Along with Michael Caine and Terence Stamp, Tom Courtenay is a living link to the glory years of 1960s British cinema, when his performances in The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner and Billy Liar were key to the success of the British New Wave. . Courtenay is also a master of acting, having originated the title role in Alan Ayckbourn’s The Norman Conquests in 1974, and another Norman, in The Dresser in 1980, which he reprized in the hit film adaptation a few years back. later which won him an Oscar. nomination.
Most recently, the Rada-educated actor won awards opposite Charlotte Rampling in the winter wedding drama 45 Years; reimagined Clive Dunn’s Corporal Jones for the 2016 Dad’s Army cinematic update; starred in King of Thieves in 2018 with Michael Caine, Jim Broadbent and Ray Winstone; and voiced Prince Philip in the 2019 animation, The Queen’s Corgi. Now 85, he is back in The Railway Children Return, a sequel to the original 1970 Second World War filming in Yorkshire, with Jenny Agutter reprising the role of Bobbie as an adult.
So an extraordinary career – even before he was diagnosed and cured of prostate cancer in 2004. Even that didn’t deter him. “I know you shouldn’t talk about it,” Courtenay told the Guardian in 2018, “but I’ve done some of my best work since my diagnosis. Then there was my new hip in 2007, my eyes in 2018 …” Hoping he feels a little better in 2022.
In 1963 Courtenay released the single Mrs Brown, You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter. He is President of the Official Hull City Supporters Club and has the Honorary Freedom of the City of Hull. Oh, and he’s a gentleman, so we’ll see if we should curtsey and address him as such when we meet him next Tuesday, July 5, to ask your questions. So paste them below before noon on Monday, July 4and we’ll publish his answers in Film & Music on Friday July 15 and online.