John Le Mesurier

Pencil Portrait by Antonio Bosano.

John Le Mesurier Pencil Portrait
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The quality of the prints are at a much higher level compared to the image shown on the left.


A3 Pencil Print-Price £45.00-Purchase

A4 Pencil Print-Price £30.00-Purchase

*Limited edition run of 250 prints only*

All Pencil Prints are printed on the finest Bockingford Somerset Velvet 255 gsm paper.

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‘Traitor,’ a BBC television drama written by Dennis Potter and directed by Alan Bridges, featured in the ‘Play for Today’ series on 14 October 1971. It starred John Le Mesurier as Adrian Harris, a character loosely based on Kim Philby.

Philby was a high-ranking member of British intelligence who worked as a double agent before defecting to the Soviet Union in 1963. That year, he was revealed to be a member of the spy ring now known as the Cambridge Five, and as successful as he was in providing secret information to the Soviet Union, his activities were nonetheless moderated by Joseph Stalin’s fears that he was secretly on Britain’s side

After years of industrious stage, Tv and film work in supporting roles, Le Mesurier’s performance would win him the British Academy Television Award for Best Actor in 1972. It was a fitting testimony to the British actor who had commenced his career playing dramatic roles, before being enveloped by his trademark comic ‘gloom-and-doom’ English toff characterisation. This persona would sustain him throughout a twenty year plus prolific work schedule. A popular personality amongst his peers, and an inveterate jazz lover, Le Mesurier was a magnet for women and yet curiously, rather diffident when both his wives betrayed him.

On one occasion, an attractive young woman begged him (the actor was by then in his late 50’s), to take her to a ditch and ­ravish her. Ever the gentleman, Le Mez (as he was known to his closest friends and colleagues) politely declined — but not before delivering a wry one-liner worthy of Sgt Wilson, his “Dad’s Army” on-screen alter ego:

‘Well, my dear, I’d like to oblige you but it’s rather late and dark, and I really can’t see myself ­clambering about at this time of night looking for a ditch.’

One can imagine Corporal Jones volunteering – “Please Captain Mainwaring, let me go in the ditch!” and Wilson simply rolling his eyes and muttering “You see, he’s always too keen for his own good”.