It’s the end of the world today, according to the Mayan Calendar. and  Twitter.  I’m still here.  Are you?

Other trends on Twitter today include ‘Favourite Acting Performances’.  As my background is thoroughly theatrical,  you won’t be surprised to learn that I threw myself into the maelström with a vengeance!

Alas, although I sell many cards with theatrical images from my postcard collection, most of those actors and actresses are long dead and I never saw the stage performances that might have enthralled me.

Some,  of course, made films, including Gladys Cooper, whom you may remember in Rebecca,  Separate Tables and  My Fair Lady. Dame Gladys was rather luscious when young, as the above image shows.  To see more of my theatrical collection (there are many I have yet to make available for sale), click here.

Talking of actors, this Wednesday I received an email from someone who had discovered information on my site, Rogues & Vagabonds, about the actor Richard Vernon.  Among much else, Vernon was  the original Slartibartfast in Douglas Adams‘ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (radio & television).


Richard Vernon as Colonel Smithers & Sean Connery as James Bond in Goldfinger.

This correspondent was writing to tell me that I might like to correct the information I had about Vernon’s date of birth.  Vernon, he said, was born in 1907, not 1925, information that could be confirmed by looking at The Complete James Bond Movie Encyclopaedia by Steven Jay Rubin.  This was my reply:

“Thank you for your email regarding Richard Vernon’s date of birth.  That he was born in 1907 is an anomaly first promulgated by Leslie Halliwell in his original Film Guide and which has never been corrected. Everyone since has taken this as gospel so that the mistake has been replicated everywhere, including the Complete James Bond Movie Encyclopaedia.  I talk with some authority as Richard Vernon was my father.”

Although an amusing instance, it does show how certain writers, or should I say compilers of dictionaries, rely on other publications and fail to do their research.

Naturally enough, one of my tweets under the #FavouriteActingPerformances banner included my father.  While he made many appearances on stage and the small screen that I admired, I think my favourite is good old Slarty, the character who creates the fjords of Norway and reveals that mice are really in control of humans.  But of course they are.

So long, and thanks for all the fish.

Take care and keep laughing!

• Updated 12:00am 22nd December 2012