To Ian Charleson, with Love

Of my research during several hours a few months back about this most admired and cherished actor of mine, Ian Charleson of ‘Chariots of Fire’ fame, I have kept several articles that were especially informative and moving, revealing the quality of being in the exceptional man they were written about, who died too young.

In a place like Auroville, where it is that quality of being that matters, and not the usual socio-cultural criteria, and where it is known that we all live many lifetimes, homosexuality is not shocking nor even surprising, as it is seen for what it is: simply the carry-over from a lifetime in a male body to one in a female body, or vice-versa, for the experience of both sexes is necessary for the full and balanced development of each soul, each being. Here lesbians and gays are just people like anyone else, not meted out with any special laws or conditions for being accepted. Here they don’t have to hide, nor on the contrary to march on the streets in mass manifestations just to regain their pride socially.

Had he lived here, Ian could have been openly gay, and nobody would have cared. But in his society at the time, it took great courage to risk damaging  the whole image he would leave behind as an actor, by deliberately and publicly revealing in the end the disease he had died from, that used to be (and still is to a large extent) pointed at as well by the ignorant, superficial morality of the so-called ‘normal’ people. But he wanted others to be helped find the cure for this disease, so he took the risk all the same.

Ian’s own birth anniversary was precisely this month, I just happened to notice: August 11th.

In his memory,  and as a belated birthday present, I am today posting the following tribute, or rather garland of tributes, composed of those articles (or some, extracts from Wikipedia) I had selected and kept preciously: 

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Ian Charleson’s Death

Charleson, who was gay, was diagnosed with HIV in 1986, and died of AIDS-related causes in January 1990 at the age of 40. He died eight weeks after performing the title role in a run of Hamlet, in Richard Eyre’s production at the Olivier Theatre. Fellow actor and friend, Sir Ian McKellen, said that Charleson played Hamlet so well it was as if he had rehearsed the role all his life.[14]

Charleson requested that it be announced after his death that he had died of AIDS, in order to publicize the condition. This unusual decision by a major internationally known actor — the first show business death in the United Kingdom openly attributed to complications from AIDS — helped promote awareness of HIV and AIDS and acceptance of AIDS patients.[15]

Charleson is buried in Portobello Cemetery, Edinburgh.’

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Acclaimed for his performance as Hamlet at the National Theatre, highly touted as being the “next Laurence Olivier.” Charleson was among the Royal Night of 100 Stars on 3/31/1985, a production which showcases talent that is known by royalty. Of his final performance in 1989, his colleagues and peers said it was the finest performance they had ever seen of Hamlet.

In looking back at his life, Ian is quoted as saying “I have wasted so much time. Time that was not mine to waste. And now I cry for that wasted time and pull up my soul from the dark cave in which I have kept it all this while and I say … you are free.”

His mother, Jean, said that at the last, when his friends would come by to visit him, he would be the one to cheer them up. He died from AIDS on 1/06/1990.

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Shortly before his death, from 9 October to 13 November 1989, Charleson performed his second run of Hamlet, this time at the National Theatre — giving a definitive performance which garnered major accolades.[6][7] In a lengthy review praising Charleson’s performance, John Peter wrote in the Sunday Times:

[T]he masterful new Hamlet: Ian Charleson. …. Technically he employs clarity combined with a powerful dramatic drive. His delivery is steely but delicate. The words move with sinuous elegance and crackle with fire. His Hamlet is virile and forceful. … He oozes intelligence from every pore. …
The way Charleson can transform a production is a reminder that actors are alive and well, that directors can only draw a performance from those who have one in them and that in the last analysis the voice of drama speaks to us through actors.[8]

The day following Charleson’s final Hamlet performance, when Ian McKellen was given the Evening Standard Award for Best Actor for his Iago in Othello, McKellen offered thanks, but said having seen “the perfect Hamlet” at the National Theatre the previous night, he thought that not he but Ian Charleson was truly the Best Actor of 1989.[9][10]

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Here is the very article that announced Ian’s death, and its cause too, as he had wished:
http://www.deseretnews.com/article/80297/ACTOR-WHO-STARRED-IN-CHARIOTS-OF-FIRE-DIES-OF-AIDS-ILLNESS.html

From Deseret News archives:

ACTOR WHO STARRED IN `CHARIOTS OF FIRE’ DIES OF AIDS ILLNESS

Published: Monday, Jan. 8, 1990 12:00 a.m. MST

Ian Charleson, the Scottish actor who raced his way to stardom playing a runner in the Oscar-winning movie “Chariots of Fire,” has died at age 40 of complications from AIDS.
Charleson was suffering from septicemia, a blood disease, and died Saturday, said his agent, Michael Whitehall. English actor Ian McKellen said Charleson was “the most unmannered and unactorish of actors: always truthful, always honest.”
McKellen said Sunday night that Charleson was a very talented actor and singer whose Hamlet “cut right through the accretions of the centuries . . . he was a living modern.”
He received wide acclaim when he replaced Daniel Day Lewis last fall as Shakespeare’s tormented Dane in the production at London’s Royal National Theater. Charleson’s last performance came just nine weeks ago.
“After nearly four hours on stage he was given a standing ovation,” Whitehall said. “It was clear that he was exhausted, but his courage, not only in being on that stage but giving us the performance of his life, left our applause and cheers seeming very inadequate.”
John Peter in The Sunday Times of London called Charleson “a princely Hamlet, every inch the king he should have been.”
Earlier, the actor won praise in three American shows at the same theater – the musical “Guys and Dolls,” playing Sky Masterson; Sam Shepard’s “Fool For Love,” as the violently passionate Eddie; and Tennessee Williams’s “Cat On A Hot Tin Roof,” as the self-lacerating Brick.
Charleson found his widest public in Hugh Hudson’s 1981 hit film “Chariots of Fire,” playing Christian runner Eric Liddell, who refuses to run on Sunday because he doesn’t believe in competition on the Sabbath.
The film won the Academy Award for Best Picture.
Other movies included the 1982 Oscar-winning “Gandhi,” as a priest who befriends the Indian leader, and the comedy “Car Trouble,” opposite his “Fool For Love” co-star, Julie Walters.
The son of a printer, Charleson was born in Edinburgh on Aug. 11, 1949. He won a scholarship to the capital’s Royal High School and studied architecture at Edinburgh University.
He turned to acting while at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art and began his stage career with a two-year stint at the Young Vic Theater from 1972 to 1974.
The bulk of his stage work was for Britain’s two major state-subsidized theaters. His first roles at the National were in “Julius Caesar” and “Volpone” in 1977. Credits at the Royal Shakespeare Company include “Love’s Labors Lost” and “The Tempest.”

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Honours

For his performance in Chariots of Fire, Charleson won a Variety Club Showbiz Award for Most Promising Artiste in February 1982.[16][17]

Charleson was nominated for the Olivier Award for Actor of the Year in a New Play, for his starring role as Eddie in Fool for Love in 1984.

For Ian Charleson: A Tribute (1990)
In Charleson’s honour, the annual Ian Charleson Awards were established in 1991, to reward the best classical stage performances in Britain by actors aged under 30.

The Royal Free Hospital’s Ian Charleson Day Centre for people with HIV, in London, is named in his memory.

