"Hooky" actor dies

Discussion in 'Films, Music and All Things Artsy' started by growler, Aug 16, 2005.

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  1. Just read obit in the telegraph of James Booth, the actor who played Hooky in Zulu. He also joined the army @ 17 and left as a captain. Sorry, don't have the link.
  2. From the Mirror:


    ZULU STAR BOOTH DIES, 77 Aug 14 2005
    By Tom Reilly

    JAMES Booth, the actor famous for playing Private Henry Hook in the film Zulu, has died aged 77.

    Booth, a former British Army Captain, starred in the 1964 war epic based on the battle of Rorke's Drift - the movie that also launched the career of Michael Caine.

    He became well known to audiences as Henry "Hookie" Hook - a soldier who, despite not having any ammunition, fought the Zulus off with just his bayonet.

    During the 1879 battle in South Africa, he also helped rescue eight patients in an Army hospital from certain death earning himself the Victoria Cross.

    Booth was also known for his role as the cowardly ex-convict Ernie Miles in David Lynch's surreal Twin Peaks series in the early 1990s.

    Booth was born in Croydon in 1927 and was married with two sons and two daughters.
  3. Vale Hookie , RIP
  4. Tis a very sad day... Zulu has probably been watched by every former and serving Sapper (due to Lt Chard and VC fame!) 10+ times!!!
    The Hooky character was brilliant in the film!

    RIP James Booth, you did Henry Hook proud with a brilliant performance...

    What We Do In Life...

    Echoes In Eternity...
  5. Does anyone know whether the real Hook was a malingering drunk and what happened to him post army
  6. From what I gather, he was not a malingerer and this was just something to spice the film up.
  7. Not sure if its true but I heard that the SWB's recruits had to watch "Zulu" as part of the induction ? 24 th regt of foot or in my day known as The South Wales Borderers.
  8. Mr_Fingerz

    Mr_Fingerz LE Book Reviewer

    1373 Private Alfred Henry Hook VC

    Private (later Sergeant) of the 2nd Battalion, 24th Regiment (later The South Wales Borderers). He was born in Churcham, Gloucestershire on 6th August, 1850 and died in Gloucester on 12th March 1905. His VC is on display at The Royal Regiment of Wales Museum.

    Account of deed: On 22/23 January 1879 at Rorke's Drift, Natal, South Africa a distant room of the hospital had been held for more than an hour by three privates and when finally they had no ammunition left the Zulus burst in, and killed one of the men and two patients. One of the privates (John Williams) however succeeded in knocking a hole in the partition and taking the last two patients through into the next ward, where he found Private Hook These two men then worked together - one holding the enemy at bayonet point while the other broke through three more partitions - and they were then able to bring eight patients into the inner line of defence.

    Account of Deed taken from 'The Register of the Victoria Cross', published by This England.

    Victoria Cross Reference Web Site - Henry Hook

    Rorke's Drift website - Henry Hook

    Henry Hook listed his trade as a farm labourer when he joined the army in 1877. He was married and had served with the Monmouth Militia before enlisting in the regular army. He was awarded his Victoria Cross at Rorke's Drift on 3rd August 1879 by Sir Garnet Wolseley. He left the army in 1880, but upon returning home, discovered that his wife, thinking he was dead, had remarried. He worked at the British Museum and remarried in 1897. He also served as a Sergeant in the 1st Volunteer battalion, Royal Fusiliers. He retired in 1904 due to ill health and died in his home at 2 Osborn Villas, Roseberry Avenue, Gloucester of pulmonary tuberculosis.

    Henry Hook is buried at St. Andrews, Churcham, Gloucestershire

    Burial Location VC Holders Web Site - Henry Hook

    (c) www.battlefield-site.co.uk

    (edited to put in the correct web addy)
  9. "Hooky" was definately a hero and not the malingerer that was portrayed by James Booth - Stanley Baker, who not only starred as Lt Chard but was an executive Producer, wanted a role for his mate James. Pte Hook was in fact a West Country boy and not a moaning Cockney. In fact the 24th Foot at Rorkes Drift were NOT the South Wales Borderers but the 2nd Bn the Warwickshire Regiment - Brummies!

    Another interesting fact is that C/Sgt Bourne was a 24 year old who was offered a commision instead of a VC. He declined the commission and this snub to the officer class was probably the reason why he only got a DCM. He was commsioned two years later and appointed Adjutant at the musketry school at Hythe. He retired in 1907 but during WW1 he re-enlisted and took on the role of Adj at the musketry school in Dublin. He retired at the end of the war as a Lt Col.
  10. Some HAC types attended a training camp in Folkestone (c1903?), attached to a TA Fusilier battalion. They reported Hook as being an ever present in the mess.
  11. http://www.jamesbooth.org/frame.htm

    Though Zulu stages the battle pretty accurately, it invents most of the story's dramatic details. Memorable moments like the Zulu wedding dance, the battlefield "singing contest," and the final Zulu "salute" are pure fiction. So are the characterizations.

    The most controversial invention is "Hooky," the interpretation of Private Alfred Henry Hook as played by James Booth in the film's most thoroughly-developed subplot. A Cockney thief sentenced to military service, who retaliates by malingering and insubordination, Hooky is the film's one rebellious character--an explosive bundle of earthy humor, cynical intelligence, and rage. He fights only reluctantly, but bravely enough to win Britain's highest military decoration, making him the quintessential James Booth character: a heroic antihero and “charming rogue” par excellence. The real Hook was, apparently, nothing like this. His descendants insist (and Zulu War buffs never tire of repeating) that Hook was a model soldier, teetotaler, and family man. But Zulu depicts enough "team players"; Hooky serves as a focus for disaffected, dispossessed, Lumpenproletarian, and freaky sympathies, as well as a vivid, engaging reminder that the locus of value is the individual. He occasions the best performance of James Booth’s career, and is the main reason Booth is remembered today.

    Michael Caine has described in his autobiography the experience of arriving to audition for the part of Hook, only to be told that James Booth had already been cast because "We figured he looked more Cockney than you do." Caine writes, "I knew Jimmy Booth, who was a very good actor and I had to agree, he did look more Cockney than me--very tough indeed." The role of Bromhead was offered to Caine almost as an afterthought. However these casting decisions were made, the outcome is perfect. Caine's gorgeous, snotty Bromhead made him a star, while James Booth--dark, rugged, oozing with masculinity and dangerousness--was obviously born to play the physically demanding part of Hook. Booth seems strong and fit here and a little more muscular than usual. The uniform in all its manifestations emphasizes his broad shoulders, flat stomach, and long legs. The tufted sideburns, cowlick, and neck scarf flatter his face, as do the dark shadows around his eyes and the deep lines in his brow. No effort is made to pretty him up. He looks fabulous.
  12. hook was tea total! according to the author michael glover who wrote the book "rorkes drift".
  13. Zulu was made in the 60s. A film made at that time without a "Hooky" type anti-hero probably wouldnt have seen the light of day. A bit of tweaking with the old actualite is a small price to pay for one of the greatest rainy sunday afternoon films of all time
  14. I thought all the acting in Zulu was top notch, with the exception of Caine's, which always struck me as pretty forced and unconvincing.
  15. Cutaway

    Cutaway LE Reviewer

    Getting a bit worried about you Murielson...