Monday, January 13, 2014

Too Good To Be Forgotten

Alexandra Bastedo (9 March 1946 - 12 January 2014) died today, another actress from our collective teenage years, another relatively young person cut down by cancer.

For those of us of certain age The Champions were part of our television heritage, although the single, thirty episode, series finished its original run back in 1969 it was repeated at regular intervals during the Seventies and when ITV4 began transmitting in 2005 it was one of the Lew Grade ITC Entertainment programmes that began another life for another generation.

Bastedo, along with Stuart Damon and William Gaunt were a trio who had been picked to lead a United Nations law enforcement team and on their first mission the plane they were travelling in crashed in Tibet where they were cared for by a secret group of locals. Here there senses were sharpened, their intellect enhanced and their physical skills improved, they then put these improved skills to use fighting the baddies!

After The Champions Bastedo featured in  very few  films considering the high profile nature of the television series, she even appeared in EastEnders a few years ago. It was away from the tv, cinema and theatre that Bastedo found a more important role - in animal welfare.

She was quite a canny businesswoman, realising that in the age of the Internet and DVD's, blu-ray etc that even if she had moved away from the limelight there were others, like people of my generation, who still held her in high esteem even if that esteem was based on a tv series nearly forty five years ago. She sold autographed photographs, both current and from her archive (see below), for £10 a go on the understanding that the money would be put into championing (pun intended) animal welfare. She would hold open days at her animal sanctuary in West Sussex, posing for photographs and signing autographs - I read recently on a photography messageboard of somebody who attended one of these open days a few years ago and he said she was a gracious and charming host.



A Northern Bloke said...

When my wife was a little girl she used to love watching The Champions.

And I think people like us can use the phrase "that's no age" when someone passes away at 67.

Span Ows said...

I remember The Champions as one of the first programmes I watched that I shouldn't have watched (Champion the Wonder Horse by coincidence was one of the first ones I watched that I was allowed to watch!)

Beautiful lady and so sad, her husband died last year also of cancer.

Paul said...

Indeed it is sad, we seem to be experiencing quite a few deaths of people in the 60-70 age group and unfortunately from cancer.

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