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Thursday, 28 March, 2002, 06:39 GMT
Friends mourn 'a lovely man'
Pete and Dud
Moore's partnership with Peter Cook made classic comedy
Friends and colleagues have been paying tribute to Dudley Moore CBE, who has died aged 66.

The comedian, actor and musician died at his home in New Jersey on Wednesday.

BBC chat show host Michael Parkinson described him as "a lovely man".

Dudley Moore
In November Moore collected his CBE
"He was the most charming of men and delightful company, a superb musician, a bloody good comedian," he said.

"But he didn't seem to understand what he had got. He was the opposite of the cocksure entertainer.

"He had a little boy lost quality about him, which women loved, and there was always something slightly forlorn about Dudley, even when he was being funny."

Bo Derek, co-star in one of his greatest film successes, 10, spoke of Moore's "wonderful magical quality".

Bo Derek
Bo Derek: "Dudley was a brilliant musician"
"He was hilariously funny and yet at the same time very sensitive," the actress said.

"Dudley was a brilliant musician and composer. Music was his first passion," she said, adding that he could have lived happily "without ever acting or telling jokes again."

Jazz singer Dame Cleo Laine, who knew Moore for almost 40 years, said: "In lots of ways it's a release for him.

"He had to be fed and washed and looked after like a baby."

She spoke of his humour, adding: "I remember him as somebody who could make you laugh, he was very easy going he just loved people and was very warm."

Film director Michael Winner said it was an "immensely sad day", and that "he was the most likeable man I ever met".

"Everybody loves the little fellow who makes good," he said.

 Jonathan Miller
Jonathan Miller: "He was irresistibly comic"
"His talent was special because the minute you saw him your heart went out to him and you were rooting for him."

Moore's Beyond The Fringe collaborator Jonathan Miller spoke of his appeal to women, saying: "He wasn't, thank God, the traditional hunk - there was something so overwhelmingly attractive and charming about his comic character, people didn't see how small he was.

"He was irresistibly comic - one didn't know what was going to happen."

And Dr Miller said his comedy work with Peter Cook would survive him, adding: "That's the most memorable thing - the most original stuff was what he did with Peter."

Alan Partridge creator Steve Coogan spoke of his fond memories of Moore's Beyond the Fringe work, saying: "That was a very, very important period - it was sort of the pre-cursor to Monty Python."

Michael Parkinson
Parkinson noted the star's insecurity
Alan Yentob, director of drama and entertainment for the BBC, paid tribute to "a one-off", noting both his comic and musical talents.

"First he conquered the Edinburgh Fringe and finally he conquered Hollywood," he said.

"Despite a long absence from England, he was genuinely loved by the British public. We will miss him."

Film critic Barry Norman described Moore as "a very nice bloke" with a "tremendous personality".

But he added: "He probably hadn't fulfilled all his talent and promise in all the areas in which he had talent and promise.

Michael Winner
Winner: "Immensely sad day"
"His comedy, music and acting - he never quite did enough."

Moore's long-time agent and friend, Lou Pitt, added: "His humour, his joy and his passion to make people laugh will be sorely and deeply missed."

Brigadier Michael Koe, head of the Society for Progressive Supranuclear Palsy, said that Moore had done a service in publicizing the rare disease.

"He was very courageous in revealing to the world that he had this disease.

"Until Dudley Moore came along no one had even heard of it," he said.

Jazz Musician, John Dankworth
"He was a lovely friend and a wonderful world-class musician"
Television personality Michael Parkinson
"There was something very sad about Dudley"
British film director Michael Winner
"Your heart went out to him"

Performing star



Picture gallery
Moore's life in pictures

See also:

16 Nov 01 | Showbiz
Dudley Moore receives CBE
04 Dec 00 | Entertainment
Dudley Moore talks of his "mystery disease"
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