Barry Morse
Fot an acting career that has lasted
for almost sixty years, we have
two perhaps unexpected reasons
to be grateful to Barry Morse; namely,
John Steed and James Kirk.
���In the early 1950s Mr & Mrs Barry
Morse ran a theatre in Canada, while Barry
was also an unofficial agent for the many
British actors who arrived on his doorstep
hoping to get work in the infant Canadian
tv industry.
���One of those actors was Patrick Macnee,
who during his time in Canada met Syd-
ney Newman and Leonard White, the pro-
ducers who ten years later cast him in The
Another promising young ac-
tor, a Canadian who first worked profes-
sionally for the Morse's theatre
company, is still referred to by Barry
and his wife as 'young Billy Shatner'.

Early Start
���However, we are already get-
ting ahead of ourselves. Barry
Morse's tv career actually dates
back to the very earliest days of
television itself. "I first worked
in television, when I was very
much a youngster in our trade
and in every other sense, in 1936
up at the old Ally Pally for the
BBC." says Barry. "The audience
would have amounted to no more than
the crowd for a third division football
match, no more than two or three thou-
sand probably. I don't know if they even
measured what the size of the audience
Avengers reunion time for Barry Morse, with Nikolas Grace and Honor Blackman
���Barry was able to work regularaly
in the infant medium because his
more experienced colleagues weren't ex-
actly hammering on the BBC's door. "Ac-
tors who were established would not be
seen dead in television, partly because it
was so badly paid, but also because it was
not believed to be a viable medium.
���"An old actor who I was working with in
a play in London in those days, heard that I
was doing something else in the daytime.
He asked, 'What is this you're doing dur-
ing the day, Morse?' 'It's something for the
BBC, sir'--you always called old actors
sir in those days--'What, on the wireless?'
'No, not exactly, sir. Although it is for the
BBC, it's like the wirelies, but with pic-
tures.' 'Oh yes I've heard of that,' he said
with great scorn, 'they call it the television
don't they? You are a bloody fool wasting
your time with that rubbish. Don't you know
it's just a fad, like the yo-yo. They'll have
forgotten all about it by Christmas.'
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