Saturday, February 2, 2019

Godspeed Clive Swift

Clive Swift, perhaps best known as Hyacinth's long-suffering husband Richard Bucket on Keeping Up Appearances, died on February 1 2019 at the age of 82.

Clive Swift was born on February 9 1936 in Liverpool. His older brother, David, was also an actor. Clive Swift attended Clifton College in Bristol and Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge. In 1960 he joined the Royal Shakespeare Company, only one year after it had been chartered under its current name. Mr. Swift remained with the company until 1968. He later taught at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.

Clive Swift made his television debut in an edition of Theatre Night in 1961. He had a recurring role on the comedy Dig the Rhubarb and appeared in the mini-series Dombey and Son. He had a recurring role on Thirty-Minute Theatre. on He guest starred on the shows Love Story, Compact, Knock on Any Door, Public Eye, Way With Words, The Expert, Canterbury Tales, The Wednesday Play,and  ITV Saturday Night Theatre. Clive Swift made his film debut in The Dave Clark Five movie Catch Us If You Can in 1965. He also appeared in A Midsummer's Night Dream (1968).

In the Seventies Mr. Swift appeared in the films Frenzy (1972), Death Line (1972), The National Line (1973), Man at the Top (1973), and The Sailor's Return (1978).  He appeared in the TV series Clayhanger and The Nesbitts Are Coming. He appeared in the mini-series South Riding and A Family Affair. He guest starred on the TV shows  The Misfit, The Liver Birds, Villains, Dead of Night, The Pearcross Girls, The Frighteners, Whodunnit?, The Brothers, Victorian Scandals, Play for Today, BBC2 Play of the Week, 1990, Jackanory Playhouse, Send in the Girls, Shadows, A Horseman Riding By, Hazell, Cribb, and BBC2 Playhouse.

In the Eighties he appeared in the films Excalibur (1981), Memed My Hawk (1984), and Il giovane Toscanini (1988). On television he appeared in the mini-series The Barchester Chronicles and First Among Equals. Mr. Swift played Mr. Tupman in the television adaptation of The Pickwick Papers. He guest starred on the shows Tales of the Unexpected, The New Adventures of Lucky Jim, Doctor Who, Inspector Morse, A Very Peculiar Practice, The Ray Bradbury Theatre, Les Girls, Double First, Minder, Laura and Disorder, Storyboard, Gentlemen and Players, Hard Cases, The Return of Shelley, Theatre Night, and This is David Harper.

In the Nineties he starred as Richard on Keeping Up Appearances and Norman on Peak Practice. He appeared in the mini-series Aristocrats. He guest starred on the TV shows Boon, Heartbeat, Woof!, and The Famous Five. He appeared in the movie Gatson's War (1997). In the Naughts Clive Swift starred in the TV shows Born and Bred and Old Guys. He guest starred on Doctor Who and Little Crackers. He appeared in the film Vacuums (2003).

In the Teens Clive Swift guest starred on Hustle, Cuckoo, SunTrap, and Midsomer Murders. He appeared in the miniseries Valentine's Kiss

Clive Swift was an extremely talented actor. He could be very subtle, relaying a good deal of emotion through a simple facial expression. There should be little wonder he left an impression as Richard Bucket in Keeping Up Appearances. His talent came in useful in his many appearances on British television. No matter how brief he was on screen, the characters played by Mr. Swift had fully developed personalities. He will always be remembered for Keeping Up Appearances, but he leaves legacy of fine performances.

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