Rogues & Vagabonds

theatre, film & tv past and present 2001-2008 & 2013…

Archive Book Review • STARK NAKED • Graham Stark • 2003

starknakedStark Naked: The Autobiography of Graham Stark

‘Always the bridesmaid, never the bride’ might have been a more apt title for Graham Stark’s autobiography, Stark Naked, the story of his life in theatre, film, radio and television. The book displays his lack of rancour about the profession and betrays few regrets. It bears witness to a world where stardom may be relished by many but enjoyed by few of its participants.

Born and brought up on Merseyside between the two World Wars, this third and youngest son of a ship’s purser and a doting mother with theatrical aspirations, Stark’s two life-long obsessions — theatre and photography — have worked in parallel and sometimes in tandem.

Even before attending RADA, he had worked as a child actor and dancer in several productions, although his first official engagement was in that old war-horse of British theatre, the pantomime. His comic abilities were revealed in a production of Shakespeare’s Scottish play, where he played Macduff’s son, managing to elicit titters from the audience. One could say that Stark’s face has been his fortune, taking him from ENSA to The Return of the Pink Panther, and beyond.

Stark gives little away about his emotional life and his family, although they do figure, making this most definitely a life in showbiz. Being a character actor has allowed him to taste stardom without the loss of anonymity. False noses, wigs and hats have all enabled him to lead a somewhat charmed life prompting John Lennon to question Stark’s existence.

Lennon and the other Beatles are just some of the many leading lights of cinema, music and theatre that Stark has bumped into, starred alongside or had the pleasure of meeting throughout his eighty years. That he has also managed to capture them in black and white for his photographic collection, some of which are included, away from the prying eyes of the paparazzi or the film editor, just shows how lucky he has been during such a lengthy career.

One of his longest friendships was with that most mercurial of comic actors, Peter Sellers. From their days in the army during the Second World War through the Goons and on to the international movie stardom that saw Sellers cut adrift from normality, Stark has some particular insights.

Perhaps Stark Naked lacks depth — though the author is fairly opinionated — but the anecdotes are enough to keep the reader’s eyes glued to the page. Whether it is about being best man when Peter Sellers married Britt Ekland or describing Julie Andrews in her Moroccan stand-off, this is a must-read for the true film buff.

Howard Watson © 2003

Originally published n R&V 09-09-03

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

The Immortal Jukebox

A Blog about Music and Popular Culture

Ace News Desk

This site has been designed to provide reports together with news events as they happen when they happen across the world

Dave Plummer Saxophonist

Wedding & Events Saxophonist - Leicestershire and Hampshire

writerchristophfischer

Books, Reviews and bookish thoughts

Creative writing and art by Charlotte Begg

Creative writing and art by Charlotte Begg

Mallory James

Writer - Author - Historian

Act Professional

A How-To Guide for Actors from Someone Who Has No Idea What She's Doing

Iris Theatre

Supporting the next generation of professional theatre practitioners

thekeystonegirlblogs

The site for 'Madcap Mabel' - Mabel Normand

AADD-UK

The site for and by adults with ADHD

Scandalous Women

theatre, film & tv past and present 2001-2008 & 2013...

The Naptime Author

Anne Clare explores the world of writing, one stolen minute at a time.

FRENCH PAINTERS

theatre, film & tv past and present 2001-2008 & 2013...

VINTAGE PHOTOGRAPHY

theatre, film & tv past and present 2001-2008 & 2013...

ART BLOG

theatre, film & tv past and present 2001-2008 & 2013...

Woman the fuck up

Hear me roar. Writer, mother, actress, maker of beautiful things, witch. Not taking any more shit and neither should you.

solentaviatrix

Dedicated to Women Pilots of the Solent

cardboardcities

illustration, colour, fashion + lifestyle blog UK

Colossal

theatre, film & tv past and present 2001-2008 & 2013...

Improbability Archivist

Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams, Doctor Who,

WCH On This Day

Working Class History anniversaries every day

janetbotanics

Yoga classes and aromatherapy products in Andalusia, Spain.

1stangel.co.uk/loisbryanphotography/

LOIS BRYAN Photography and Digital Art

History And Other Thoughts

theatre, film & tv past and present 2001-2008 & 2013...

THE VIRTUAL VICTORIAN

theatre, film & tv past and present 2001-2008 & 2013...

Catherine Meyrick

Historical Fiction with a touch of Romance

Secret Diary Of PorterGirl

The everyday adventures of the staff & students of Old College

juxtaposed

Subject to change.

The Müscleheaded Blog

"Nothing Exceeds Like Superfluous Jejunity "

Women of History

theatre, film & tv past and present 2001-2008 & 2013...

Jon Danzig's World

theatre, film & tv past and present 2001-2008 & 2013...

The pallet Junkie

Hand crafted furniture

Dreaming Reality

If Existence is a dream, let us dream perfection....

victimfocus.wordpress.com/

Exploring best practice and research in sexual violence. A loud voice in the fight against victim blaming. Written and Managed by Jessica Eaton, Doctoral Researcher in Forensic Psychology

Teagan's Books

Now available: "Murder at the Bijou - Three Ingredients I"

Padre Steve's World...Musings of a Progressive Realist in Wonderland

Musings of a Progressive Realist in Wonderland

The History Woman's Blog

Just another WordPress.com weblog

Art by Jess Miller

sculpture and artwork

Cooking on a Bootstrap

The #1 budget recipe website

surprise saffron

relishing in life's surprises, delighting in food, travel, art

Wish I Were Here

Journeys Through Place and Time

Doron Art

A journey into my world of Painting

Taylor Revert

An anything-and-everything blog from life's number one fan

Random Facts in History

History is complex, massive, and full of strange events and coincidences. Learn with me as I hunt those out and bring them into the light.

%d bloggers like this: