Today is our third post about reminiscence and the Silver Screen, celebrating World Alzheimer's month. These posts are designed to start conversations with people living with a dementia, reminding them of screen stars from yesteryear, evoking memories of cinema and the lighter side of life.
On this day in 1954, Journey to Italy, a film starring Ingrid Bergman and George Sanders was released. Not a huge commercial hit at the time but it is remembered as a work which influenced future film makers. We would have talked about Ingrid Bergman, Casablanca, Bogart, and probably about George Sanders, his role as Simon Templar in The Saint, All about Eve, Bette Davis etc.
However, yesterday the sad news that Liz Fraser, star of four Carry-On films passed away in London at the age of 88.
Photo credit: Celebrity.
So, in recognition of her life, we'd like to dedicate today's post to Liz, her family, and her fans. Perhaps print off a picture of Liz, and some other Carry-On stars to help start a reminiscence conversation. Ask what films people remember? What are their favourite films? Any phrases spring to mind, and if you can, try to find a Carry-On film on the TV to play and laugh along with. You can read our post on the importance of laughter and people living with a dementia here.
The wonderful Liz Fraser was born Elizabeth Winch in Southwark, London in 1930. Evacuated during the war (incidentally, the Blitz started today in 1940) to Devon, she returned to London and caught the dramatic bug when she joined an am-dram group while at night-school in Goldsmith's in London.
Most famous for her role in four Carry On films, she can also be seen and remembered in many of the most iconic British film and television projects of the 1960's and 1970's. She continued to work and be seen on our screens throughout her life with her most recent IMDB credit being a 2018 role in Midsommer Murders.
Liz had 100 acting credits to her name including Hancock's Half Hour, Dixon of Dock Green, The Avengers, The Goodies, Benny Hill, Crown Court, Holby City, Foyle's War, The Bill and Last of the Summer Wine. She worked with Peter Sellers in I'm Alright Jack and Two Way Stretch, and of course Sid James in Citizen James, the early 60's sit-com. If you're a bit younger, you might not recognise some of these, but those who remember the last time Leeds United won the cup may feel a wave of nostalgia right about now.
She managed her money wisely, becoming a private landlord outside the acting world, and played bridge and bowls as a member of the Hurlingham club. She supported charities close to her heart, particularly those related to animals and acting and she will be sadly missed. RIP beautiful Liz.
Photo credit: Carry On Blogging.
If you didn't know too much about Liz, or the British TV and film industry of the 60's, feel free to flick around classic sites and channels. Even if you don't have the opportunity to talk to people living with a dementia, your older friends and relatives will enjoy reminiscing about some classic work. Talking Pictures TV is a great channel to look for on Freeview, satellite or cable, and twitter has many accounts celebrating a nostalgic look at life. @CarryOnJoan is worth a follow.
If you do use these posts to talk to someone with a dementia, let us know how things go, and share ideas for others too.
Thanks for reading.