An acting talent, a premature death - too typical of the time
You might know Ian Hendry from playing opposite big names like Sean Connery in The Hill (1965), Catherine Deneuve in Roman Polanski's Repulsion (both 1965) or Michael Caine in Get Carter (1971).
|Ian Hendry (without sunglasses) in Get Carter
|Alan Badel and Ian Hendry in Children of the Damned
|Edward Lionheart (Vincent Price) really doesn't like bad reviews
|Patrick Macnee and Ian Hendry in The Avengers
But this is a fierce defence of Hendry's abilities as well as a diary of his declining health. The tragedy is that this was a familiar lifestyle of the time, so many dying prematurely because of unrecognised and largely untreated addictions. In the book, Hendry's problems are constantly compared to other alcoholics whose acting careers somehow suffered less. It's interesting for the many stories about the similar behaviour of many of his contemporaries and co-stars, who also aged visibly because of nicotine and alcohol dependency. Something all too evident now that we can review entire film careers so easily.
|In Theatre of Blood as the critic paying for his scathing reviews
A fascinating read, highlighting his near misses and a growing sense of what might have been. This celebrates the body of work he achieved, points out much that I'd missed and sensitively narrates his increasingly disastrous private life. Hendry's painful decline is capped with an incredibly sad death that has haunted me since. A terrible way to go and a formidable warning against the glamour of hellraising.
Gabriel Hershman's extensive research was backed with an impressive roster of interviews with those who knew or worked with Hendry. A thorough filmography lists all his known appearances and throughout the book, it always notes their availability (or existence).
'Send In The Clowns - The Yo Yo Life of Ian Hendry' on sale here from AbeBooks.
Author Gabriel Hershman has his public Facebook page here. There's an interview with him about the book here on RetroSellers.
There's also a professional-looking fan website for Ian Hendry here with rare photos and YouTube links. They also have a Facebook page regularly updated with contemporary press clippings and more photos.