The announcement today of the death of the actor Tony Curtis reminded me of one of the greatest TV series of my youth, ‘The Persuaders’, and how as a young teenager, I wished I could be like ’Danny Wilde’.
When Roger Moore bid farewell to seven years of playing Simon Templar in The Saint, he thought he was being lined up to play James Bond. But fate and Lew Grade had other ideas and after offering Moore wads of cash, teamed him up with Tony Curtis for ‘The Persuaders’.
Whilst Roger Moore was (sort of) okay in The Persuaders (and played his character, Lord Brett Sinclair,…. as he played all of his characters… as ‘himself’) it was Tony Curtis as Danny Wilde who gave the series both its bite and its humour.
Curtis was (apparently) murder to work with and as unpredictable as a stick of dynamite with a slow fuse. However, despite being middle-aged he could still do all his own stuntwork and be able to throw in a ‘Danny-like’ quick and totally-unscripted one-liner into the mix that whilst leaving the other actors in fits of laughter, gave the scene the appeal it so richly deserved.
Rest in peace, Tony, and thanks for all those great childhood memories as my then hero, Danny Wilde, the millionaire playboy in his trademark Ferrari Dino. In fact, I still have your car, Danny, and now and again I take it down from its shelf, give it a dust down and take it out for a quick spin.
(‘Dum, dum, dee-dah… dum, dum, dee-dahhh’)…..