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Roger Avon obituary (1999)

1999-02-11 Stage.jpg

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Roger Avon died suddenly on December 21, working that day in the profession he loved. Born in 1914 in Jarrow, his career began aged 14 as an assistant cinema projectionist.

For 70 years, he worked in theatre, film and television, his most fondly-remembered production being the National Light Opera Company's 1949 version of Ivor Novello's Glamorous Night. Here he met Rhoda Oatway, a young dancer who became his wife and with whom he spent almost 50 happy years.

During the fifties, his West End appearances included Happy As a King at the Princes and The Crooked Mile at the Cambridge. Cinema saw him in The Scamp, Jack the Ripper and A Night to Remember. He worked in television from its early years, in Hancock's Half Hour, Emney Enterprises and the ITV programme, Shop on the Comer.

In 1961, Roger's son Crispin was born, followed by daughter Melanie in 1965. Film work followed in Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, The Hellfire Club and the first Beatles film, A Hard Day's Night. Television included Doctor Who, Crackerjack and Steptoe and Son for BBC, and Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) for ITV.

In seventies cinema he was in The Likely Lads and, on television, The Benny Hill Show, Softly, Softly and When the Boat Comes In. By 1979, the theatre bug had bitten again, with Roger playing Andy in CP Taylor's And a Nightingale Sang at the Queen's. After Glamorous Night, this was Roger's favourite production, earning him good reviews on both sides of the Atlantic. Robin Hood followed at the Young Vic - his last theatre appearance. After the film The Dresser, ill-health struck. A triple heart by-pass operation in 1984 (recovery taking two years), gave him a new lease of life and determination, leading to an Indian summer in his career.

Deciding to concentrate on television, work included Blackadder and Byker Grove, more recently followed by Our Friends in the North, Family Affairs, The Bill and Peak Practice. His last transmitted programme was Out of Sight for Carlton. But his last working day in television was on Grafters for Granada, where he played a man dying in hospital.

Roger is greatly missed by Rhoda and his children. They are grateful to have known his warmth and care. Crispin and Melanie are thankful for the training and advice received from him, enabling them to lead lives in theatre and television, professions they love.

The Avon Family

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  • APA 6th ed.: (1999-02-11). Roger Avon obituary. The Stage .
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  • Chicago 15th ed.: "Roger Avon obituary." The Stage, edition, sec., 1999-02-11
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  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Roger Avon obituary | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/Roger_Avon_obituary | work=The Stage | pages= | date=1999-02-11 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=18 November 2018 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=Roger Avon obituary | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/Roger_Avon_obituary | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=18 November 2018}}</ref>