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Wilfrid Brambell

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Wilfrid Brambell (1912-1985) (born March 22, 1912 in Dublin, Ireland; died January 18, 1985 in London, England, UK) was an Irish film and television actor, best known for his roles in the British television series Steptoe and Son and The Beatles' film A Hard Day's Night.

His television career began during the 1950s, when he was cast in small roles in three Nigel Kneale / Rudolph Cartier productions for BBC Television: as a drunk in The Quatermass Experiment (1953), as both an old man in a pub and later a prisoner in Nineteen Eighty-Four (1954) and as a tramp in Quatermass II (1955). All of these roles earned him a reputation for playing old men, though he was only at the time in his forties.

It was this ability to play old men that led to his casting in his most famous role, as Albert Steptoe, the irascible father Steptoe and Son. Initially the role was merely a one-off for the BBC's Comedy Playhouse anthology strand: however, its success led to a full series being commissioned, which lasted throughout the 1960s and into the 1970s. There were also two feature film spin-offs, a stage show and an American re-make entitled Sanford and Son, based on the original British scripts. In the latter, Brambell's part was taken by Red Foxx.

The success of Steptoe and Son made Brambell a high profile figure on British television, and earned him the major role of Paul McCartney's grandfather in The Beatles' first film, A Hard Day's Night. A running joke is made throughout the film of his character being "a very clean old man." This is in reference to his on-screen son, Harold, in Steptoe and Son constantly referring to his father as "you dirty old man!"

Brambell had a difficult private life: he and Harry H. Corbett, who played Harold Steptoe in Steptoe and Son, detested each other, and were barely on speaking terms outside of takes by the end of the programme's run. In a series almost entirely based around the pair of them with no other regular characters, this made production of the series difficult and stressful.

Brambell was also a homosexual, at a time when it was very difficult, almost impossible, for public figures to be so. Indeed, when he first became famous for Steptoe and Son, it was still illegal in the UK. Earlier in his life he had been married, from 1948 to 1955, to Molly Josephine, but the marriage ended after she gave birth to the child of their lodger, Roderick Fisher, in 1953.

After the final series of Steptoe and Son was made in 1974, Brambell had some guest roles in films and on television, but both he and Corbett found themselves heavily type cast as their famous characters. In an attempt to take advantage of this situation, they undertook a tour of Australia in the late 1970s with a Steptoe and Son stage show: however, with the pair openly despising each other, the tour was a disaster and a working relationship proved impossible. On one occasion, Brambell used bad language and was openly derogatory about the Australian people in an interview. Brambell did, however appear on the BBC's television news to pay tribute to Corbett after the latter's death from a heart attack in 1982.

Brambell himself died less than three years later, of cancer. He was seventy-three. News of his death received far less attention than that of his co-star, and his funeral was sparsely attended.


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He was seventy-three. News of his death received far less attention than that of his co-star, and his funeral was sparsely attended.
. Brambell himself died less than three years later, of cancer. He has rerecorded several Partridge Family songs and is still touring as of 2004. Brambell did, however appear on the BBC's television news to pay tribute to Corbett after the latter's death from a heart attack in 1982.
Cassidy has recorded several solo albums and continues to record. On one occasion, Brambell used bad language and was openly derogatory about the Australian people in an interview. In 2000 he appeared in the Las Vegas show David Cassidy At The Copa with co-star Sheena Easton.

In an attempt to take advantage of this situation, they undertook a tour of Australia in the late 1970s with a Steptoe and Son stage show: however, with the pair openly despising each other, the tour was a disaster and a working relationship proved impossible. The show ran very successfully in Las Vegas. After the final series of Steptoe and Son was made in 1974, Brambell had some guest roles in films and on television, but both he and Corbett found themselves heavily type cast as their famous characters. He also created a show about the Rat Pack, in which he occasionally made guest appearances playing Bobby Darin. Earlier in his life he had been married, from 1948 to 1955, to Molly Josephine, but the marriage ended after she gave birth to the child of their lodger, Roderick Fisher, in 1953. In 1996, he took over from Michael Crawford in the Las Vegas show, EFX. Indeed, when he first became famous for Steptoe and Son, it was still illegal in the UK. Cassidy has appeared in several Broadway musicals, including Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Blood Brothers.