In 1990, following his death, 20 of Charleson’s friends, colleagues, and family members, including Ian McKellen, Alan Bates, Hugh Hudson, Richard Eyre, Sean Mathias, Hilton McRae, and David Rintoul, contributed to a book of reminiscences about him, called For Ian Charleson: A Tribute. All royalties from the sale of the book went to the Ian Charleson Trust, a charitable foundation which operated from 1990 to 2007.

Two emotional reunion performances of Guys and Dolls, with almost all of the original 1982 cast and musicians, were given at the National Theatre in November 1990 as a tribute to Charleson. The tickets sold out immediately, and the dress rehearsal was also packed. The proceeds from the performances were donated to the new HIV clinic at the Royal Free Hospital, and to scholarships in Charleson’s name at LAMDA.[18]

Hugh Hudson, who had directed Charleson in Chariots of Fire, dedicated his 1999 film My Life So Far “In loving memory of Ian Charleson”. The 2005 videos “Wings on Their Heels: The Making of Chariots of Fire” and “Chariots of Fire: A Reunion” are both also dedicated to his memory.

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I kept for the end the article that to me was the  deepest and most poignantly moving of all:

http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/theatre–good-night-sweet-prince-1566786.html

THEATRE / Good night, sweet prince

Ian Charleson died five years ago today. David Benedict remembers a great actor.

DAVID BENEDICT     

Friday, 6 January 1995

When Daniel Day-Lewis walked out halfway through the run of Hamlet at the National, everyone talked. When Ian Charleson took over the role a few weeks later, nobody noticed. At least, not until the actress Suzanne Bertish wrote to John Peter of th e Sunday Times urging him to see Charleson’s arresting performance.

Peter went, and sent the actor a jeroboam of champagne after the performance. His review described Charleson’s portrayal as “virile and forceful. He oozes intelligence from every pore . . . the way Charleson can transform a production is a reminder that actors are alive and well, that directors can only draw a performance from those who have one in them and that, in the last analysis, the voice of drama speaks to us through actors.”

What he didn’t know was that Charleson was fighting full-blown Aids. The following night, he gave his last performance. Eight weeks later, at the age of 40, he died of septicemia brought on by Aids, and Britain lost one of its finest actors.

Known principally for his outstanding performance as Eric Liddell in the much-feted Chariots of Fire, Charleson was an actor whose full potential was only just being realised when he died.

He left drama college early to work with Frank Dunlop and the Young Vic Company. Within months he was playing his first Hamlet – in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. At 24, he played the original Shakespeare version for Cambridge Theatre Company but, despite good reviews, he remained unsatisfied with his performance.

There followed TV plays, including Drew Griffiths’s The House on the Hill, West End successes, a season at the National, Derek Jarman’s Jubilee and a lengthy run at the RSC including Once in a Lifetime, the original production of Piaf, and The Taming of the Shrew.

Chariots of Fire was followed by Ghandi and numerous American TV mini-series. His triumphant return to the National was as Sky Masterson (the Marlon Brando role) in Guys and Dolls. Something of his deliciously smooth and sexy performance can be gleaned from the cast recording. It’s not just the flowing of his light tenor voice. There’s something else. When he sings “I’ve Never Been in Love Before” to Julie Covington, you hear his heart opening up. Conversely, when playing opposite Julie Walters in Sam Shepard’s Fool for Love, he combined physical abandonment with a mesmerising intensity.

He discovered he was HIV positive in 1986 and abandoned work for a year. His antibody status was to remain a secret to all but his closest friends. When he returned to the National in 1988 opposite Lindsay Duncan in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Michael Coveneywrote: “Mr. Charleson is stricken almost to the point of catatonia, a ruined athlete in shimmering white exactly conjuring the ideal of a helpless male divinity. These are two performances of driven majesty and great poise.”

In the Autumn of that year he was rushed to hospital with pneumonia. After extensive chemo- and radiotherapy, he played the tough drag queen Greta at a one-off benefit performance of Bent in aid of Stonewall, the campaign group. As the director Sean Mathias wrote, “the most gargantuan part of it from Ian’s point of view was that here was a man with Aids, his torso now covered by Kaposi’s sarcoma, his face starting to distort and disfigure, dressed convincingly as a glamorous and roguish Dietrich-type woman, and the secret behind that portrayal was that he, the director and the costume designer were the only people who knew about his illness.”

After his death, a group of his friends set up the Ian Charleson Award for a classical actor under the age of 30. There are also scholarships in his name at Lamda, and the Royal Free Hospital has an Aids centre dedicated to him. Much of the money to provide this was raised at a benefit performance of Guys and Dolls. The tickets just vanished. Even the dress rehearsal was packed to the rafters. Nearly every member of the original cast and band returned to honour him. Bob Hoskins even flew in overnight from Los Angeles and made it in time for the curtain-call.

Tony Britten, the musical director, recalls that “he had this enormously virile stage presence and the most glorious, completely unforced voice. The musicians, a hard-bitten bunch, were crying from the overture onwards. Those occasions are always emotional, but that was something else. It was a tribute to the affection in which he was held.”

… And by me too, who also say to him with tears in my eyes and voice:

“‘Good night, sweet prince…’ Be at peace, wherever you now are… And please come back quick, this world needs people like you!”

77 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Aanel
    Oct 20, 2011 @ 01:40:42

    Really a lovely tribute to Ian. Thank you.

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  2. Stephen
    Jul 03, 2012 @ 12:09:13

    Thank you for your lovely tribute to Mr Charlson. I only met him once & this was in Scotland when i was lucky to be an extra in Chariots of fire. He took the time to have lengthy chats with me between takes (i was only 11 at the time) Utterly charming man & is sadly missed by his peers. I was so saddened by his untimely death.

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    • Bhaga
      Jul 04, 2012 @ 03:09:24

      I’m so glad some other persons who also came to love him, like you did, do find here this tribute that I put together and posted precisely for this purpose: remembering and honoring Ian and his too short, but so precious lifetime, that time around…
      Please tell me, who were you as the 11 year old extra?! Were you one of the little oys who ran that race in the Highlands under his appreciative gaze?… Were you perhaps the young one who won the race?…Or perhaps the one who bumps into him on that Sunday morning, chasing his ball, and to whom he explains Sundays are for the Lord?… It would be nice for me to know!
      And did you like the film afterwards?

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    • Aanel
      Jul 17, 2012 @ 04:34:13

      That is a great story, Stephen! Yes, can you please tell us a little more? Also, I’m writing the full official book biography on Ian, and details like this are wonderful.

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  3. Stephen
    Jul 17, 2012 @ 12:37:21

    Apologies for taking my time to reply, but i was waiting for my brand new remastered edition of the movie as i have not watched it in years. It arrived this morning.
    I was the young boy standing next to Ian when he started the young boys race during the first scene in the Scottish Highlands. This gave me the opportunity in between filming to chat with Ian. I had no idea who he was, i had no idea what kind of movie we were making. I remember asking him if we were making a documentary or a feature film. I also had no idea he was playing Eric Liddell (i found this out later) as i was a member of what i believe at the time the only Eric Liddell club in the world in my hometown of Crieff which is near where the Highlands scenes were filmed.
    I was also one of the boys who ran across the track to greet him as he won the race in that wonderful slo mo shot.
    I have such wonderful memories of that time & they will always stay with me.
    Struan Rodger who played Erics coach was another wonderful guy as he played football with us & was always the joker, but Ian was just such a lovely, nice guy & i well up when i think of him leaving us so young. I had a very good friend of mine who died of an Aids related illness when she was young so i can empathise with what Ians loved ones felt & her partner still lives with the illness. I believe Ian was one of the first celebraties to go public to raise Aids awareness although he asked it to go public after he died.
    Bhaga, I remember going to see the movie at my local cinema & i was glued. I probably would have not gone to see it if i was not in it. Inspirational movie & still is, just like Ian.
    Please keep me informed of his biography & when it will be available

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  4. Aanel
    Jul 18, 2012 @ 04:13:39

    Thanks very much for that, Stephen! Ian’s older brother Ken now lives in Crieff, with his wife and kids. Yes, Ian was the first celebrity death in the UK openly attributed to AIDS, and it was his courageous decision to have it announced.

