Ivor Emmanuel 1927-2007

#1
Welsh actor and singer Ivor Emmanuel has died in Malaga, Spain, at the age of 80.

Ivor Emmanuel was most famous for his appearance as Pte. Owen in the 1964 film Zulu, a dramatisation of the 1879 Battle of Rouke Drift in South Africa, starring fellow Welshman Stanley Baker. During a lull in the battle he raises spirits with a rendition of 'Men of Harlech' one of the memorable moments of screen history.

His rich, warm voice made him a natural for American musicals. At Drury Lane, he played Sgt. Kenneth Johnson in South Pacific (1951-53), then in The King and I and Plain and Fancy. At the London Coliseum, he played Joe Hardy in Damn Yankees (1957)and Finian's Rainbow.

He retired to Benalmadena, a village near Malaga on Spain's Costa del Sol, in 1982 with his wife Malini. He had one daughter, Emily.

Stanley Baker's widow Ellen Baker said, "It is a terribly sad day. It was Ivor who held Zulu together . He was the linchpin and I just adored him. He was the sweetest most gentle man."

Born in 1927, in Pontrhydyfen, near Port Talbot, the same village as Richard Burton, he started his working life in the mines and steelworks of South Wales after a German bomb killed his parents and sister during World War II.

As a young man he joined Pont-rhydyfen Operatic Society and often carried a wind-up gramophone up the mountains to listen to records of Enrico Caruso.


R.I.P.
 
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