Top positive review
9 people found this helpful
A Great Biography Of A Great Actor - A Golden Era of Film and Television
on 13 August 2013
Gabriel first wrote to me at the end of 2011, outlining his intention of writing the first ever biography on the life and work of Ian Hendry. Gabriel was perplexed as to why Ian's story had never really been told, other than in tabloid newspapers, where a headline and some sensation are more important than an in-depth understanding. Given Ian's immense talent as an actor, Gabriel felt that he had simply not received the recognition that he deserved.
But the telling of Ian's life is certainly not an easy task. Firstly, so much time had already passed that the trail had, in places, gone cold. Secondly, it involves issues that necessitates you have some real life experience, coupled with understanding. Fortunately, Gabriel has these qualities in abundance. Through intense research and questioning, Gabriel has produced a biography with real depth. Why was Ian such a great actor? Gabriel tackles such questions head-on in this biography. Interviews with students from Ian's time at the Central School of Speech and Drama, countless discussions with fellow professionals of Ian's, from both sides of the camera (and stage), as well as contributions from family and friends have been used to build a picture of the man and his life. The picture of a charismatic, complex, creative, gifted, emotional, multi-faceted, generous, much-loved and yes, at times, difficult and troubled man emerges.
With any picture or painting, we may at times be drawn to a certain element or detail that intrigues us so much that we no longer see the `bigger picture'. But if you stand back for a minute and look again, you may notice that although the picture may not have changed, the way we see it certainly can. Gabriel's role as guide, as well as story-teller, helps greatly in this process.
Words can be extremely powerful. Ian understood the importance of the written word and would frequently rewrite scripts so that they were believable. He knew that if you really understood the words and meanings in a script, and really felt it, that there was no way that you could be anything but true and believable, even if you were acting. The need for words, a script, that adequately achieved that possibility, was always at the heart of the matter for him.
Perhaps only one book will ever be written about the life of Ian Hendry. If so, then I am glad that it was Gabriel who wrote it. Why? Because I believe that this book forms an admirable `script' for Ian's life.
Editor, The Official Website of Ian Hendry