When John Thaw, star of The Sweeney and Inspector Morse, died from cancer in 2002, a nation lost one of its finest actors, and Sheila Hancock lost a beloved husband. In this unique double biography she chronicles their lives, personal and professional, together and apart, growing up and growing older.John Thaw was born in Manchester, the son of a lorry driver. When he arrived at RADA on a scholarship he felt an outsider. In fact his timing was perfect: it was the sixties and television was beginning to make its mark. With his roles in Z-Cars and The Sweeney, fame came quickly. But it was John's role as Morse that made him an icon. In 1974 he married Sheila Hancock, with whom he shared a working-class background and a RADA education. Sheila was already the star of the TV series The Rag Trade and went on to become the first woman artistic director at the RSC.
Theirs was a sometimes turbulent, always passionate relationship, and in this remarkable book Sheila describes their love, weathering overwork and the pressures of celebrity, drink, and cancer, with honesty and piercing intelligence, and evokes two lives lived to the utmost.
"Constructed with considerable skill....A book of exceptional emotional candour." (Sunday Telegraph)
"An impressive and affecting work of art." (Spectator)
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sad and enthralling
I have not read the hardcover book. I knew John Thaw primarily through movies and television. This is the reason I chose the audio version. He seems more alive on this format.
I found the moment he found out he had esophageal cancer and the life he chose to live afterwards both brave and heart breaking. I still have his Morse episodes on CD. That is the beauty of this medium. He lives forever.
Sheila Hancock's performance spot on. I can not envision anyone else recording this. The emotion she conveys truly moved me. I listened to the audio book twice. Wonderful
John Thaw's dignity through his illness and his relationships were inspiring.
I just loved getting to know John Thaw the man, it gives me more insight into his characters.
- Mary "Thank God for a mother who read to me all the time. If it were not for her I would not leave the house without an iPod."