Just spent a little while reading different accounts of Charles Hawtrey's life and death. I was expecting to find nice accounts of a well respected star of stage and screen - but that doesn't appear to be anywhere close to the truth.
A biography of Hawtrey was written by Wes Butters and released in 2010. It was titled "Whatshisname, The Life and Death of Charles Hawtrey
" and reached the No 1 selling biography on Amazon. The book was reviewed and then featured in The Sunday Express and reading the article was an eye opener - it opens with
"On the front wall of 117 Middle Street, an 18th-century smuggler’s cottage close to the seafront at Deal in Kent, is a blue plaque commemorating a household name. “Charles Hawtrey 1914-1988 – Film, Theatre, Radio and Television Actor Lived Here,” it reads – giving the impression that one of the town’s most famous past residents is a source of local pride. Nothing could be further from the truth. “It’s 22 years since he died and the landlord of the local pub will not have a photo of him behind the bar because the customers will not stand for it,” says Wes Butters, the former Radio 1 DJ who organised the plaque in 1998 and has now written the first comprehensive biography of the man remembered by millions for his mild-mannered comic persona in the Carry On films. “They hate him, and it’s understandable" .......
To read the full review and article - the link is :http://www.express.co.uk/expressyourself/169058/Charles-Hawtrey-The-Carry-On-clown-who-hated-everyone
A basic internet search on Charles Hawtrey results in quite a few other accounts which show him in a similar light. I still like the old Carry On films - finding out something different about one of the cast won't make me change my opinion, I'll just think differently when I see the next one. I still think he was a very good actor.