Sunday, March 11, 2007

"I'm Free!!" John Inman 1935-2007

The last sale has been rung, and Mr Humphries is no longer free. John Inman, the brilliant British comedian who was immortalized in the long running series "Are You Being Served?" died in London Thursday March 8. He was 71, losing a battle to Hepatitis A he contracted a few years ago.

Anyone who ever caught the show remembers his catch phrase "I'm free!!" as he minced and pranced his way around the Gentlemen's Department at the fictitious Grace Brothers' Department Store. His sexuality was always ambiguous and was frequently used to set up a comic situation or a racy quip. His high pitched voice immediately deepened to manly "Mennnswear," when required to answer the phone. He was for certain a certified mama's boy and sometimes sported the latest in flashy, often tasteless fashions.

Are You Being Served? ran on British TV until 1985. It is still a staple of US Public Television. Inman's portrayal of Mr Humphries won him the BBC TV Personality of the Year in 1976 and he was voted the funniest man on television in the UK. He was also a famed "Pantomime Dame" playing campy female roles in drag in many theatre productions in the UK.

So Mr. Humphries, here is to you! I hope your Y fronts ride up with age gracefully. He is survived by his partner Ron Lynch.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Keep up the good work.