    Please let us know if you remember any other details about what Ian said to you or what you chatted about. Or anything else about the shoot. (Like: were you only there for one day? How long did those Highland Games scenes take — the whole day? Were there midges?) If you want one of us can post their e-mail addresses, although I usually don’t like doing so online (but maybe Bagha can delete the post afterwards). Did you keep up with ian’s career post-Chariots? Thanks again Stephen — and Bhaga for your lovely blog posts..

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  5. Bob
    Jul 18, 2012 @ 21:21:04

    I really enjoyed your brief exchange, Stephen and Aanel. I just ordered Ian’s Tribute book though it won’t arrive for a week or so. So interesting the parallels between the lives of Ian and Brad Davis who also lived with the secret of HIV and then AIDS due to his fear of loss of work. “After Midnight”, written by Davis’s widow is a compelling read. Aanel, if I may ask, when might the biography of Ian be published? I will be among the first to purchase it and will even review it for Amazon in order to promote it. So glad you’ve undertaken this endeavor. Really wonderful. Bob

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    • Aanel
      Jul 19, 2012 @ 02:55:26

      Hi Bob, piecing together even just basic information for Ian is taking quite some time, and this is even before doing interviews with the many people who loved and/or worked with him. I haven’t even gone to London or Edinburgh yet for onsite research. So it’ll be a few years down the line but I’ll keep you posted. Thanks so much for the interest, that really helps! On a funny note, this Olympic year resurgence of Chariots of Fire has been both a goldmine and a time-consumer — I’m quite behind in keeping up with all the brouhaha LOL.

      Stehpen, thanks so much I’ll try to give you a ping.

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  6. Stephen
    Jul 18, 2012 @ 22:54:41

    Hi Bob. Midnight Express was a movie i really enjoyed. I had no idea Brad died before his time, just like Ian.
    Aanel my email is shmichael69@gmail.com.

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  7. Bob
    Jul 19, 2012 @ 17:31:49

    Hello Stephen and Aanel . Yes, Brad Davis discovered he was infected with HIVaround the same time Ian did and lived for another six years initially without medical treatment and later with secretive home visits by a sympathetic doctor. Only his wife and one or two others knew of his condition. His wife wrote the book in large part to critique the hypocrisy of the entertainment industry which promoted AIDS benefits but refused to hire actors rumored to be HIV positive. Imagine the support network these actors could have provided one another if everyone hadn’t been closeted and in fear of their livelihoods. Aanel, Ian was a singular actor and human being and your book will, I am sure, be well received when others discover the complexity of his life and what he overcame to continue to give to his art, particularly his performance of Hamlet eight weeks before his death. I must tell you that I came across your interview with Roger Tucker about “On A Private Matter” and it is first-rate. You asked excellent, insightful questions. I was highly amused by the Redgrave connection. Corin’s ex-wife Deidre wrote an interesting book about Corin and Vanessa’s involvement with the WRP and the family’s overall dysfunction. Two questions I look forward to having answered by your book: was Ian political and did he have a partner at any point. I’ve heard the answer to the second is that he didn’t but you will undoubtedly shine light on this. At any rate, this is faaar to long. I’ve just such enthusiasm for the subject. All best, Bob

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    • Aanel
      Jul 19, 2012 @ 20:18:05

      Ah, great to have another enthusiastic Ian fan! Glad you enejoyed the interview with Roger — that was my first interview and Roger was fun. In that PDF he has mixed up our Q&A’s so they sometimes don’t make much sense … I’m gonna ask him if I can re-arrange the convo more like it was.

      Ian was a strong socialist and remained so even after he became wealthy. He came from workingclass-type Scottish roots, and retained a sense of loyalty both to his Scottishness and workingclass values. I’m less sure about his involvement with the WRP — he was good buddies with Vanessa and participated (performed) in several of her fundraisers through out his life, but I don’t think he was remotely anywhere near as interested in it as she was; you know, Vanessa just had a charisma about her that swept everyone up in it; plus that Marxist stuff was a big burgeoning fad in the UK and Europe at the time. Amusingly, the first TV part Ian got was as a young French Marxist in something called “Hopcraft in Europe”. LOL.

      AFAIK so far, Ian had flings and such but was otherwise not blessed with a longterm “love of his life”. That was his one major disappointment in life besides the fact that his film career didn’t pan out in Hollywood fashion.

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      • Bhaga
        Jul 22, 2012 @ 10:03:38

        Delighted with the long and so interesting exchange you had, Aanel, with Stephen and Bob! My thanks to all three of you for your contributions to that blog of mine. Welcome to come back at any time if you feel the need to.
        Aanel, you suggested I delete the email address? Shall I do it now? I’ll wait for your okay to do it.

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      • Aanel
        Jul 22, 2012 @ 10:08:08

        Hi Bhaga, my e-mail address is not listed publicly here, so there’s nothing to delete from me. I believe Stephen is going to come back and post some more of his experiences and those of other extras in Chariots of Fire. Yay!

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  8. Stephen
    Jul 22, 2012 @ 22:17:19

