Some pictorial memories of Brian, and a page from the order of service. tributes were paid by Paul & Linda Elliott and by Robin Asquith at the service on Tuesday 26th January.
During a long association with the master farceur Ray Cooney, Brian Godfrey appeared in many of the veteran’s romps, most notably Run for Your Wife. He also took part in foreign tours mounted by Derek Nimmo in his role as an impresario. In addition, he played dame or ugly sister for no fewer than 25 years for Qdos Entertainment, the world’s largest pantomime producer.
Godfrey came from a theatrical family. His grandmother appeared in pantomime at the old Surrey Theatre; his uncle was the Cockney character actor, Tommy Godfrey.
At the age of 14, he was seen in the Judy Garland movie I Could Go On Singing. For Cooney, currently celebrating 70 years in showbusiness, he was assistant director at the Whitehall Theatre. In Run for Your Wife, he was cast as Bobby Franklin, the gay neighbour of a bigamously married cab driver, whose life, in the tradition of farce, is unbelievably complicated. He played the role more than any other actor, both in London and around the world. Other Cooney farces in which he took part included Wife Begins at Forty and Caught in the Net.
Godfrey’s television career began with Z-Cars and Dr Finlay’s Casebook and went on to embrace Jackanory, Father, Dear Father, the Kenny Everett Television Show and Hi-de-Hi!, in which he played a holiday camp comic after Ted Bovis, portrayed by Paul Shane, was sacked.
His film career was less successful. Queen Kong, a 1976 spoof of King Kong, never even made it to the screen after the producer Dino De Laurentiis (whose own big-budget remake was released the same year) successfully launched a legal injunction against it. The 2012 cinema version of Run for Your Wife, in which Godfrey had a cameo role, grossed only £600 during its first weekend after being panned by the critics.
Brian Godfrey was born on May 26, 1949 and died on December 25, 2015 at the age of 66.
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