6th October 1973

Jeeves actor died in Guernsey

Actor Dennis Price died in Guernsey, aged 58, this day in 1973. He had found fame playing Jeeves, Bertie Wooster’s butler, in the BBC’s 1965 – 1967 adaptations of PC Wodehouse’s novels.

Price had also appeared in several films, of which the most notable was Kind Hearts and Coronets. This 1949 Ealing comedy concerns a man who kills the eight people ahead of him in the line of succession for a dukedom. In that film, he played murderer Louis Mazzini opposite Alec Guinness, who portrayed every member of the D’Ascoyne family that stood between him and the title.

In the mid–1960s, having been declared bankrupt, Price moved to Sark. He was taken to Guernsey in 1973 when he fell and broke a hip, but never recovered and died of heart failure in hospital. His body was returned to Sark for burial in the churchyard at St Peter’s.

Earlier life

Dennis Price had been born Dennistoun Rose-Price in Twyford, Berkshire, in 1915. He made his stage debut aged 22 and within seven years had been cast in the film A Canterbury Tale. His performance earned him a contract from Gainsborough Pictures.

Yet, he didn’t achieve widespread fame until he appeared in Kind Hearts and Coronets in 1949. He was cast as Jeeves in 1965 and continued with the role for three years.

He was married to Joan Schofield between 1939 and 1950 and they had two children. There have been several allusions to either homosexuality of bisexuality since then and to an incident in 1954 which may have been a suicide attempt. He had been found in the gas-filled kitchen of a Kensington guest house, but was resuscitated and survived.

 

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Other events that occured in October

Guernsey Post Office was established 1st
Guernsey switched to Reichsmarks 2nd
Sark was the target of Operation Basalt 3rd
Sark voted for democracy 4th
Guernsey lifeboat saved a Swedish schooner 5th
Jeeves actor died in Guernsey 6th
Sarnia Theatre celebrated its most successful year 7th
The Story of Adele H opened in cinemas 8th
Howards’ Way came to Guernsey 9th
Guernsey Ladies’ College opened 10th
A Trislander ate itself between Jersey and Guernsey 11th
The Channel Islands’ king set sail for England 12th
Major General Sir Isaac Brock died 13th
Footballer Matt Le Tissier was born 14th
Island FM brings commercial radio to Guernsey 15th
Channel Television saw off a rival broadcaster 16th
The first mines were dug on Sark 17th
Sark’s Stocks Hotel was damaged by fire 18th
Elizabeth College’s foundation stone was laid 19th
Hitler ordered the Channel Islands’ fortification 20th
Guernsey’s stone crackers demanded a pay rise 21st
The desalination plant opened 22nd
Sir Charles Hayward buys Jethou for £91,000 23rd
Guernsey Monopoly board game went on sale 24th
Dame Sibyl Hathaway chose her Desert Island Discs 25th
GUNS founder Charles Machon died 26th
Bailiff Sir Peter de Havilland was born 27th
A man “disappeared” from a Guernsey ferry 28th
Express & Star bought Guernsey Press 29th
The first lighthouses were built on the Casquets 30th
States of Guernsey voted to lower the voting age 31st