    Hi all. Sorry for the recent inactivity as i have been working a lot.
    Aanel, i have contacted some of the other children who were on set,including the wee boy who was collecting his prize on the podium before Eric’s speech, I told them to contact you on your facebook, if that is ok! I don’t live in Crieff now as i live in Surrey so could not see anyone personally but the wonders of social media prevail!!
    Anyway, my experience on Chariots of fire began with my school teacher at Crieff primary, who was mad on drama, handed us little slips of paper inviting our class to be in Chariots of fire. I remember seeing Enigma productions & a bit for our parents to sign for consent.
    The shoot was for 3 days & we were to be paid if i remember £15 per day & catering was to be provided.
    We were taken by coach up to the Crieff Hydro hotel to get into our costumes & have our haircut to befit the era. I remember the Ladies in costume being very nice to us kids & their being such a buzz about the place as everyone was really exited.
    After cotume fittings, we were on the coach again & taken up to the Sma glen up by Amulree.
    When we arrived on the beautiful set, i done a bit of star spotting, but the only one i recognised was Cheryl Campbell. We were given instructions by the film crew & the first scene we shot was Eric’s speech. Us children were given ”parents” to stand beside for the first part of the speech.
    Up stepped Mr Charleson to make his speech, then we were introduced to the world of film making, stop,wait & lets go again!
    It took the whole day to shoot the scene, in between stopping for aeroplanes flying over, clouds appearing etc. The infamous mooing shot during Eric’s speech was done rather unconventionally. Ian was about to finish his speech again when this almighty moo came to the left of the crowd, from the directors megaphone!! Obviously done to provoke a reaction. It certainly did & that was the take that made the final cut.
    Us boys doubled up during the crowd scene in the afternoon to play football in the backgound. It was during this time Struan Rodger became our friend. He played football with us in between takes & chatting to us all.
    They had to stop filming 3 times because of the noise we were making, when we were playing football, with a final stern warning that we would be removed from the set. We soon shut up!!
    The next day we were shooting the race scenes. The crew picked out some lads from our lot, for the boys race scene & i remember being very jealous because i was not chosen for it.
    I walked across the middle of the running track, going to find a place to stand as i was given no instructions, so i walked to the start line where i seen a camera opposite me. I just stood there & no one said anything, then Ian & Straun came over to take their places & i thought, i’m going to get asked to move now, but still no one said anything, so their i was!
    This gave me the opportunity to chat to Ian in between takes. I thought, my goodness, he is ”posh”. I started by asking if it was a feature film or documentary, there was lots of small talk like where are you from, etc. I asked him if he had been in other films. He said he had done lots of television & was in a film called Jubilee & he asked me if i had heard of it. I replied that i had heard of it but had not seen it as it was a punk film & rated X at the time.This brings me to a question as a few years later i was watching the network premiere of Derek Jarman’s Jubilee on channel 4 in the uk & the television announcer said just before the film started that Ian Charleson denied he was ever in the movie?
    Why did Ian feel the need to deny this. Was it the pressure of becoming an estabished actor? I don’t mean this as an attack on his integrity, i just found it rather odd at the time!
    We chatted on & off in between takes of the boys race. I wish i could remember word for word what we chatted about, but it was such a long time ago.
    I remember him as being a very charming gentleman. Never looked disinterested, just very kind & approachable.
    We then shot in the afternoon, Eric’s race in the highlands. We were given instructions to stand by the side of the track a run to greet him when the race finished. It was another long shoot & i felt really sorry for Ian & the other runners because they must have run round that track about 10 times before they were happy with it, but it was worth it because its such an iconic scene
    The final day was just tying up loose ends, not a lot to do & that was that, my experience had ended & it was very sad because i enjoyed it immensely.
    They showed it at our local cinema & i remember the place being packed. Then on came the Highland games scenes & you could here ”thats me there” ringing around the cinema at different intervals. The movie itself was wonderful!!
    Then came the oscars & all the accolades with it. Was just amazed how big this little film had gotten. I was very proud to be a very small part of it & will treasure it for the rest of my life.
    I had a Chariots of fire night on Friday, when i watched the remastered blu ray. It was the first time i had watched it for about 20 years. I have to admit, i had a little tear in my eye by the end. stands up to the test of time & i never realised it was such a pioneering film.
    It also proved what a wonderful, fine talent Ian Charlson was & how sadly missed he is.
    Bob, i didn’t realise Brad Davis was in it. This makes the parallels with Ian even more significant!
    Forgot Aanel, yes there were loads of midgies but they are no where near as vicious as west coast midgies!!
    Mad to find out Ian’s brother Ken lives in Crieff too!!
    Thank you all for listening to my ramblings. Pleasure to meet you all!!
    Special thanks to Bhaga for letting me use her blog & i will pop back to say hello from time to time.Take care!!

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    • Aanel
      Jul 23, 2012 @ 03:57:25

      Wow, thanks so much for that abundance of remembrances, Stephen! So exciting and interesting, and I’m sure Bhaga and Bob enjoyed it too! I enjoyed and appreciated every bit of it. I’m going to reply or comment on a few things:

      (1) How old were you laddies? What grade were you in, and were all the laddies from that same class, or were other classes from Crieff Primary invited as well?

      (2) It’s funny that you recognized Cheryl Campbell. She was quite well known from Pennies from Heaven, was she not? But that serial was a little bit racy for kids, so did you know her from that, or from one of the following serials she was in (Malice Aforethought; Testament of Youth)? Also did you get to speak to her at all? Either way, what was your impression of her?

      (3) It’s nice to hear that Ian was so friendly and approachable with you and the others. That confirms the fact (mentioned a few times in the tribute book about him) that he loved kids and was very natural with them.

      (4) In terms of the moo: What you are saying is news to me, because David Puttnam has said in a couple of recent interviews that the moo was from a cow in the area and was totally accidental. I imagine it was a surprise to Ian either way, but I’d like to hear more of your perspective. Were there actually any cows in the area that could have produced that moo? And how certain are you that the moo came from Hugh Hudson’s megaphone? It was a pretty loud moo, and cows don’t usually moo for no reason … so I’m not necessarily doubting you, I just want to get more details, more of the story and facts.

      (5) The film “Jubilee”: After Chariots of Fire wrapped, David Puttnam asked Ian not to mention the Jubilee film in interviews, and Ian agreed and abided by that. It was put out that Chariots was Ian’s first film, and also that it was Ben Cross’s first film as well (even though Ben, like Ian, had been in one previous film). This of course was before the days of the internet so people couldn’t look things up on IMDB or whatever (and also decades before Jubilee came out on any kind of home video). In any case, I find it quite understandable that Puttnam not want the star portraying the gloriously pure and godly Eric Liddell (whose faith was the crux of the film’s plot) be associated with a film about violence and killing and chaos, and one in which he also appeared nude. So the film quietly disappeared from Ian’s filmography when it came to interviews. Although, in point of fact it was always still listed in Ian’s CV on theatre programmes for the rest of his extensive stage career. So it wasn’t totally expunged. But Derek Jarman did not like the situation, although honestly I completely understand why the Chariots filmmakers made their request and I would have done the same myself!

      (6) Yes, that iconic race scene that took so many takes is really a beauty, isn’t it? Especially with the slow-motion part and Vangelis’s beautiful backing music.

      (7) Thanks for the rest as well, including what I haven’t commented on! It all goes to paint a wonderful picture, so thansk so much. Yeah, your friends can contact me via Facebook PM or via the e-mail address i sent you on IMDB.

      Cheers and God bless! ~ Aanel

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    • Bhaga
      Jul 23, 2012 @ 06:37:13

      No thanks needed, Stephen, it has been my pleasure to read all this great sharing from you, and Bob, and Aanel herself!

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  9. Aanel
    Jul 23, 2012 @ 04:09:10

    To Stephen: PS: Oh duh you said up top you were 11, so ignore that part of the Q unless there were other classes and other ages.

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  10. Aanel
    Jul 23, 2012 @ 04:27:45

    A couple more questons for Stephen: Once you got to the filming area, who was giving you instructions? Was it Hugh Hudson, and was this from a relative distance via his megaphone? Or was it an assistant director or other assistant? Or both? Also, do you recall David Puttnam being at the shoot? Of course he looked different then, but still had a beard (dark) and dark longer hair.

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  11. Aanel
    Jul 23, 2012 @ 08:20:48

    To Stephen: Couple of other things I forgot:

    — I’m not sure what this meant: <> What crowd scene are you talking about? Also, was the football part of the filming — i.e., the tiny bit of a boy’s football game we see to the left at one point during Ian’s speech? Next question: The shots of the crowd that is listening to Ian’s speech — was that the exact same crowd, a few of whose heads are seen while the camera is on Ian? Or was the crowd filmed completely separately, after Ian’s part had been completely filmed?

