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Monday, 1 June 2020


Available for freelance writing commissions on a variety of subjects including family history, nostalgic Belfast and its famous people, shops, shoppers & shopping, the golden age of Hollywood (esp westerns) and humorous pieces on life's weird and wonderful. Op-eds, columns, non-fiction book reviews too. & @JoeCushnan

I have a portfolio of features, reviews, poetry and short fiction published in all sorts of places - Belfast Telegraph, Tribune, Ireland's Own, Dalhousie Review, Fairlight Books, Reader's Digest, Reality, Lapwing Poetry, Ink, Sweat & Tears, Spillwords, Dear Reader, Amethyst Review, to name a selection.  Oh, and the odd BBC radio contribution. 

This is a series of very, very short items that have nothing to do with the current news agenda.  Swift diversions for a moment or two.

Apropos of Nothing #45 – 1 June 1985

The actor Richard Greene died at 66 on 1 June, 1985.  His screen career began with a bit part in Sing As We Go! (1934) starring Gracie Fields.  His first major part in a film was in John Ford’s Four Men and a Prayer (1938), alongside Loretta Young, George Sanders and David Niven.  The film opened up a lot of opportunities in Hollywood, although Greene made occasional trips back to the UK for other work.  In 1939, he appeared as Sir Henry in The Hound of the Baskervilles, with Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes and Nigel Bruce as Doctor Watson.  Greene had top billing

He enlisted in the 27th Lancers in World War II and via a spell at Sandhurst he achieved the rank of Captain.  After the war, he returned to America to continue his acting career in films such as Forever Amber (1947) with Cornel Wilde and The Fighting O’Flynn (1949) starring Douglas Fairbanks Jr.  All in all, his big screen CV was very successful but Greene tired of the roles he was being offered.  Reflecting on his career he said:

"I haven't had the big build-up part I expected. They turned me into a cloak-and-dagger merchant. After four dungeon pictures in a row I decided to throw it up.”

Richard Greene returned to England and was offered the lead role in a television series called The Adventures of Robin Hood (1955–1959).  It was a huge success and, for kids of my generation, he is the one and only Robin Hood.  Each of the 144 episodes was half an hour long.  It had a twang of an opening sequence and a catchy theme song.  In 1960, there was a film version called Sword of Sherwood Forest.

After Robin Hood, there was a scattering of film and TV appearances.

Richard Greene died in 1985 at 66, following a heart attack.

Sources: IMDB, Wikipedia and my own memories.

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