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Last Updated: Monday, 29 December, 2003, 16:23 GMT
Your tributes to Sir Alan Bates
Sir Alan Bates
Sir Alan Bates was knighted in 2003
Below are some of your tributes to actor Sir Alan Bates, who died on Saturday aged 69.

I was the producer on the BBC 1 Production of Love in a Cold Climate in 2000 for which Alan was nominated for a BAFTA . I will always remember him fondly for the support and encouragement he gave the young director and the younger members of the cast and the friendship he gave to all of us. It was also a crackingly funny performance that he clearly relished giving.
Kate Harwood, London, England

As a neighbour for several years one could see the devoted father, the totally approachable and lovable, open man, free of his 'fame'.
Peter Burian, London UK

What a presence he had! Such a gorgeous man, and also a truly superb character actor. An Englishman Abroad remains one of the most fantastic things ever seen on TV, in my opinion. Bless you, Alan, and you shan't be forgotten.
Maggie Donaldson, Oxford, UK

What a great shame to hear of the passing of Alan Bates, I had the pleasure of meeting him in the early 60s in the privacy of a relative's home. The most down to earth man you could meet and over the years never changed. Myself and I know everyone from Derby will miss him.
Terry Chapman, Tiverton, Devon, UK

I was privileged to see his Petruchio at Stratford in 1973. It was the best portrayal I've ever seen, and was the highlight of a fantastic production. My most treasured memory was the way Alan Bates handled a potentially disastrous interruption from the audience; someone stood up halfway through the first act, shouting that the interpretation was a disgrace and generally causing a fuss.

Alan stood still a second, then advanced downstage, leaned across the footlights, and hissed "**** off!". Cue a standing ovation by a grateful audience. Alan - you were a fine actor who never got the recognition you deserved. Thank you for all the enjoyment you gave us, and rest in peace.
John Masters, East Molesey, UK

Alan Bates was once me. That's to say, he played me - in Nicholas' Gift, a made-for-television film about the murder of my seven year-old son, Nicholas, in Italy. Both he and Jamie Lee Curtis, who played my wife, were so caught up in the unfolding drama - and the subsequent inspiration when Nicholas' donated organs saved the lives of five young Italians - that neither appeared to be acting at all.

The memory of the loss of his own son clearly added an extra dimension of awareness. The scene, when Nicholas has just been shot and is taken away in an ambulance, he told me, was one of the bleakest moments of his life, though fully aware, of course, that it was just a stage prop with a boy actor inside. It was the ability to sink himself into the character he was playing, and yet remain detached enough to cope with all the fussy complications of film-making, that helped make him such a compelling performer. Thank you, Alan, for the pleasure you have given us all.
Reg Green, Bodega Bay, California, USA

I was stunned to hear of my favourite actor's untimely passing. He had many great roles ahead. He is gone too soon. I shall always remember him as Gabriel Oak in Far From the Madding Crowd and Ted Burgess in The Go-Between. There are no words to express my sadness.
Claudette Harris, Austin TX USA

A truly magical performance in Women in Love not forgetting of course Far from the Madding Crowd. He will never be forgotten. Hoping to see more of him on the screen in the next few weeks - especially A Kind of Loving. So sorry to hear of his passing. Will miss his good looks. Condolences to his family.
G Haberfield, Millom, Cumbria.

Alan Bates was one of the best actors of all time. He was an outstanding and excellent actor. Unfortunately he died too young, he will be missed. My condolences to his family
Danielle, The Netherlands

May 28, 2002, my sister Donna, my husband Lorenzo, and myself saw Alan Bates in Fortune's Fool. It was on of the highlights of our lives, having adored him in all his film performances. We met him after the performance. He kindly gave us autographs and chatted. What a charming and talented man. When we told him that surely the Tony was going to be his, he touched his heart and said, "One can only hope." Thank you for touching our hearts, Mr. Bates. We will never forget you.
Marie Laliberte, Naples, Florida, USA

What to add? Except to say that I will never forget the thrill of Alan Bates, when the world was young. But he has brought me even greater pleasure in later years in An Englishman Abroad, Oliver's Travels, Gosford Park, The Cherry Orchard, and Love in a Cold Climate.

