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Michael Walsh Writer and Poet

Michael Walsh is the author of 64 book titles and hundreds of media columns, news story features and articles.

19 January 2020

Accompanying our repartee was my constant thought that our chitchat would have been better suited to TV or radio. Michael Parkinson, eat your heart out.

Jill Curzon’s interaction and warmth magically invigorates our tête-à-tête. How easy to see how movie goers and TV audiences warmed to this well-known actress’s presence.

Theatre being a spectator sport I was absorbed as Jill’s past performances came to life through the recollections of this vignette of a woman who today had mutated into my real life.

As Jill’s biographer I was there to discuss how best to progress on her memoirs. I had known Jill only through her stage and studio performances. Now, here was opportunity to discover who the real Jill Curzon is.  Aren’t we all curious about the real personas of the stage and movie stars who enrich and inspire our lives?

To make my point I use David Jason as my foil. Is the great Thespian Derek Trotter, Pop Larkin, or is he David Jason. More to the point, is my companion Louise, the niece of Dr Who played by the venerable Peter Cushing in Daleks Invasion of Earth 2150?

Who is the real Jill Curzon? 

Is the lady sat opposite Maria Cavallini? (The Saint 1965). Perhaps my actress guest is the part she played in The Champions (1969), Adam Adamant Lives! (1967), the Leslie Charteris thriller in which Roger Moore played the part of Simon Templar in The Saint (1965), or perhaps Hugh and I and Disneyland (1963).

Jill’s film roles include Daleks Invasion of Earth: 2150 A.D. (1966) with another role in Smokescreen (1964). Jill Curzon contributed enormously to the documentary Dalekmania (1995).

As we chatted through that languid afternoon on the terrace of Jill’s Marbella home it occurred to me that the hardest act of all to follow is not that of the silver screen’s heroes and heroines but of the real life Jill Curzon.

According to Will Shakespeare “All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players; they have their exits and their entrances, and one man in his time plays many parts, His acts being seven ages.”

Who then dares to play the part of Jill Curzon whose life has been underwritten by poignancy, loss and gain, win or lose, love, fidelity, passion and loss peppered by chance?

Invigorated by the actress’s reminisces we ran the emotional gauntlet until we got to the ‘does it matter anymore’ final curtain call.

This question is often raised by the great stars of our time; have we anything left that we can bequeath to those we leave behind. Or, do we accept that “the past is a foreign country; they do things differently there”.

A beguiling question but we agreed that the best gift we can leave to the young, who today face the same challenges, is inspiration. After all, “Tradition is not to preserve the ashes, but to pass on the fire.” ~ Michael Walsh


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