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Thursday, 28 March, 2002, 11:57 GMT
Tributes flood in for Moore
Dudley Moore
Moore received a CBE from Prince Charles last year
The friends and former colleagues of Dudley Moore have paid tribute to the celebrated entertainer, following his death from a rare brain condition.

Moore died at his New Jersey home on Wednesday, after the degenerative supranuclear palsy which plagued the final years of his life led to pneumonia.

Liza Minnelli, Moore's co-star in the hit movie Arthur, said: "He was a wonderful man. He was funny and dear and supportive and hilarious and he was one of my heroes."

Moore spoke to Minnelli just days before his death, managing to say to her "I love you".

Her fondest memories of are his capacity to make others happy.

Dud and Pete
Moore's partnership with Peter Cook created a comedy classic
"There were so many times during Arthur that we had to stop the camera because we were laughing too hard, and then we'd stop laughing and somebody in the crew would start, so we had to do things like 20 times," she said.

Jazz singer Dame Cleo Laine, who knew the comedian, actor and musician 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."

Like many of those close to Moore 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."

Sex symbol

Among the many other celebrities who spoke of their sadness following Moore's death at the age of 66 was film critic Barry Norman.

He described "cuddly Dudley's" reputation as a sex symbol, saying: "He had a tremendous personality, very amusing. A very nice bloke and, of course, he was funny and women do like men to be funny."

Chat show host Michael Parkinson said: "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."

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."

Jazz pianist

Moore's spokeswoman Michelle Bega said he died, "surrounded by friends, his nurse and medical aides at the time of his passing".

Moore at the piano
Comedy may have obscured Moore's musical talent
Born into a working-class family in Dagenham, east London, his gift for music won him an organ scholarship to Oxford's Magdalen College.

But he gained attention for writing incidental music for the stage and TV, and performing in cabaret.

He left Oxford in 1958 as an accomplished jazz pianist, performing with Johnny Dankworth and touring the US for a year with the Vic Lewis band.

Comedy icons

On his return he met the late Peter Cook and was asked to join Beyond The Fringe, a comedy revue at the Edinburgh Festival.

Also featuring Alan Bennett and Jonathan Miller, the show ran for four years in London and New York after the festival finished.

Dudley Moore
Moore attended Cook's memorial in 1995
His partnership with Peter Cook led to the creation of the classic comic characters Dud and Pete, comedy icons on both sides of the Atlantic.

Moore then went on to pursue a successful career in Hollywood, starring in a number of hit screen comedies, as well as a few less successful movies.

Most notably, he played alongside Bo Derek in the movie 10 in 1979.

His role as a hard-drinking millionaire in the 1981 film Arthur then won him an Oscar nomination.

Dudley Moore
Moore was "thrilled" with his CBE
But in the late 1990s Moore suffered from a number of illnesses and was fired from Barbra Streisand's film The Mirror Has Two Faces because he found he could not remember his lines.

Despite rumours of drug use, he was found to have developed the rare condition Progressive Supranuclear Palsy.

He told the public of his condition in September 1999, saying that his vision had become hazy, his walking was impaired and speech slurred.

He spoke of his frustrations at the disease, saying: "It's totally mysterious the way this illness attacks, and eats you up, and then spits you out.

"There's always this feeling of why did it hit me? and I cannot make peace with it because I know I am going to die from it."

Moore said the affliction had robbed him of his greatest pleasure - his ability to play music.

In November 2001 Moore flew to the UK to be made a CBE by Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace in London.

Peter Cook and Dudley Moore
Moore was famed for his work with Cook
The ailing star, who received his award in a wheelchair, had been honoured in the overseas and diplomatic Birthday Honours list in June of that year.

Charity

He leaves two sons, one from his second marriage, the other from his fourth.

His spokeswoman said funeral services were being arranged and that a memorial service would be planned for an unspecified date.

She asked that donations in his memory be made to two charities favoured by Moore - Music for All Seasons and the Dudley Moore Research Fund for PSP.

A tribute to Dudley Moore will be shown on BBC1 at 2300GMT on Saturday.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's David Willis
"He'll be best remembered for playing drunk millionaire Arthur"
Jazz Musician, John Dankworth
"He was a lovely friend and a wonderful world-class musician"
British film director Michael Winner
"Your heart went out to him"
Television personality Michael Parkinson
"There was something very sad about Dudley"


Performing star

AUDIO/VIDEO

TALKING POINT

Picture gallery
Moore's life in pictures

See also:

27 Mar 02 | Showbiz
Comedian Dudley Moore dies
16 Nov 01 | Showbiz
Dudley Moore receives CBE
04 Dec 00 | Entertainment
Dudley Moore talks of his "mystery disease"
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