian's perspective that sounded like a huge frustration at times if I heard that correctly.

What was Ian's experience working on the Avengers? Too bad Ian did not have Roger Marshall to work with for series 1. So agree that it would be hard to guess that it would evolve into a classic from what Ian experienced. That makes so much sense. I was thinking if you look at the very first and last show they don't even look remotely related except for Steed.

But it's too bad that they did not at the very least create a guest part for him to come back as Dr. Keel on a later episode. I think it would have been grand for Dr. Keel to be involved somehow with Steed again and the leading lady for an episode.
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mousemeat
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 05, 2013 11:34 am    Post subject: Re: IAN HENDRY Reply with quote

hersheybar wrote:
I had a nice email from actress Elizabeth Shepherd (who almost starred in The Avengers herself) about my book. I will quote if for you.

"Gabriel Hershman's book, Send in the Clowns: The Yo Yo Life of Ian Hendry, is valuable not only for its timely championing of Ian's unique talent, but also for its vivid recreation of that whole era in British film and television history. It took me down the memory lane of my own beginnings, when I had the pleasure of working with Ian twice. The 60s and 70s were exciting decades when all the very best writers were writing for television, and gritty film classics were being created.

Gabriel's sympathetic character study of Ian's life is heart-breaking in its honesty about the terrible price Ian paid for his compulsive drinking. It is a tragedy that a man who was so generous to others could be his own worst enemy. But through it all, the integrity and brilliance of Ian's work shines through, and this book is a worthy tribute to an actor who had become in danger of being underestimated. I was glad to have this opportunity to get to know Ian Hendry better, and to appreciate him all over again."




wow. thanks for sharing her email. great insights and more.
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