Saturday, 28 April 2012

Remember Me Fondly


Last night I watched a rather sweet biographical portrait of the actor John Le Mesurier.
The BBC programme entitled "It's all been rather lovely" gave what I suspect was a wholly accurate account of a soft spoken, reserved ambition-less English gentleman who always seemed to do the right thing and who was loved by all who met him.
Le Mesurier seemed to amble gently through his life with the same vagueness he used in his characterization of Sargent Wilson of Dad's Army fame. 
A heavy drinker but never a drunk, he would much prefer listening to Jazz at Ronnie Scott's Club or sitting at the beach watching the sea with a drink rather than stretching himself with roles deemed more serious than the ones he appeared in; and the thing that I was struck with most of all when I listened to this account of his career , was the fact that he was deeply adored and respected by family, partners and colleagues alike.


The tributes given by Le Mesurier's sons were incredibly moving, as it was his gentleness and reserved affection that they particularly remembered......indeed their father's last words perhaps underlined just how he saw life.....he said simply and with his typical breathlessness....."It's all been rather lovely!"
I think that is such a beautiful thing to say


LeMesurier's self penned obituary in The Times


I think all of us would love to be remembered as Le Mesurier was.
It is quite easy to be disliked in  this world.
It is easier to be indifferently thought of (which is perhaps even worse)
but to be fondly  remembered is a lovely swan song to a life.
Don't you think?

37 comments:

  1. I think one of the best things anyone could feel about life, at it's end, is to be able to say "It's all been rather lovely." I already feel that way. It's so much more pleasant to live life looking at the good, and not focusing on the bad, and in that case, one is able to say, about life, "It's all been rather lovely." THAT'S contentment, such as to be sought be all wise people, I think.

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  2. It was a nice programme to watch.

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  3. Sadly, I've never heard of him. He sounds like a delightfully fascinating man. Like so many more of us.

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  4. to be remembered as a quiet, kind person is rather wonderful in this noisy, not so kind world. I remember seeing him in English films and always enjoyed the parts he played. I will treasure his final words "It's all been rather lovely"!

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  5. I couldn't agree more John. I hope I am able to have the same attitude at the end of my shift here on earth.

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  6. A man after my own heart. I hope to cultivate the same grace...

    Pearl

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  7. What an obituary - ranks alongside "See, I told you I was ill".

    I'm not certain that Le Measureable ever actually acted, he just played himself. So much more fun than so many of the pushy wannabees of current Hollywood.

    Most splendid chap.

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  8. I am sorry that I missed the programme now - although some time ago I saw a programme on Hattie Jacques which probably covered some of his life.

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  9. A lovely last farewell, for such a graceful gentleman.
    He was always such a likeable character.
    ~Jo

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  10. I still don't think you'll beat.... "I told you I was ill".... I don't know if you evger saw the BBC account of Hattie Jacques' marriage to Mr Le Mesurier - called, imaginatively, "Hattie" - He came across as quite a tragic character in that.... a great piece of TV though.

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  11. Yes Arctic
    he took the fall for Hattie ie she left him for a younger man, he took the flack from the media for it to save her career.
    I think he was less tragic but more passive....
    (his third wife left him for a while to be with his best friend TONY HANCOCK)

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  12. They don't make 'em like that anymore.
    Jane x

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  13. I'm sorry I missed the programme last night, but he was a one-off - a gentleman in every sense of the word.

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  14. I'd love to be remembered fondly but I'm not sure that I will. I have my fair share of tetchiness, reticence, impatience and stubbornness.

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  15. He's always been one of my favourites -- I never tire of watching him in Dad's Army. It's so reassuring to know that he was as lovely in real life as he seemed to be in that series.

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  16. I agree totally with Jacqueline. I hope I have the same attitude too. Unfortunately I think I am too critical of myself... I'll work on it!

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  17. I've always been a fan of J le M, in fact I am of the opinion the the UK produces many fine actors while the US can only find 'action stars'!

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  18. Lovely tribute. Thank you. And I love his contentment, and the fact he was remembered with love.

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  19. I do hope that i am as content as that when it's my time to go.

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  20. A great obit! I do wonder though if anybody really cares when it comes down to it, how we have lived our lives. Maybe as a passing thought. We are all so involved in our own lives.

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  21. A beautiful tribute to a life well lived. This is how I would like to be remembered, indeed, how many of us would like to be remembered.

    Most of it has been rather lovely Of course, I only choose what is only best to be remembered. The rest does not matter.

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  22. Dear John, You too will be remembered most fondly and by many (not least by me should you beat me to the grave).

    U

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  23. As opposed to Arthur Lowe, who was a right Prima Donna, which makes Le M even more of a saint.

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  24. I'm really sorry to have missed that programme and will try and catch it on iPlayer. A lovely man with a very English (old-style) attitude to life.

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  25. So true.What a lovely man.Dad's army is still my favourite.It never seems to date.We should all take a leaf out of John's book and try to be more gentle in our sadly,fast becoming, mannerless society.
    Anne x

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  26. A delightful man - oozes charisma without realising it which is a wonderful thing as I hate big egos !!! I saw the Hattie programme too... remarkable.

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  27. Hello there,
    Found you through 'Tales from a cottage garden' and just had to say I couldn't agree more, what an adorable man and a wonderful programme.
    Anne.x

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  28. thinking of you today - peace
    http://bayintegratedmarketing.wordpress.com/2012/03/18/a-dogs-purpose-from-a-6-year-old/

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  29. We can only be as we are. It's amazing to think that John LeMesurier died as long ago as 1983.

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  30. PS. I'd like to be remembered for my smile when I'm gone - like the Cheshire cat !

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  31. Love that. I want a great obituary! I guess I'd better write it myself... ;)

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  32. I caught the last half of this and I'm so pleased I did - and so pleased to see you blogging about it - that's 'rather lovely' too! Mo

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  33. I'd love to die with that thought, and to be remembered like that too

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