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Leonard White (1916-2016)

 
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Alan
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Joined: 01 Sep 2008
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Location: The Edge of Avengerland

PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2016 1:01 am    Post subject: Leonard White (1916-2016) Reply with quote

I am very sad to report the death last Saturday of Leonard White, the original producer of The Avengers. He passed away at a nursing home in Seaford, East Sussex, and the news was communicated to Simon Coward of Kaleidoscope by Leonard's friend and former ABC colleague Brian Tesler.

Leonard was very kind and accommodating in helping Richard McGinlay and myself with our various Avengers and Police Surgeon projects, and for that I will forever be grateful to him. He was mere months off his 100th birthday, and yet in recent years his mind was still sharp and his recollection likewise.

His legacy would be remarkable if he had only been responsible for The Avengers, but he was the man behind so many more great shows.

RIP, Leonard. You were a gent and will most certainly be missed.
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jaz
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Joined: 23 Sep 2008
Posts: 394

PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2016 9:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know what to say. I only got to know Leonard when I was asked to produce The Avengers DVDs for Optimum - at first he was very wary having virtually been written out of the shows history in various books, retrospectives, documentaries, etc by poor research and the producer of the later filmed episodes. Happily for me he gave me a chance to prove my idea that we could redress this and tell the real story and boy what a gem he turned out to be.

Leonard had such enthusiasm, drive, humour, energy, charm and incredible memory for a man of his age. He was delightful to work with on the DVDs and other associated projects we did together afterwards. I'll never forget the wicked look in his eye when he handed me his two Avengers scrapbooks saying 'I thought you might like to look at these' knowing full well that they contained a treasure trove of telesnaps from missing Ian Hendry episodes.

I kept in contact with him regularly since that day and we'd often spend hours discussing his various work. At the Avengers 50th celebration at Chichester that I co-organised he was also very wary - I had to play a very careful and diplomatic game with him as all the noises coming out of the University were along the lines of 'Mrs Peel. We're Needed' - and he was saying 'oh no I'm not!'. Thankfully he agreed to come along and I'll never forget the look on his face and how happy he was to be reunited with his Avengers girls, Honor Blackman and Julie Stevens, and head of ABC Brian Tesler. For me that was the highlight of the event and we were again able to set the record straight about those early days.

Leonard will be hugely missed by his many industry friends who he regularly caught up with at the Lunch Club's networking events and by those of us who he sparred so much time and energy for. I hope his huge archive of the early days of ITV and his career work finds a suitable home (not the BFI as it will disappear forever).

RIP Leonard, you will be sadly missed.
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MikeR
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Joined: 19 Jul 2009
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2016 9:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can clearly remember being mesmerised at The Avengers at 50 event at Chichester University when Leonard recounted how he was working for ABC Television and Sydney Newman told him to go away and think up the format for a thriller TV series and how this became The Avengers. However, Leonard was always very charitable claiming that the series was a group effort. This is a great loss of someone who contributed so much to both UK and Canadian television.
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Darren
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2016 4:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah, he was just down the road from me (give or take).

Sad, another major part of Avengers history departs.

His telesnaps appearing has been one of the most exciting things for me in recent years.

I love his production of King of the Castle (good direction from him as well).

RIP Leonard
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Frankymole
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2016 8:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree about the archive Jaz, but if not the BFI then where? Is anyone in a position to have a friendly word with the executors? It'd be a huge shame if it were chucked in a skip.
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jaz
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Joined: 23 Sep 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2016 12:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Frankymole wrote:
I agree about the archive Jaz, but if not the BFI then where? Is anyone in a position to have a friendly word with the executors? It'd be a huge shame if it were chucked in a skip.


I've been asked to help Franky so rest assured it won't be skipped.
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Frankymole
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2016 1:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's good news. Thanks Jaz.
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anti-clockwise
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2016 7:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am so saddened to hear of Leonard's passing. I loved listening to his documentary on the show with Jaz interviewing. RIP Leonard.
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