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George Whaley

To become associated, even identified, with a role or a certain kind of role may ward off the financial uncertainties of an actor’s career, but it undoubtedly also brings its limitations. Remember how ineffably lady-like Greer Garson appeared in her MGM heyday: I recall watching her narrow her eyes in Mrs Miniver and thinking that she could play Lady Macbeth if someone gave her the chance. No one ever did. Leo McKern wasn’t quite so effectively imprisoned by his ‘Rumpole’ persona, but it is at least on the cards that he will be remembered with such tenacity for nothing else.

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