    — Approximately what year was it that Jubilee premiered on UK television? Was this after Ian’s death (Jan 1990), or before he died?

    — Very smart of you to get near a camera even though you weren’t in the race itself. Very smart so that you could talk to Ian! Was that why you positioned yourself there all along?

    — PS: So far I know next to nothing about Struan Rodger and have not knowingly even seen him in anything else, so if you have any more memories to share about him (or Ian), please do. LOL hope these are not too many questions! Or too cluttery for the blog!

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  12. Bob
    Jul 23, 2012 @ 16:01:01

    Bhaga, my great thanks to you for making possible this conversation. Stephen, your remembrances are an interesting read. And, Aanel, my gratitude for answering the two questions posed above. It’s curious, even baffling, to think that a man like Ian didn’t have a known “great love” in his life. To be sure, many gay men of his generation lived to a greater or lesser extent in the closet but a fellow with the qualities that Ian possessed (to say nothing of his politics) living in London and working in the arts, it’s a travesty to think he was never in a partnership, if indeed he wanted to be. It will be interesting to take in your analysis of this in the book after you’ve had a chance to do interviews. You know, when Brad Davis (sorry, I promise to stop referencing) died there was so much hoopla about him being the first straight actor to AIDS. Well, everyone knew he was bisexual but the homophobia in the U.S. was still so strong that no one at the time wanted to correct the public perception. Aanel, you are quite right about the Redgraves. Many artists who were merely left of center contributed their time and money to the WRP because of Vanessa’s charisma and the radical chic trend at the time. (Now Vanessa curtsies to the royals and votes Liberal Democrat–really.) Ian sang at Sir Michael’s funeral so that says something about the closeness of his relationship with the family. As for the Hollywood part, I read somewhere that Ian was reluctant to play the game out there. I’m sure you’ve seen the Gene Shalit interview of Ian and Ben Cross on Youtube. Ben seems very intent on keeping the focus on himself and Ian appears to want to make it an inclusive conversation. No need to guess who was at a disadvantage given the interviewer and medium. Hard to picture Ian in LA. Welsh actor Rachel Roberts makes clear in “No Bells On Sunday” what can happen to an intelligent person in a place like Hollywood. Well, anyway, his life was probably the better for having been lived out on the stage where he could tackle good roles. I’m just sorry there isn’t more of him on screen. I think many of us when we are struck by the unique nature of someone’s talent ask the question, what makes this person tick? Ian is still a mystery to me and I think there is a great story waiting to be told. Luckily, Aanel has it all well in hand! Really enjoy the talk. Thanks again Bhaga for your hosting!

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    • Aanel
      Jul 25, 2012 @ 02:46:29

      To Bob: I think you’ll find the tribute book very informative when you get it; it’s quite good! In terms of Ian’s love life, I did his astrology chart once and issues with love life are pretty clearly spelled out there, and also a great yearning for such so … whatever … all humans have issues somewhere, and being beautiful and talented and charming as Ian was doesn’t guarantee anything. Plus Ian died quite young; in a longer life things could have worked out otherwise.

      In terms of Ian’s feature film career, there are a number of factors that influenced it, not the least of which was probably fate of some sort — Ian is now known mainly for his two luminous roles as men of the cloth, and for being gay and being the first UK celebrity death openly from AIDS. That’s Ian’s legacy, and it’s mythic (as is his final Hamlet while dying of AIDS).

      But if you want to get technical, some of the real-life reasons his film career arc turned into more of a stage-career arc are: not moving to Hollywood immediately after Chariots; his Scottish accent; the increasingly moribund British film industry post-1981; a couple of bad choices (e.g. a package of three merely semi-successful U.S. television miniseries); his 1986 HIV diagnosis, and so on and so forth. (Also, possible industry insider knowledge of his sexual orientation may have kept him out of romantic leading man film roles and roles like James Bond.)

      Personally, my favorite filmed performance of Ian’s (besides Chariots and Gandhi) is as the protagonist of the lovely, unusual two-part television film “Troubles” (1988), based on J.G. Farrell’s Booker Award-winning novel. It’s a subtle, brilliant, layered performance, quite moving even though the film is layered with symbolism. Plus his English accent stays perfect and intact. It’s his last filmed performance. The film is available on U.S. DVD.

      Thanks to everyone particpating here, and also again to Bhaga for her lovely blog. It’s these wonderful tributes to and remembrances of Ian which inspire some of the best conversations about, and memories, of Ian to come forth.

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    • Aanel
      Jul 25, 2012 @ 03:06:31

      To Bob: Another thing I forgot about Ian’s career: Ian took an approximate year off of all work after Chariots premiered (I think because of the press junkets and such but also because the instant fame was a bit unnerving), and he did the same following his spring 1986 HIV diagnosis. That’s two complete years he voluntarily avoided work. So if you count the period between the release of Gandhi (December 1982) and Ian’s incapacitation (December 1989), that’s seven years, minus the two years he declined work equals only five years of work post-Chariots/Gandhi before his death. So I guess it’s not that unusual for him not to have had another “hit” feature film performance in that time period. Whereas, in terms of actual work (stage, television, film), during those five years where he did choose to work, he was hardly ever out of work for more than two weeks at a time.

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  13. Stephen
    Jul 24, 2012 @ 22:18:06

    Let cowgate commence!!!

    I did see an interview with David Puttnam & Hugh Hudson on uk tv a few weeks ago. It was called The real Chariots of fire & David did mention a cow but i remember quite clearly a moo coming from the directors megaphone. Just see Hugh Hudsons impression of a cow in the same interview for evidence lol!!
    I hope some of my fellow extras come forward & support me on this or i’m gonna look a right fool for ruining another iconic moment in the movie. We have to get to the bottom of this!!
    In answer to your other questions.
    Us laddies were in primary 6 & were the only class from Crieff Primary although i seem to remember a scattering of others from the school, but not many more. Ther were pupils from Morrisons Academy too. I didn’t actually regognise many of the adult extras.
    I probably regognised Cheryl Campell from pennies from heaven. I was allowed to watch such racy things. I remember she never really mixed with the extras like the others but i probably would not have approached her anyway, i would have been to shy because i recognised her.
    We were given instructions when we came on set by these assistants, but during filming everything came from the megaphone.
    I’m afraid at the time i would not have known who David Puttnam or Hugh Hudson were. I would have done a year later!! They had one guy shouting through the megaphone so i guess it was Hugh Hudson. He was very in control of it whoever it was!!
    The crowd scene was filmed with Ian’s speech, they were not shot separately. You see the tiny bit with us playing football after Eric sits down but some of the lads playing are at the front of the crowd as well, if that makes sense!!
    Jubilee premiered in the uk on channel four long before Ian’s death. I can’t remember the exact year but it was around 83-84. I didn’t realise Derek Jarman died from an Aids related illlness & he was diagnosed the same year as Ian.
    I can see the reason for Ian’s denial!!
    I positioned myself opposite the camera purely to get myself in the movie. I just kept thinking someone’s going to tell me to move when Ian & Stuan appeared but i am so glad they never, cause i would not have got to meet Ian!!
    Struan Rodger has had lots of tv work & appeared in Matthew Vaughn’s Stardust.
    It’s very hard to remember individual things we spoke about. All i remember is that Ian & Struan were very genuine & approachable guy’s & they just added so much to my magical time on Chariots.
    One question Aanel. Do you know if Ian was ever friends with Crieff’s own, Denis Lawson as they were around the same age & if they ever appeared in anything together?