I have celebrated his marvellous career with an Alan Bates Video Festival this week, watching Quartet, An Unmarried Woman, Far From the Madding Crowd, The King of Hearts and Georgie Girl (twice). Though now I will never see him on the stage and meet him at the stagedoor as others have done, I can watch these splendid performances over and over again and remember and dream. Thank you Sir Alan Bates.
Judith Cheney, Asheville, North Carolina, USA

I'm the manager of Alan's website, the Alan Bates Archive, http://alanbates.com. Over the last ten years he became a dear friend, and my family and I already miss him terribly. Alan was at the top of his form as an actor; he had come through the refining fire of years of personal tragedy, was once again savouring life, and seemed ready to do his best work. We are missing his Falstaff, his Lear, his further ventures into comedy, and so much more.

I have one request to the BBC on behalf of legions of fans: please PLEASE issue "Oliver's Travels" on DVD, or even VHS! I have had thousands of requests since 1995, from all over the world for this charming mini. Now is the time, as a tribute to Alan's fine work at the BBC.
Karen Rappaport, Stow, Massachusetts USA and Lewisham, South London

I was fortunate enough to work with Alan in A Patriot For Me at the Ahmanson in L.A. When I first met him in London during rehearsals, I told him that I loved everything he had been in. He replied " Surely, not everything!". I will miss you my friend.
Nameer El-Kadi, Los Angeles U.S.A,

My wife Jan, daughter Lara and I were immensely privileged to have known Alan. We found him to be a bright light in our lives. He was above all modest, caring and genuine, the best type of human being. Our friendship was very important to us and the time spent with him was always happy and enjoyable.

Once after watching him on Broadway in 'The Unexpected Man' Alan treated us to a meal at The Firebird in New York and we had a wonderful evening in his company. On leaving the restaurant we walked arm in arm towards our hotel and came across a tramp curled up in a doorway. Alan went over to the guy and spoke to him for several minutes before giving him some money for food. It wasn't the money he gave the man but the time he spent talking to him which made Alan the person he was. Larger than life and always giving of himself to others.

Yes he was a great man in his own right, remarkable and wonderful and we feel so lucky to have spent time together. Some people have said that he wasn't a SUPERSTAR, well let me tell you that he was and if you care to look at his web site www.alanbates.com you will be blown-away by the quality, quantity and breadth of his work.

Our thoughts are with all Alan's friends and family, but especially to Ben, Joanna and Rosemary who gave him so much love, and to Karen who has made Alan's website a tribute to the man.
Mike Palmer, St John - Torpoint - England

I am so glad I went way out of my way to see a number of his stage performances...including a long queue for his Philip Larkin poetry at the National. His Antony, unexpected by many, was superb. Early on I saw Butley; I wanted to see it again but was persuaded by friends to see my first Ayckbourn instead; I sat through it unimpressed, thinking repeatedly "I could be watching Bates as Butley!" A deep sense of loss for a masterful actor.
Susan, Chicago USA

He was the finest actor to emerge from that astonishing bumber crop of talent in the early sixties. My favourite Bates performance was the one he gave in A Kind of Loving.
Robert del Valle, Detroit USA

I was extremely saddened to hear of the death of Sir Alan Bates, a favourite actor of mine for many years. I was never fortunate to see him on stage but enjoyed (and will continue to do so) his film roles immensely. My favourite role of his, as many have said already is in 'Far from the Madding crowd'. My sympathies to his family and friends now he has taken his final bow.
Gaynor Kaufman, Perivale, England

I first saw Alan Bates in 1971 appearing in "The Go Between". He was a handsome devil then as he continued to be throughout his life. Then there was a re-run of television's "Far From The Madding Crowd". I shall never forget that scene where he shot that dog because his sheep were killed. Very disturbing. The killing was all off camera but one could see the savagery in Bates' face when he held that rifle. Now that is an actor!
Pamela Harvey-Declouette, College Park, Georgia

I loved every movie Sir Alan acted in, he was a very talented actor and I shall miss him terribly although I will be able to view many of his movies on T.V. and videos, may he rest in peace.
Jean Scales, Toronto,Canada

A great, great loss to British stage and cinema, and to all persons capable of appreciating his craftsmanship. Alas being in the antipodes I never got to see him on stage, but every film performance I have seen is exemplary. Like many other viewers I particularly loved his performance in Far from the Madding Crowd, and equally in Women in Love. The Go-Between was also a triumph for him. Very very sorely missed.
Jeff Perkins, Sydney Australia

The wind has been knocked out of me since hearing of the death of the wonderful Alan Bates. I was 12 when I first saw him, in Georgy Girl, and I followed his career ever after. When I was younger I had a joke with my boyfriends, that the only man I'd ever leave them for was Alan Bates. I told my husband, though, that I wouldn't even leave him for Alan Bates - the ultimate compliment.

