Thursday, March 08, 2007

john inman r.i.p.

sad news tonight - john inman has died. in the uk, after 'are you being served?' had run its course, he had a great career as a pantomime dame. when i moved to the usa, i couldn't believe that 'are you being served?' was one of the most popular britcoms on public television and that john inman, as well as mollie sugden and some of the other cast members, was a kind of cult hero here!

even though the writers claimed that he was not homosexual, the character of mr. humphries was the first accepted portrayal of a gay man on tv that i can remember. granted it was all innuendo, and stereotypically limp-wristed; but it was also gentle and funny. at the time, i believe gay rights groups complained. at the time i was about 10 years old. i also identified then as heterosexual, insofar as i identified as anything. i look back now and feel that mr. wilberforce claybourne humphries had a positive effect on me.

*blush* i also have to admit that the 3 first singles i ever bought in my life (got them at the same time) were david bowie's space oddity, wild thing by the goodies, and are you being served, sir? by john inman with a b-side that had a chorus "ginger, ginger, we all love captain ginger"!

bbc news
death of a camp salesman from the telegraph
telegraph obituary
the times obituary

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