Brambell was also a homosexual, at a time when it was very difficult, almost impossible, for public figures to be so. He also made a couple of small films in the 1990s. In a series almost entirely based around the pair of them with no other regular characters, this made production of the series difficult and stressful. In 1980, Cassidy had a cameo in the television movie, The Night the City Screamed. Corbett, who played Harold Steptoe in Steptoe and Son, detested each other, and were barely on speaking terms outside of takes by the end of the programme's run. The show was not a hit and was cancelled after one season. Brambell had a difficult private life: he and Harry H. Due to the success of the episode, NBC created a prime time show based on it called David Cassidy: Man Under Cover.

A running joke is made throughout the film of his character being "a very clean old man." This is in reference to his on-screen son, Harold, in Steptoe and Son constantly referring to his father as "you dirty old man!". He received an Emmy nomination for this role. The success of Steptoe and Son made Brambell a high profile figure on British television, and earned him the major role of Paul McCartney's grandfather in The Beatles' first film, A Hard Day's Night. He also starred in an episode of Police Story in 1978 called A Chance to Live. In the latter, Brambell's part was taken by Red Foxx. He did continue to record after he left The Partridge Family and released several critically well-received albums on RCA during the 1970s. There were also two feature film spin-offs, a stage show and an American re-make entitled Sanford and Son, based on the original British scripts. He toured for a while after the show ended, retiring from touring in 1975.

Initially the role was merely a one-off for the BBC's Comedy Playhouse anthology strand: however, its success led to a full series being commissioned, which lasted throughout the 1960s and into the 1970s. Cassidy grew tired of playing the character of Keith Partridge and decided to leave the series in 1974. It was this ability to play old men that led to his casting in his most famous role, as Albert Steptoe, the irascible father Steptoe and Son. There were ten Partridge Family albums and several David Cassidy solo albums during the run of the show. All of these roles earned him a reputation for playing old men, though he was only at the time in his forties. On The Partridge Family he played Keith Partridge, son of Shirley Partridge, who was played by Shirley Jones, Cassidy's real-life stepmother. His television career began during the 1950s, when he was cast in small roles in three Nigel Kneale / Rudolph Cartier productions for BBC Television: as a drunk in The Quatermass Experiment (1953), as both an old man in a pub and later a prisoner in Nineteen Eighty-Four (1954) and as a tramp in Quatermass II (1955). He then took over the lead vocals for The Partridge Family recordings and quickly became a teen idol.

Wilfrid Brambell (1912-1985) (born March 22, 1912 in Dublin, Ireland; died January 18, 1985 in London, England, UK) was an Irish film and television actor, best known for his roles in the British television series Steptoe and Son and The Beatles' film A Hard Day's Night. When he first started working on The Partridge Family nobody knew that he could sing, until Cassidy himself brought it up. Prior to The Partridge Family, Cassidy appeared in a number of television programs, among them Marcus Welby, M.D., The Mod Squad, Bonanza, and Ironside. He is the son of the late actor Jack Cassidy and actress Evelyn Ward. David Bruce Cassidy (born April 12, 1950) is an American actor who starred in the television series The Partridge Family from 1970 to 1974.

Spirit of '76 (1991). Instant Karma (1990). The Night the City Screamed (1980). World of the Partridge Family.

Bulletin Board. Crossword Puzzle. The Partridge Family Notebook. At Home With Their Greatest Hits.

Shopping Bag. Christmas Card. Sound Magazine. Up To Date.

The Partridge Family Album. A Touch of Blue. Then and Now. Classic Songs.

Old Trick New Dog. Didn't You Used to be?. David Cassidy. The Best of David Cassidy.

His Greatest Hits - Live. Romance. Gettin' it in the Streets. Home is where the Heart is.

The Higher They Climb. Cassidy Live!. Dreams are Nuthin' More than Wishes. Rock Me Baby.

Cherish.

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