In Alan Bates's movie and television roles, he explored intensely all aspects of his characters' connections to the world and to other people. He did this unflinchingly, but, to my observation, with deep humanism, honesty, and care. Bless you for protecting the integrity of your characters. It always seemed an act of generosity.

I watched you get old - and maybe not quite as pretty - but your continuing searches into souls, and your seeming goodness and intelligence and imagination deepened your beauty, especially your gaze. And that makes me feel good about having loved you when I was 12. You provided a model of spirit, love, strength, and, always, honesty.
Ruth Klue, Hartford, Connecticut

When I saw the film of "Butley" in 1974, Alan Bates instantly became the most fascinating actor I had ever seen, and he has been my favourite ever since. I saw him on stage many times, and met him personally several times as well; he was a great man both on stage and off. The only bright spot in the darkness of his passing is that he won the Tony Award and received his knighthood before he left us.
Carol Robinson, New York, USA

A great loss, I shall always remember Separate Tables, and his performance in the Man from Kiev, among many others, a sad loss, for everyone who loved good acting.
Hernando Canardo, Buenos Aires, Argentina

One of the best actors has died, he will be missed. I always enjoyed his work and I will continue to do so. Thanks for the great work. I will remember you. My condolences to his family.
Danielle, The Netherlands

You will be greatly missed, Dear Alan. "You're The TOP!" It just doesn't get any better than Alan Bates.
Linda, North Carolina, USA

I'm 35 years old. When I was a teenager I loved Tom Cruise. Then, around the age of 21 or 22 I saw Georgy Girl. Goodbye Tom, hello Alan Bates. Love at first sight. He is a joy to watch. No matter how heart-wrenching the scene, I always have a little smile on my face. Pure joy. Thank you, Sir Alan.
Amelia Matthers, Lake City, Pennsylvania, USA

My most cherished theatrical memory is of seeing the original production of Look Back in Anger at the Royal Court in 1956. Alan Bates gave a stellar performance as Cliff Lewis: physically energetic and emotionally sensitive, he was brilliant. And everything he did after that was also brilliant in different ways.
Deirdre David, London, UK

Sir Alan Bates was indeed one of the finest actors of our time. He was one of a kind and will be sorely missed. Fortunately, we can still watch him perform in the many great movies he made.
Derek O'Neil, Halifax, Canada.

Wonderful actor with perfect performances in movies like The Go-Between, Women in Love, An Unmarried Woman. His final encounter with Jill Clayburgh in Paul Mazursky's forgotten masterpiece An Unmarried Woman is one of the best scenes of its kind.
Sina Ohadinia, UK

The warmth of this fine actor showed itself so beautifully in the television serial, Oliver's Travels, and this fine quality, paired with the finest of acting skills to be found, projected a dimension that went straight to our hearts and minds until one felt that he was as familiar as a much-loved family member. I hope he knew how much he touched a willing audience. He will be missed..
Christine Dugdale, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

His brilliant performance in Fortune's Fool restored my faith in Broadway theatre.
Gerald Williams, New York, USA

A great loss to the theatre and film world. There is now a void which will not be easily filled.
Jill Chapman, Luton, England

Such a sad loss to the world of British cinema and theatre. A true gentleman. Kind, courteous, modest, and understated. My condolences to his family and friends.

What a great loss to film, television and theatre!

