Monday, November 28, 2005

Paul Eddington

When we signed up for Netlfix earlier this summer, the first thing I added to the queue was Yes, Minister, about which I'd heard wonderful things for years but had never found available for rental, while the fifty-some dollar price tag was rather steep for something I'd be buying sight-unseen. The show more than lived up to its hype as the funniest thing ever made about politics.

The lead on the series was the late Paul Eddington starring as the Rt. Hon. Jim Hacker, and I was saddened to discover after watching a few episodes that both he and Sir Nigel Hawthorne, his foil on the series, are no longer with us. Eddington's case was particularly cruel; he died as the result of a long battle with a rare skin cancer that ravaged his face and left him recognizable but badly scarred. The final disc of Yes, Prime Minister included a documentary about him, in which friends and colleagues praised his talents and his courage, both before and during his illness, and the film was subtitled "A Life Well Lived." That's a hell of a thing to have said about you, isn't it?

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