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  14. Aanel
    Jul 25, 2012 @ 02:16:17

    To Stephen: Denis Lawson is from Crieff? I didn’t know that … anyway, loved him in Bleak House — such a heartthrob! I don’t offhand recall a connection between the two, but if I find any I’ll let you know. Denis was however a regular on the series “Rock Follies of 77”, and Ian sang in one episode of that, but I’m pretty sure Denis isn’t in that scene (the episode is on YouTube if you search Ian’s name plus Rock Follies), although he is in the episode somewhere.

    I have a copy of The Real Chariots of Fire — I’ll have to listen again to what Hugh says about the moo. Anyway, when I was re-watching that Highland segment of Chariots again yesterday, I noticed that there are a lot of very faint “baa” and “moo” sounds in the background of both the intercut scene of Cheryl & Struan’s conversation, and also Ian’s speech. They are very faint. Since I can’t really tell whether there are any sheep or cows in the distance, I don’t know why these sounds are there. They could have been inserted after the fact by the sound-effects guy to make the loud moo during Ian’s speech more believable. And honestly, I don’t know what kind of cows there are there, but the cows that live on my road never moo unless they are in distress.

    Speaking of which, do you know if that scene (walking chat) between Cheryl and Struan was filmed in Sma glen? To your knowledge, was it being filmed or planned during the time you were there? There is at least one other highland scene later on in the movie (Ian running through the hills), so I suppose it’s possible they had a different highland location … but do you have any idea about those two scenes — Cheryl/Struan conversation, and Ian running in hills — as to where and when they were filmed?

    By the way, Ian didn’t “deny” anything about Jubilee that I am aware of, it just wasn’t listed on his filmography for interviews … this was as much the decision of the people interviewing him as it was anyone else.

    Thanks for all the rest of your information as well! By the way I sent you an e-mail a few days ago about Facebook and such. if you didn’t get it, look in your spam folder.

    If you or your firends remeber anything else, please let us know!🙂

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  15. Stephen
    Aug 04, 2012 @ 22:10:03

    Hi all

    The scenes you mention Aanel were most cetainly filmed up the sma glen. I believe these scenes were filmed on the third day of the shoot when it was really quiet on the main set. The scene when Ian was running beside the river is the river Almond. I never seen these scenes get fimed so i can,t give you any details of the shoot. I wish i could take you to where it was shot as it is an easily accessible part of the glen. About 5 years ago, i took my girlfriend up there. Not changed a bit!!

    Wow, Rock follies is taking me back a bit. I watched Ian,s performance on it, what a beautiful voice!! I also came across his rendition of Rabbie Burn,s, my love is like a red red rose. Fantastic!!
    Glad you like Denis Lawson. His sister Carol is an old teacher of mine & is also the mother of Ewen Mcgregor!! Another Crieff born star!!!
    I really hope we can clear the moo up!! That part of the sma glen is filled with sheep. Not really cow territory.
    Sorry to say that Ian denied Jubilee. That was definetely the wrong choice of word!!

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  16. Stephen
    Aug 04, 2012 @ 22:13:41

    Forgot to mention. I’d love to know what everybodys favourite scenes in Chariots of fire are & why?
    Isn’t it great to hear the wonderful Vangelis theme being so prominent at the London Olympics!!

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    • Aanel
      Aug 05, 2012 @ 03:30:45

      I found the answer to my Q about the medals ceremonies: At every single medal ceremony of this 2012 Olympics, the CoF tune is being played in its entirety while the medals are being handed out, and then again at the end of the ceremony after the gold country’s national anthem is played. Here’s just one example: http://tinyurl.com/8ckucs3

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    • Bhaga
      Aug 12, 2012 @ 10:20:25

      Thank you, Stephen, for putting to us all this question about which scene we like best in the film ‘Chariots of Fire’.
      I was very moved to read Aanel’s answer, for it is exactly what I would have written myself. But there are so many incredibly beautiful moments in that incredible but true story, it is difficult to keep to only one scene, and not to add immediately several other favorite ones. The whole film is for me one entire symphony of inner and outer beauty in all those young men and also the landscapes and the buildings, whether in England or Scotland, where they lived and trained, in the case of Eric, ‘For the glory of God’.
      Besides the two scenes already mentioned by Aanel, I’ll simply add then the race where Eric/Ian is pushed off the track and falls, but with unbelievable faith and willpower gets back to his feet again and manages in the end to win the race anyway, under the amazed, awed eyes of Abrahams in the stands…

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  17. Aanel
    Aug 05, 2012 @ 01:48:41

    Thanks for the new info, Stephen. That’s quite helpful! Yes, Ian’s singing in the Rock Follies episode is almost hypnotic, it’s so good. Entrancing.

    I haven’t re-watched that segment of ‘The Real Chariots of Fire’ yet — too busy watching the Olympics and trying to keep up with ongoing news about Chariots of Fire — lots of mentions and interviews (and the stage play in London) now that the Olympics are afoot. Haha that scene in the Opening Ceremony with Rowan Atkinson doing the Chariots theme tune was hysterical. EDIT: I’ve just read that the Chariots theme tune is being used at Olympic medal ceremonies. Is that ALL medal ceremonies, or only those where GB wins a medal or gold? I have not heard this happen on the NBC broadcast in the U.S., but maybe I haven’t watched a medal ceremony yet; or maybe it’s background music played on the BBC broadcasts.

    By the way, how far exactly is Sma glen from Crieff? Also, when one is in that glen or those hills, do you hear the sheep baaing faintly in the background? I’m not a sheep person, but the sheep I’ve been acquainted with don’t baa for no reason.

    In terms of favorite scenes, I thnk currently mine is this “He who honors God” scene: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uwyltmUR3MU … Ian holding his head back and beaming with the glory of God is just breathtaking. In terms of the scene I’ve watched (and listened to) the most, it’s Ian’s inspirational speech to the post-race workingman’s crowd … that speech has helped me a lot with my spiritual path. I later learned, to my surprise, that Ian (not Colin Welland) wrote that speech himself.

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  18. Stephen
    Aug 05, 2012 @ 12:46:00

    I am so glad you enjoyed the Mr bean sketch at the opening ceremony. It was really funny & i’m so glad the theme is being used for the medal ceremonies!! It was destined to though.
    The Sma glen is only about 3 miles away from Crieff. That particular spot where Chariots was filmed can be found on google maps. On the search bar type Newton, Perth & Kinross PH8. Where the little red marker is track downwards past the dirt road & there is the field where it was filmed. Switch to satellite view for a better look!! It really is beautiful there. I have been lucky enough to look down on it from the top of the hills.
    I’m off now to watch another flying Scotsman going for gold! Andy Murray!! He was brought up in Dunblane which is only 9 miles from Crieff!! Hope he’s been watching Chariots for inspiration!! Enjoy the rest of the olympics as we are absolutely loving it here in the uk.

