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Actor Anton Rodgers, best known for his roles in TV sitcoms May to December and Fresh Fields, has died aged 74.

Rodgers, whose career spanned 50 years, played Alec Callender in May to December, a BBC series about an older lawyer and his younger girlfriend.

He starred opposite Cranford star Julia McKenzie in ITV's Fresh Fields and its spin-off, French Fields, in the 1980s.

Rodgers had a long and distinguished theatrical career, which began in 1947 in Carmen at the Royal Opera House.

He also appeared in the opening night of the West End production of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang in 2002.

Surburban man

One of the actor's more recent small-screen appearances was playing William Whitelaw in the Channel 4 dramatisation of Longford, which won three TV Baftas.

In Fresh Fields, which ran from 1984 to 1986, Rodgers played a hard-working surburban man troubled by his wife Hester's constant schemes to get ahead, despite their devotion.

The pair relocated to France in 1989 and were faced with adjusting to the culture of their adopted country.

In May to December, which was nominated for best comedy series at the Baftas in 1991, Rodgers originally played opposite actress Eve Matheson.

But she was succeeded by Lesley Dunlop as Zoe Angell, who was half Alec Callender's age.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/7126800.stm
Brekkie33,325 posts since 4 Jan 2003 Recently warned
Paul O'Grady paid tribute to him on his show today.


Didn't realise Lesley Dunlop wasn't in May to December from the start - did she arrive as a new character or was it recast?
cylon63,720 posts since 6 Mar 2005
Brekkie Boy posted:
Paul O'Grady paid tribute to him on his show today.


Didn't realise Lesley Dunlop wasn't in May to December from the start - did she arrive as a new character or was it recast?


This news has surprised a lot of us, didn't see it being mentioned on the main news. Such a shame.

The first actress left May To December so they had to recast the role.
Paul02163 posts since 3 Mar 2006
Sad news.

I remember Anton Rogers very fondly from many things, including 'Scrooge'.

(With Eve Matheson as Zoe the central relationship in 'May to December' was much more believable than it was with Lesley Dunlop in the role. Those first two series are far more worthwhile than what came later.)
Gluben575 posts since 15 Jan 2004
I saw him in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and he was brilliant and very funny. I also saw him give a very good performance in The Fourth Protocol alongside Michael Caine and the now late Ian Richardson.

Very sad news, R.I.P.
tvarksouthwest4,098 posts since 4 Jan 2003
harshy posted:
Fresh Fields, I remember him for that.

He's certainly in Fresh Fields now. RIP Anton.

The lack of coverage has been noticed - no doubt ITV News said nothing either. Which sadly was to be expected, as they didn't consider Michael Elphick's death newsworthy even though Michael brought sustained high ratings for ITV in the form of Boon. Anton did likewise with Fresh Fields and his other projects but he dies and not a dickie bird.