Saturday, 18 June 2011

The mysterious death of Barry Evans

Barry Evans 1

Today would have been the 68th birthday of the eternally cute Barry Evans, star of cheesy sitcoms Mind Your Language and Doctor in the House and various risqué movies of the 1970s involving dolly-birds such as Judy Geeson and Adrienne Posta in tight clothing and the hapless males who fail to bed them.

I always had a major crush on Mr Evans, despite his less-than-classic acting career, and on investigation as to what became of him was shocked to find out the mysterious circumstances of his untimely death in 1997...

Described by the press during his lifetime as "a loner", it appears that the beauteous actor had a hidden gay life that he was reluctant to reveal, relying as he did on his "heartthrob appeal" to land screen roles. The tabloids of the time tended to make mincemeat of gay stars, and it is fairly easy to assume he tried everything to avoid this.

As is the wont of all thesps however, his real desire was to be treated seriously and to land some proper acting roles befittting of a more mature actor. However the combination of his youthful charming looks and his typecasting in "light comedy" roles worked against him. He was never given a serious lead role in his career.

Towards the end of his days, he was broke and worked as a cab driver. At the age of 53, he was found dead in his shabby house, a bottle of whisky next to him, and a spilled pot of out-of-date aspirins on the table. Police discovered the actor's body after going to his house to tell him they had recovered his stolen car.

An eighteen-year-old supposed "friend" of Mr Evans was arrested for the theft of the car and in connection with his death. He told police he had visited him on the day he died to say he would not be calling round again, and the actor became upset and drank half a bottle of whisky. The youth was charged with murder/attempted murder and theft but all charges were eventually dropped due to "lack of evidence".

The coroner's report subsequently concluded that Barry Evans had died due to an alcohol overdose, but there remain unexplained facts about the case.

Apparently Mr Evans had some head injuries. There was no trace of aspirin in his body. More mysteriously, his phone lines had been cut. In addition to the car, credit cards were stolen. Later another young man was charged with breaking into the late actor's house and stealing antiques and other valuables that he had collected over the years.

The press reported that Barry Evans committed suicide as a consequence of his declining fame, and that he had been drinking a bottle of whisky every two days in the run-up to his death (a bit strange for a cab driver, surely?).

So the mystery remains. What was the relationship between Mr Evans and these youths? What about the phone lines? A the time Michael Culver, a friend of his, said he found it very suspicious that Evans should phone a friend at five in the morning, ask to be called back, and then cut his own telephone lines.

Barry Evans 2

I suppose we will never know, but we still have that beautiful smile to remember Barry Evans by...



RIP

Barry Evans on IMDB

25 comments:

  1. I used to have a crush on him in Mind Your Language too.

    Never knew he was one of us or that he'd died.

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  2. Bizarre story all round... Jx

    PS I also found out that Robin Nedwell (the other star of Doctor in the House) is also dead. He died of a heart attack after falling off a ladder, aged just 52. The curse of sitcoms.

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  3. Never heard of him - but a very interesting story, and one that will hopefully be solved one day.

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  4. You were obviously spared the excruciating Mind Your Language in Iceland... Jx

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  5. I am a great fan of Barry Evans..right now i am watching ''mind your language'' and just thinking what short life such a smiling face could manage.
    may God rest his souls in peace.

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  6. I am a fan of Barry Evans. I like the role of Mr Brown he played in "Mind Your Language". He was a talented actor.

    May God rest his souls in peace.

    U.M Gamage
    26 April 2012

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  7. i am big fan of Barry Evans . i want go back to past 1977 to meet Barry Evans and mind your language entire cast and crew. i can not forget Barry smile . ever since i heard that he is not any more in this world feeling very sad. neither i have power nor money to bring him back to this world or to go England to visit his grave at least once but i am helpless only can desire with tears.

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    1. Hi fazal, Unfortunately he was cremated in London so I don´t know where he can be visited. It was such a big lost, such a nice person and so talented actor...What an unfair life! abandoned as a baby, a loner all his life and he died alone so young...Funny destiny!
      Happy birthday Barry...you will be in our minds..you are not alone anymore...you will not be alone never..

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  8. My ten-year-old kid and I have watched all the episodes of Mind Your Language. Being a language teacher, I feel a sense of nostalgia every time I watch the episodes

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  9. one moment of my life I laughed like anything by watching mind ur language,
    its all because of u,salute to u Barry,I never forget the looks what u have,
    may your soul rest in peace.

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  10. Love and Prayers from Pakistan ! Really miss him ! Such an innocent soul he was ..

