Regarding to James Beck, I also wonder what became of his wife Kay after he died. She must have been devastated I'm sure, but I can find nothing about her further life and when she passed away. Would be nice to know.
Kay was indeed devastated. She never remarried. She lived the rest of her life in the same home that she and Jimmy lived in when he died (the one in the Dad's Army Souvenir magazine). And now their daughter still lives there.
I used to be in contact with Kay and had several conversations with her on the phone, about James. She was really lovely. Sadly we only talked about James so I cannot answer your question about what she did for a living. I did not know she was training in medicine - we discussed his illness and she never mentioned that as far as I recall.
It's certainly a shame that when most of the other Dad's Army regulars have a biography or even autobiography to their name, James Beck's life is not celebrated with a book.
As far as I can tell, the only other platoon members without a biography are John Laurie and Ian Lavender. Beyond the platoon, Frank Williams and Bill Pertwee wrote autobiographies.
Many years ago when the Dad's Army Appreciation Society New Zealand Branch was in full swing, Arthur Lowe's son Stephen Lowe asked me to co-write a book with him that was to be called 'My Dad's Army'. It was planned to be a collection of biographies of each of the main cast members. Steve was to write half of them and I was doing the other half. I set about on the research and initially concentrated on collecting info on James Beck and John Laurie. This is why I was in touch with Kay as she was helping me with his chapter.
However not too long later Steve got a new job that demanded all his time, and we shelved the book plan. Of course i was still producing the DAAS NZ Branch magazine and I started releasing a series of biographical articles on John Laurie's life. They were very popular and I decided to try to expand on it and make an actual book about John. But it really was too hard back then in the 1990's to research because I am on the wrong side of the world to visit British archives and the likes. And then with other stuff going on in my life I had to close down the DAAS NZ Branch too. So that is another incomplete project. Nowadays with the internet and access to so many archived records I could probably make a go of finishing that book on John, but sadly his lovely daughter Veronica who was helping me has died now I believe. So I have no idea where all the photos she had that we were going to use ended up. She had tones of material but alas we were never able to meet up in person and progress it.
Maybe one day I'll find time to put all the research on my website in some sort of narrative but it'd be a massive amount of work.
Dave, I might have phrased this a bit unclear: it was not Kay Beck who was a trainee in medicine, it was a man commenting on the James Beck remembrance post on Seventies Time Machine. His wife was a medical student at the time James was administered at the Roehampton Hospital and James was his wife's patient.
I feel very sad for her, can't imagine what it must be like to loose your husband so sudden and so young. I have always wondered if they didn't know or feel something was seriously wrong with James. I know it was the 70's and drinking and smoking was almost fashionable back then, but surely they must have known that it could cause serious health problems.
I assume it is James' stephdaughter still living in their home? I did some research (Internet can be your best friend) and only found Kay was previously married and had 3 children from that marriage. I suppose James'stepdaughter must have inherited all the photo's and material of him?
Your website has so much info on the show, remarkable.And it's just great to hear you actually spoke to the cast or their relatives, it must be a wealth of info you have. Surely it must have felt as an honour that Arthur Lowe's son has asked you to cooperate on a book and a pity that life sometimes forces one to make other choices. If you did all the research in the 90's, that pretty much was the "pre-internet"era..I remember getting our first internet connection somewhere around 1996 if I remember correctly. gathering info back then was so difficult and I can imagine living in New Zealand didn't exactly help with the time difference. I did read somewhere John Laurie's daughter passed away as well at not a very ripe age. Again a pity you have lost that contact with her due to her sad passing. Wouldnt it be wonderful if the treasure on (photomaterial) could be traced. You can only hope it has not been thrown away when she passed away. Isn't it sad to think how easily these wealths of info could be lost forever?
I was searching for the play "Bunclarke with an E" with Arthur Lowe and James Beck, and came to a forum where this was stated: Forum name is: cookdandbombd.co.uk
"Galton & Simpson have said that Lowe and Beck starred in a pilot for a series based on rewritten Hancock scripts. Shortly after the recording, Beck died and Lowe chose not to pursue this - does anyone know anything about this?
I don't know a great deal about it, other than it was a remake of "The Economy Drive" and it was called "Bunclarke With An E". Arthur Lowe refused to countenance recasting the Beck part out of respect, although the BBC were all for it, apparently.
Funnily enough, it's Jimmy Beck's second go at this sort of thing. "Some of Our Archives Were Missing" revealed that he starred with Roy Kinnear in a very Hancockish radio pilot called "Hush Hush, Here Comes The Bolshie Man" (tx 14/03/1971, for "Comedy Parade"). Rather enjoyable it is too!
Re: Hancock « Reply #74 on: January 16, 2008, 07:43:29 PM » Weren't they going to be brothers-in-law or something?"
Unfortunately the audio link is not working anymore. Does anyone know who Roy Kinnear was? Was he a brother-in-law to Jimmy Beck?
Post by Alan Hayes on Apr 26, 2021 10:17:28 GMT 12
Roy Kinnear was a very well respected comedy actor who appeared in British films and TV. He also appeared in character roles in TV shows like The Avengers and Blake's 7, though these generally had a comedic air.
Post by Dave Homewood on Apr 29, 2021 9:27:24 GMT 12
I remember Roy Kinnear best from George And Mildred, Cowboys, and The Dick Emery Show, but he was in loads of TV comedies and films. His son is actor Rory Kinnear who appears in many recent Bond films.
So..back on topic, I found this item on an auction, however, it is an old link to the auction so I wondered if anyone knew it actually sold and where it is now (I'm not interested in buying LOL just curious as it seems to be something that would fit the DA Museum)
It's a battle dress jacket worn by James Beck and is a BBC prop: