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Peggy Spirito (1929-2021) RIP

 
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denis rigg
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PostPosted: Fri May 21, 2021 9:19 am    Post subject: Peggy Spirito (1929-2021) RIP Reply with quote

The continuity, script editor and post-production worker Peggy Spirito (many color Avengers episodes) passed away.

Peggy's quotes:



The Guardian Obituary (by Rob Perkins, 21 May 2021):

https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2021/may/21/maggie-perkins-obituary



My mother, Maggie Perkins, who has died aged 92, worked as a continuity and script editor on hundreds of episodes of classic British TV series in the 1960s and 1970s, including The Avengers, The Saint, Randall & Hopkirk (Deceased) and The Professionals.

She was born in Barnet, Hertfordshire, one of three children of Samuel and Gwendoline Spirito, first generation immigrants from southern Italy. In 1945 their family home was completely destroyed by a doodlebug raid, fortunately while all of its usual occupants were away.

When Maggie left school she began work as a typist at MGM (Elstree) studios in Borehamwood. Her outgoing personality and “can-do” attitude soon had her rising through the ranks and training as a “continuity girl”. Under the professional name Peggy Spirito she worked for almost 10 years behind the camera in continuity, script supervision and editing roles on iconic British television series made at ABPC Elstree Studios, where she formed close friendships with industry figures such as Brian Clemens, Albert Fennel and Laurie Johnson, as well as with actors including Diana Rigg, Patrick McGoohan and Roger Moore.

She went on to work in films, including One Million Years BC (1966) and The Dirty Dozen (1967), at the Gate Studios, and Denham, Shepperton and Pinewood studios, among others.

In 1949, she had married Gordon Perkins, an electronic engineer with GEC. After taking a career break to raise their two sons (my brother, John, and me), Maggie returned to continuity work, this time in the burgeoning sector for TV commercials. This was a time of big-budget productions for international brands that were attracting a new breed of talented young directors such as Alan Parker.

Maggie’s work took her to glamorous locations in France, Spain, Italy, the Bahamas and California in the service of Volvo, Cinzano, Coburn’s port and Hamlet cigars. She was on location in the Atlas Mountains, Morocco, with the Collett Dickenson Pearce copywriters Vernon Howe and Terry Lovelock when they developed the “refreshes the parts others beers cannot reach” tagline for Heineken. Parker was lined up to direct the launch ads for the campaign but his pre-production work on Bugsy Malone (1976) meant he was unavailable; Maggie would go on to work with him on the film.

After her retirement, around 1990, Maggie became a food writer and an active campaigner for food allergen awareness, having developed anaphylaxis in later life. Her articles were published in the Reader’s Digest and later, the Lancet, the New Scientist, Caterer and Hotelkeeper, and the British Medical Journal.

She was an accomplished and passionate cook whose rock cakes, almond cakes, date cakes, soups, stews and puddings were much appreciated by her family.

A few years ago, she and Gordon moved together into a care home in Ealing, west London, where they celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary in 2019. Maggie inspired many members of staff there with her enthusiastic love of musical theatre, and her singing (and conducting) along with her favourite tunes.

Gordon died in 2020. Maggie is survived by John and me, and by her grandchildren, Sophie, Sam and Harry, and step-grandchildren, Jack and Sam.
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Last edited by denis rigg on Fri May 21, 2021 9:03 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Frankymole
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PostPosted: Fri May 21, 2021 1:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you, Denis. It is so sad that we only learn about the fascinating details of these behind-the-scenes workers after they pass away. But I suppose that is the nature of show business.
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mousemeat
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PostPosted: Fri May 21, 2021 3:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Frankymole wrote:
Thank you, Denis. It is so sad that we only learn about the fascinating details of these behind-the-scenes workers after they pass away. But I suppose that is the nature of show business.


couldn't have stated it any plainer...but yeah, doing a weekly series is taxing, and takes input and team work on everyone connected to the production..
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denis rigg
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PostPosted: Fri May 21, 2021 8:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, many details suddenly open up around some of the people in the show business in Obituaries, part of whom are being prepared in advance. Earlier, I entered for a long time thinking that Peggy's surname Spirito was a pseudonym, and that she worked for a very short time on TV. Very Happy
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Allard
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PostPosted: Sun May 23, 2021 2:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for sharing, the people behind the camera whom we have to thank for The Avengers, let's not let them go unmentioned.
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