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    • Bhaga
      Aug 06, 2012 @ 03:01:57

      Yes, go Andy Murray, your present other valiant Scot!!! Usually I favor Federer, but this time I will join you to support Murray!… Er… Although the match has already been played by now… I have to give a quick look to the the newspapers to see who won! 😀

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      • Aanel
        Aug 06, 2012 @ 03:10:31

        No Olympic spoilers though if you please!🙂 I’m two days behind in viewing the Olympic events as I record them on my DVR. I might as well be living in an ashram myself I’m so behind.

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    • Bhaga
      Aug 06, 2012 @ 03:11:52

      Yeah!… Hurrah for Murray!!! A fantastic win that Andy won at last, and at Wimbledon, a sweet revenge from his defeat in the Championship just before against the very same Federer!!! Let’s hope it is now the beginning of the success he really deserves.

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      • Bhaga
        Aug 06, 2012 @ 03:20:26

        Oops! Sorry, Aanel, I had not seen you message, and saw it only too late!!! Well then, let’s celebrate together at least, and later on you can still watch the match, it will be still worth it, even knowing the outcome… I am so happy for Scotland! Although myself French, not Scot, I am very fond of Scotland for some reason, deep within.

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      • Aanel
        Aug 06, 2012 @ 15:16:01

        No problem Bhaga abut the Olympic tennis; one can’t go onto the internet this week without getting spoilers like this. As it turns out, I hadn’t even recorded that match on my DVR because there was a movie I needed to record instead. So your post reminded me of the Murray match and inspired me to find and watch it on the NBC site, where I was able to view it in beautiful high definition. A glorious match!

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  19. sally
    Aug 05, 2012 @ 19:48:22

    Hi ive just watched chariets of fir e and loved it but was so shocked and sad to find out about ian charlson he was so great in the film and im going to buy the dvd for my collection , i didnt know much about him as a actor but watching him in the film i just thought i had to write this and thank you

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    • Bhaga
      Aug 06, 2012 @ 02:57:46

      Thanks to you, Sally, for taking the trouble to express in writing your appreciation for this post of mine and for Ian Charleson himself!
      As you will see if you look up to the other comments above, a great conversation is happening now about “Chariots of Fire” and Ian in it, between some long-time fans, one of whom participated as an extra when still a boy at the time, and another one, Aanel, is the person who is writing the biography of our dear Ian Charleson!
      And right now with the Olympics in London itself, the Oscar-winning music scored by Vangelis is very much used as well, so there is a renewed focus on the film as well of course…
      So thank you for joining us here, however briefly, Sally! Are you also from the UK, and pehaps from Scotland?

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  20. Jennifer Knighton
    Aug 11, 2012 @ 03:32:50

    I really appreciate knowing others have enjoyed the work of Ian Charleson and admired this talented man. On the eve of his birthday, even so many years after his death, it is a tribute to his talent. Hope to learn more about him from all of you. Cheers!

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    • Bhaga
      Aug 11, 2012 @ 04:49:58

      Nice to meet you, Jennifer! And thank you so much for reminding all of us, and me in particular, that yes, Ian was born on August 11, that is, TODAY! Let’s have a special thought for him then, for this blessed occasion…
      This blog – this post in Ian’s honor especially – happens to have been graced recently with fascinating contributions by several unexpected great visitors, so I hope we will be all together again, including now you too, Jenny, to celebrate his birthday anniversary!

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  21. Stephen
    Aug 11, 2012 @ 16:51:55

    Hi all

    I would like to share this photograph which i only found on my facebook page by accident last night. It was taken in the area where we filmed the Highlands scenes in Chariots of fire. I had taken lots of other photos but they have since been lost, a great pity as the actual field where it was filmed it is down to the left of that shot. Also it was taken around the same spot where the scene with Erics sister Jennie & his trainer Sandy was shot. I hope the link works as i cannot preview it before i post it. If not can someone point me towards a better way of posting it.

    I would also like to take this opportunity to give my appreciation to Ian Charleson on what have been his 63rd birthday today and say what has been mentioned many times on this blog that he is and always will be a sadly missed talent.

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    • Aanel
      Aug 11, 2012 @ 23:38:00

      Hi Stepehen; I for one can’t view the photo … it seems to have expired? Maybe re-post it anew on your Facebook page and then give us the link for the new posting or to your FB page. Or upload it to something like Photobucket and then post it.

      Happy birthday Ian!

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  22. Stephen
    Aug 11, 2012 @ 23:48:38

    Hope this one works!!!

    Love

    Stephen

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    • Bhaga
      Aug 12, 2012 @ 15:43:22

      Lovely spot indeed… Thanks for this picture now gracing my blog! A piece of this Scotland (this is the Highlands then, right?) so dear to my heart…

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    • Jennifer Knighton
      Aug 13, 2012 @ 03:14:03

      Thank you for the photo. It is wonderful and gives me a real sense of the natural setting. I appreciate your sharing. Thanks. Jenny

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  23. Aanel
    Aug 12, 2012 @ 00:00:23

    Wow, that’s beautiful, Stephen, thanks so much for posting it! So that is the beautiful Sma glen, huh? Really lovely!

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  24. John
    Aug 12, 2012 @ 01:56:13

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  25. Aanel
    Aug 12, 2012 @ 09:05:46

    Yes, John, Derek Jarman was an angry, bitter, unforgiving man to his dying day. That’s not his only tirade about Ian in his diaries. He simply could not see past his own ideology to allow anyone else freedom of will, and he’s also certainly wrong that Ian was in any way conservative or did anything pro-Thatcher or to “protect his reputation”; nor did he “eras[e] his past and present”, and he cared not a whit about the Oscar or the Royal Command Performance. Those are Jarman’s own delusions, seen through his own distortions.

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    • Bhaga
      Aug 12, 2012 @ 15:49:11

      I’m so glad you stumbled upon my blog and these posts about Ian! Having been privy in this way to all this new material shared by others, I’m really looking forward to your book now, I can see you’re going to write a truly valuable biography of Ian Charleson…

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    • John
      Aug 12, 2012 @ 16:02:43

      I find his use of narcotics to be interesting… but perhaps not so uncommon in the theatrical world.

      How was he like, and who was he really? But in life we rarely get to truly *know* each other too. Ian’s gone now and we are bereft of the opportunity to find that out.

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  26. Aanel
    Aug 13, 2012 @ 00:20:05

    Just to reiterate, Jarman is completely wrong about every other thing he says about Ian in that diary, so since he’s such an unreliable witness with a bitter agenda of his own, there’s no reason to (automatically) trust that assertion either.

    Ian was in some ways unfathomable, but if you want a taste of what his friends and colleagues and family experienced, get the book For Ian Charleson: A Tribute.

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  27. Aanel
    Oct 15, 2012 @ 15:12:43

    Hello Stephen, et al. I thought of you laddies when I saw this newly listed photo on eBay, of the lot of you waiting for Ian to fire off his gun in the highland kid’s race: http://tinyurl.com/9gx9wb8. I hope you and Bhaga and everyone on this thread are doing well, and if I don’t “talk” any of you before then, have a happy fall and a happy holiday season after that. Love, Aanel.

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    • Bhaga
      Oct 16, 2012 @ 06:46:36

      I just checked it… Quite moving, with its handwritten dedication… And shot perfectly related indeed to the remarkable memories that have been recounted here.Thanks a lot, Aanel! (Also fo your Season Greetings… Same to you!)
      Do you think it would be all wright for me to copy the photo to this blog? Or would that be illegal in some way? I have no idea!

