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Friday, May 27, 2022

Obituary: Dennis Waterman, tough-singer star of cult television shows ‘New Tricks’, ‘The Sweeney’ and ‘Minder’

Dennis Waterman, the actor who has died at the age of 74, specialized in playing unstructured South London j l commercials in a succession of popular television series, notably The Sweeney, Minder and New Tricks.

Viewers took delight in his depictions of world-weary coppers and bodyguards, realizing that these characters’ tastes and prejudices might not have been different from their own.

Waterman was a generous friend and was always described as “a man’s man”. He loved football, cricket and golf; Pubs were almost places of pilgrimage. He was also a staunch womanizer for most of his career, and began four marriages, including a disastrous union with a combustible red-headed Polish countess, Rula Lenska. However, behind this personality lay a highly professional actor, who was a seasoned performer before emerging from his teenage years; And this despite a background that didn’t yield any benefits.

Denise Waterman was born on 24 February 1948 in Clapham, South London, the ninth child of Rose Waterman and her husband Harry, a British rail ticket collector. He showed an aptitude for acting, and at the age of seven appeared in a production of winter story At the Southwark Shakespeare Festival.

At the age of 11, he was cast in the film as a kidnapped diabetic child. Night Train to Inverness (1960). A year later he was accepted into the Royal Shakespeare Company and spent nine months in Stratford-upon-Avon. When he was selected to play the lead role in the BBC television series William In 1962, he had never heard of Richmal Crompton Bus William The books, and judged the character “a posh tweet”.

In 1964 he was on the West End stage with Graham Greene’s Sir Ralph Richardson sculpture carvingThen joined the company at the Royal Court, where he appeared in Edward Bond’s controversial play S. appeared inave, About this time he began living with Penny Dixon, a former drama student who became his first wife in 1972.

1968 saw Waterman in his first major film role, junction up (1968). He plays Pete, a slightly rough business who is attracted to Chelsea girl Polly who is slumping it to Battersea. The role of Polly was taken by Suzy Kendall, and she and Waterman enjoyed a courtship, although she was Dudley Moore’s girlfriend at the time. the Sweeney First aired in 1974, and it made Waterman a household name. John Thaw as Waterman and DI Jack Regan as DS George Carter were streetwise cops who knew all angles, and sported trendy flares and exterior sideburns. When they caught a villain, often following a hair-raising car chase in their Ford Granada, they would advise him: “You’re out!”

the Sweeney became a cult show, accounting for 53 episodes sold in over 50 countries. While creating the show, Waterman began a relationship with actress Patricia Maynard. Their daughter Hannah (later actress Hannah Waterman) was born in 1975; They married two years later, and in 1979 they had a second daughter, Julia.

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Waterman’s second great screen partnership occurred in the 1980s One who does work, in which he played Terry McCann, the loyal if somewhat bony bodyguard of Prince Arthur Daly (George Cole). The series is richly comedic, a sort of only Fools and Horses with Attitude.

Waterman was still married to Patricia Maynard when he became involved with Rula Lenska. He had a long and passionate relationship and in January 1982 he left his wife and children. They eventually got married in 1987.

The marriage lasted 11 years before ending in an orgy of bitterness, with Rula Lenska selling the story of their violent marriage to a tabloid newspaper. Waterman admitted that he was “pushed out” one night. He said he was “extremely embarrassed”. Meanwhile, his ex-wife Patricia Maynard wrote Daily Telegraph to defend him.

After his divorce from Rula Lenska, he married his fourth wife, Pamela Flint, in 2011.

Waterman’s third long-running television series was new tricks, launched in 2003, a comedy-drama about a group of brutal retired police officers set up to investigate unsolved crimes. It became one of the most popular shows on British television.

He was also a guitarist, singer and songwriter. In 1976 he released his first album, W downindustry of angelsa year after that Sailor, As well as starring in Minder, she sang the theme song, i can be too nice for youWhich was a UK Top 3 hit in 1980.

He is survived by his wife Pam Flint and their daughters.

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