I had the pleasure of working with him about 10 years ago, and also talking to him on the phone as a customer a couple of years later. He came aross as a quiet, intelligent, friendly and polite man who will be greatly missed.
Claire Driver, London, England

The man was incredible to watch in every film he was in. His brooding intelligence flowed across the screen. Alas, I never had the privilege of seeing him do live theatre.
Melissa Bell, Cabin John, Maryland USA

So very sad to hear the news. A brilliant and charismatic actor who we can never replace.
Jenny Crockwell, Lichfield, England

Sadly, we didn't see nearly enough of this fine actor in the UK. Sir Alan Bates's presence was captivating especially in Far From the Madding Crowd. My daughter, who was two at the time of this performance, sent a sketch of him in the role and he very kindly sent a lovely letter in return. I think he is a very sad loss for many of us.
Juliet, S.W. England

Looking at today's tv programmes and seeing that The Mayor of Casterbridge was to be shown, I thought of Alan Bates and his inimicable performance. How ironic. Rest in Peace Alan, we shan't forget you!
Rosemary Watkins, Hampshire

So sad to hear the news of Alan Bates' death. We will no longer be able to enjoy his charismatic stage appearances but I'm sure his wonderful films will continue to give much pleasure over the years.
Jenny Crockwell, Lichfield, England

Alan Bates's performances in two Simon Gray plays of the seventies, Butley and Otherwise Engaged were masterful. I've since seen these plays performed by other respected actors, but he brought a depth to them I've not seen replicated. Utter class.
Phil Atkinson, Edinburgh, UK

A great actor, Sir Alan will be greatly missed. I have been a fan of Sir Alan's for many years. He seemed to be a natural. My sympathies to his family.
Josephine Harrison, Coventry, W Midlands

Alan Bates's acting displayed all kinds of emotions and tones but there was an underlying sweetness that was very special and uplifting.

If Zorba were around he would be deeply saddened to see his "boss" depart.
Phil Mader, Ottawa, Canada

I hope that Alan's family will gain comfort from the appreciative comments made by his fans on the net and by the fact that there are so many of them from all over the world. Not only did I find him extremely sexy, as another person has mentioned, but he was also a superb actor in so many parts and appeared to be such a nice person. It is impossible to single out films, as they all have their merits, and I am only sorry that he can't read all these comments now and realise how much he was admired.
Della Russell, Macclesfield, England

Although a very private man, Alan Bates was unfailingly kind to fans who wished to meet him after a stage performance. My husband and I had the privilege of meeting him on several occasions - a note to the stage door before a performance would guarantee this - and he would chat to us with great warmth and friendliness, always modest and unassuming about his work. On one occasion he telephoned personally to apologise for forgetting to thank us for a first-night 'good luck' card. Such amazing kindness and courtesy towards a middle-aged fan.

It is surely a coincidence worthy of Thomas Hardy that his death was announced on the day that a new TV production of 'The Mayor of Casterbridge' was screened. The 1978 BBC version was one of Bates's finest roles. Perhaps the BBC will consider a season of Bates's films to mark the passing of this great actor? He will be sorely missed.
Josephine Pentney, Taunton, England

I wrote a movie for Alan Bates. When he was in L.A. performing "Voyage Round My Father", I snuck backstage and introduced myself, explaining that I was a young filmmaker and wrote this character of an irreverent sometimes lunatic headmaster especially for him . He graciously took the script, and within days agreed to play the part.

Incredibly, a major studio then "green lit" the movie - until Dustin Hoffman inserted himself and the studio stopped the presses and it became an Dustin Hoffman movie which, naturally, never got made. I flew to London to meet Alan at a coffee shop in Hampstead, we both liked to tell him in person, and to apologise.

We were both disappointed, and I'll never forget his kindness. My condolences to his family. Alan Bates was an extraordinarily gifted actor of great power and joie de la vie whose distinctive impish twinkle could make me laugh and cry at will. Goodbye, Mr. Bates.
Alan Shapiro, Los Angeles, CA, USA

My condolences to his loved ones. I saw Alan Bates' wonderful performance in "Fortune's Fool" on Broadway. He made me laugh and cry simultaneously in the scene where he becomes drunker and drunker and funnier and funnier and heartbreaking at last. What a fine actor, and it sounds like he was a decent man, too.
Stephanie Kasper, Milwaukee, Wisconsin USA

I was deeply saddened to learn of the loss of Sir Alan Bates to the world. He was a wonderfully talented actor and he has left a tremendous body of work. I offer my deepest condolences and prayers to his son Benedick, and to all of his loved ones.
S. Trahan, Lafayette, Louisiana USA

The world has lost a great actor. I will always remember him in his role in Zorba The Greek. My deepest sympathy to his family and to his admirers.
Abdel R Mohammad, Columbus, Ohio, USA

On Saturday night, a friend invited me to watch a movie I had often mentioned as having played a key role in my life : Zorba the Greek. I was about 19 when I had seen it for the first time and, watching it again, I could hardly believe how, some 37 years later, it resonated as deeply in my soul, with a noticeable difference though: I now understand why. When we finished watching the movie, I said: "Next time, why don't you rent "Women in Love", that is another milestone movie I would love to see again."