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  28. Aanel
    Oct 16, 2012 @ 08:20:23

    Yeah, I think that would be fine Bhaga. People do that on blogs all the time — blogs are full of movie stills and celebrity photos. (The worst that could happen would be that someone might come along and ask you to take it down for some reason, but I’ve personally never heard of that happening.)

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  29. Stephen
    Oct 16, 2012 @ 08:43:58

    Hello all
    I hope you are all keeping well since we last encountered.
    Wow, Aanel, that is amazing. To think, i was just a few feet from Ian in that shot.
    I have bid for tthe photograph. Its being sold from Brighton which is not far from where i live.
    Its amazing, since we last ”spoke” the amount of people whom i have recounted my time on set & the amount of people who did not know, Ian was no longer with us.
    A very happy holiday to everyone. Its so nice to hear from you guys again.
    Love Stephen

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  30. Stephen
    Oct 16, 2012 @ 08:55:52

    P.S
    I got sent another copy of Chariots of fire by Amazon because they had to send out new copy’s to everyone because of a fault on the original disc. There was no fault on mine so if anyone would like to have it as a gift i will send it to them.
    Its on blu ray & is region free but will be unboxed as Amazon were not that kind.
    x

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  31. Aanel
    Oct 16, 2012 @ 09:13:49

    Yeah I got one of those extra Blu-ray disks as well; couldn’t figure it out. I haven’t even watched the first one yet though — still waiting to get my Blu-ray drive installed completely. I guess we are on “Hawaiian time” here. Anyway good to here from you Stephen, and greetings to everyone else as well.

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  32. luketreadawayitalia
    Nov 20, 2012 @ 23:34:36

    Oh I’m so happy a Twitter friend sent to me the link of this page! Brilliant, precious tribute. So Ian has still many fans around the world! I love memories of those who were so lucky to see him working in a movie or on stage.

    I’m writing now why, since January 2006, I run two tribute pages dedicated to Ian Charleson and his friend/colleague Richard Warwick, even if too late since I was very young when they died and Internet wasn’t in our houses, yet. I collected lot of things on them, thanks also to fans which wrote to me from time to time. I’d like to add your site in my links there!!

    I still have to post several things. Putting together the galleries is a long work I’m trying to do in my free time. Being Italian, my English is not perfect, but I’m trying to do my best. About Chariots of Fire DVDs, I’ve bot the Italian and UK editions. It was nice/great to find out the UK has Italian subtitles during all the movie+the extras!

    Pity Derek Jarman and Ian weren’t friends anymore, why they could have done other movies together and I admire Jarman’s works.

    Well, now I say “bye bye” and I post the links:
    http://www.amovietheatregoer.net/iancharleson.html
    and http://www.amovietheatregoer.net/richardwarwick.html
    Cheers!
    Antonella

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    • Bhaga
      Aug 09, 2016 @ 11:49:02

      Warm thanks for these contributions of yours in your comment! And pleas come back here from time to time, in case some other contributions have been added in the meantime…🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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  33. Ian Charleson Tribute
    Aug 09, 2016 @ 08:57:45

    New address for my blog on Ian Charleson: https://iancharlesontribute.wordpress.com
    And let me introduce you a new, amazing blogger on Retro stuff, who has a big love for Ian Charleson!
    http://vintagepowder.blogspot.it/

    Liked by 1 person

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    • Bhaga
      Aug 09, 2016 @ 11:44:06

      Thank you for keeping up the contact, updating the link to your own work, and on top of it enlarging my Circle of Friends of Ian Charleson with this other blogger’s address!🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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      • Sabrina Vintage
        Aug 09, 2016 @ 13:46:48

        Hello:)
        I’m Sabrina from Vintage Powder and to be referred here is a real honour.
        big hugs and thanks to Ian Charleson Tribute for doing so.
        I just wrote my first post on him and I’m determined to write a lot more:)
        it’s true I’m enthusiastic about him and his work and life and your piece was one of the first pieces I read about Ian Charleson during my research.
        You and the ICT website brought me closer to him and his work.
        Thank you for having me.
        Sabrina

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      • Sabrina Vintage
        Aug 10, 2016 @ 08:05:43

        Hello:)
        I’m Sabrina from Vintage Powder and to be referred here is a real honour.
        Big hugs and thanks to Ian Charleson Tribute for doing so.
        I just wrote my first post about him today and I’m determined to do a lot more, he is such an inspiration!
        your piece and the ICT website brought me closer to him and his work and was one of the first and best things I’ve read during research.
        Thank you for having me.
        Sabrina

        Like

  34. Ian Charleson Tribute
    Aug 09, 2016 @ 12:51:17

    My pleasure, it’s great that Ian’s fandom is still so huge!
    She’s so enthusiastic about Ian! She just wrote a beautiful blog on him!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  35. Ian Charleson Tribute
    Aug 09, 2016 @ 12:52:40

    P.S. do you think you can change the refer of my previous comment “luketreadawayitalia”+avatar in “Ian Charleson Tribute”? I used that blog by mistake to write it and I didn’t notice, silly me!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

    • Bhaga
      Aug 09, 2016 @ 13:28:34

      I am not too good at technicalities, but I’ll try to find my way to do the change …😀
      Tonight is too late for such an endeavour, but hopefully tomorrow…😉

      Like

      Reply

  36. Kitten
    Oct 26, 2016 @ 19:58:15

    So what’s the latest on this biography which was in planning more than four years ago – does anyone know?

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

    • Bhaga
      Oct 27, 2016 @ 04:53:25

      Well, I too would like to know, Kitten… but I don’t!
      I guess we’ll be informed here when it is ready, and I presume that the author in the meantime is doing as much as she can to get it ready…🙂

      Like

      Reply

      • Aanel
        Oct 27, 2016 @ 05:03:36

        Hello Kitten and Bhaga, thank you for your inquiry and your interest. The biography book was necessarily put on hold in 2013 due to a confluence of several life events. That said, I’m happy to report that the information on Ian on IMDB is now complete, and the information on Wikipedia is fleshed out, and there are at least two sites/bogs devoted to Ian, and at least two Twitter accounts as well. As you might expect, full-fledged biographies of someone who died more than 25 years ago and about whom very little has been written (and who lived 7,000 miles away) take time. Rest assured I will post here when it is complete. I thank all of you for keeping Ian’s memory and inspiration alive.

        Love,

        Aanel

        Like

    • Bhaga
      Oct 27, 2016 @ 05:41:07

      Hear-hear, Kitten! Aanel herself herself has come to tell us what has been happening so far! Thank you very much for that, dear Aanel, and bravo for all that has already been achieved…
      I myself offer here this nice ‘coincidence’ that, hardly a week ago, last Friday, I happened to show ‘Chariots of Fire’ again, to some new people, and it is still very much on my mind this week too
      My warmest thoughts to you, dear Ian, wherever your spirit is at present!…🙂

      Like

      Reply

    • Sabrina
      Nov 02, 2016 @ 20:16:24

      Hi Kitten,
      so great to hear and see Ian is not forgotten and so many people still remember him and his work and personality!
      last thing I know is that the biography is on hold now but I’m sure it will be good once it’s out.
      There is a wonderful homepage called Ian Charleson Tribute and I writing a blog about him ianshonour.blogspot.com
      I wish you all the best

      Sabrina from Ian’s honour🙂

      Like

      Reply

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