Thaw talked his way into RADA while still underage and was one of the talked-about figures of a generation that included Tom Courtenay and Sarah Miles. Stage success eluded him until he was already famous--though his performance as a Labour Party leader in David Hare's Absence of War was rightly praised. This likable book concentrates on his television work, rightly recognising that it is as the character of Regan in The Sweeney and as Inspector Morse that he awakened the interest of millions; there is a full account of how those two performances grew and changed.
Thaw has for 25 years been married to Sheila Hancock; the book is, without being intrusive, an attractive celebration of a sometimes turbulent relationship. Gruff and intelligent and blue-eyed, Thaw has made himself a model of redeemed sensitive masculinity for our times--this book manages to capture something of that essence. --Roz Kaveney