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  11. Sad to hear that his dead, but if his alive he would be 70 years old, if theirs a time machine I would go back to 1996 and find him and be his friend and chat with him and he won't be a loner and who knows maybe could save his life too, but this world had lost a good actor like him. I still remember I watched Mind Your Language few years ago in 2007 i was only 13 years and i had a crush on him but his dead so RIP may your soul rest in piece

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  12. He deserved to have been treated better in life, than looked over for aging and left to become a taxi driver. Is this how Britain treats its TV actors?

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  13. after watching Mind Your Language, i went to search about this hillarious actor and get more of his acting movies. this is where i came across the shocking news that this brilliant actor is no more. i wanted to have more of his works because Mind Your Language made me extremely humurous. sad

    RIP Mr. Brown

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  14. I'm sure it would satisfy him now if he knew my children are watching Mind your Language now and I can hear them laughing in the other room.

    Certainly, there was an opportunity lost in not giving him the chance to play in more shows.

    Thanks Barry for the memories and the laughter in my household.

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  15. see u next life,barry...u are the best...

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  16. He was such a jolly actor but I wish I knew how he was really like behind the tele.
    If I could go back in time, I'd try to save him from his miserable fate. I'm putting it in my bucket list to meet the still living cast of Mind Your Language and we could bring back the youthful times of Barry.

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  17. I watched Barry in the sitcom Doctor`s series, as a kid growing up in the late 60`s . I think he was a great talanted comedy actor so sad that he passed on so young. Absolutely love watchin Mind your language o Youtube.

    Barry Evans - A GREAT TALENT!!! SADLY MISSED!!!

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  18. Reading the facts up to his death i feel he was murdered, I think the case should be re-opened i don't think it was a coincidence his car was stolen his credit cards missing also his phone lines was cut it would have been far easier for him just to unplug the phone line then to cut them and also what about the unexplained head injuries? i think he was a very much a underrated actor who was walked over by people in the business... Mind your language.. is still shown in different parts of the world i wonder did he ever get repeat royalties fees while he was alive?

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  19. I have just been watching Mind your Language on utube and thinking ,what a really good looking and really good actor but I also felt that he was deeply vulnerable that`s when I decided to google him and i feel really sad for him I so wish that they could come to a conclusion as to how he met his demise I think he was loved enough by the public to warrant a full and conclusive investigation and finally closure.

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  20. @ Mark Caine ,I absolutely agree with all you have said and also have been thinking along the same lines,I also am wondering why and what about his family.The whole thing is far too suspicious.

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  21. mind your language can never be same again, such comedy doesnt exist in this world. We need to get investigation company checking the birth, life, mystery of his death in detail, and of Dino Shafeek. We would all love to watch detail documentary. I can feel sadness watching these episodes, more sad is Barry Evans death. Its tragic. Sadly we cant even get " behind the scenes" or any retakes of show. Where did the cast live during their taping? God bless you all stars i feel like tears...as you guys are best and sadly will never come again. God bless you.

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  22. Whatever and however the rest of us feel about the demise of Barry Evans, all I can hope for is that someday the people who were fortunate enough to have been Barry's passengers can come up in unison and share their experiences with the rest of the world.
    There is this certain sense of hostility and disgust that suddenly rises up the moment I hear words like LONER and INTROVERT come up because for one, I am a loner myself and being in such a state most definitely does not mean that I despise company. It just means that given a chance, I would be 100 times more likely to survive alone as compared to those who do not prefer solitude. The word LONER itself is an excuse for the rest of the world to not even bother to greet and eventually befriend the person branded with such a condition because "loners" are more frigid and unforgiving than the rest.
    Which brings me to the most important part of my opinion- what happened to the co-stars? Surely there must have been ONE co-star who was close to Barry- who had the dignity and the humility to eventually start to worry about Barry. The callousness with which fate eventually barged into Barry's life is nothing short of how people in general may have treated Barry because of his quietness and his preference for a calm and meaningful conversation with anyone patient enough to listen.
    But then again, maybe most of the people who were close to Barry always found him in a state where conversations always turned ugly and alcohol replaced the routine tea and scones. But despite all the inadequacies of being a severely drunk and hungover human lost in the deluge of sudden insignificance, there was always that pristine moment of clarity- the moment that nobody ever bothered to learn to have patience for; the kind of patience that lives and breeds among members of the family and the ever thinning and ever dwindling number of a real friend.
    So if there are people who really happened to be one of the few fortunate passengers who Barry chauffeured, this blog is your stage- come right up and tell us about the day Barry Evans drove you home.

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