The next morning, I heard on the news that Alan Bates, a leading actor in both movies had passed away during that same night, maybe as we were watching him on a screen. Struck by that synchronicity, I doubt I will ever forget the dialogue between Antony Quinn and Alan Bates:

Q- Why do the young die? Why does anybody die, tell me?

B- I don't know.

Q - What's the use of all your damn books? If they don't tell you that, what the hell do they tell you?

B - They tell me about the agony of men who can't answer questions like yours.

Why did you die, Alan Bates, or... did you? Thank you for having given voice to such depth.
Daniel Laguitton, Sutton, Canada

I had the pleasure of working with him on a TV movie I wrote once. I was a little shy of meeting him because I'd grown up watching his work (I'm particularly fond of The Collection, the TV version of the Pinter he did with Olivier, Helen Mirren and Maloclm McDowell). He couldn't have been more gracious or charming.

A couple years back, he starred on Broadway in Fortune's Fool. It was easily one of a handful of great performances I have seen in a lifetime of theatre-going. The Tony Awards got it right and gave him a "best actor" trophy. A great career and a lovely man.
Jeffrey Sweet, NYC, NY

It was 1968, when the film Zorba the Greek, came to my small and isolated town in Fiji.The name Anthony Quinn actually drew the crowd. But little did I know, that I was about to add another actor in my list of favourites that eventually became my top film actor of all times.

Sir Alan's performance in this film was brilliant in every sense of the word. Soon the whole town knew this new actor Alan Bates.. "the Englishman in white suit!"

Since 1968 I have made it my mission to see every film that he has acted in. None have disappointed me.

The world has lost a great actor and a good human being. He has left a legacy that will be hard to match.....truely "A man for all seasons."

My deepest condolences to his family and friends.
Shafeed Rahman, Prince George , B.C., Canada.

I've for years looked to Britain for the best performances and productions. Alan Bates was one of the most gifted and is a great loss.
Barbara Jepson, Sequim, Washington, USA

A tragic loss to the theatrical world; a unique artistic talent is not replaceable...
PM Bates, UK/US

I had the great pleasure to meet Sir Alan when he was playing in A Patriot For Me at the Theatre Royal, Haymarket while I worked there. He was a true star, I think, who was equally riveting on stage and on film (a rare commodity). I remember the raw power of his performance in The Shout, and the heartbreak of The Go-Between in particular. My condolences to his family.
Keith Gumery, Philadelphia, PA USA

A shame, a damn shame.
Martyn Twidle, Kings Lynn, UK

He was a wonderful actor and I always looked forward to seeing him on the screen. Such great range but you always could sense the gentility of the man. I so much enjoyed seeing him in Gosford Park recently. I only wish I could have seen him on stage. He will be sorely missed.
Jack, USA

Far From the Madding Crowd was always our favourite and I found myself always taping it when it appeared again on television, I now have 3 VHS copies. He always excelled playing in Victorian masterpiece theatre on TV and we will all miss him.
Michael & Bernadette Cahill, Scottsdale, Arizona, USA

A wonderful actor and I always enjoyed seeing him on the screen. He had such range but you always sensed the gentility of the man. Was very happy to see him in Gosford Park recently. He will be sorely missed.
Jack, USA

A great loss to British theatre and cinema. I never missed his films or when ever I was able to see him perform in London theatre. Truely a brilliant and sensitive actor.
Prof. Moussa B.H. Youdim, Haifa, Israel

Alan Bates belonged to that group of actors who added depth to the resurgent British movie industry of the 1960s. Along with Albert Finney, Tom Courteney, Richard Harris and others, Alan Bates was a vital force in restoring the international reputation of British film acting.
Eric Nellis, Richmond, British Columbia, Canada

He brought class and style to all his projects. His last New York stage performance in Fortunes Fool was dazzling and stands as a magnificent testament to the actor he was.
Barry H. Greene, New York, NY

A great actor. Over the years I have enjoyed so many of his performances. My condolences to his family. He will be greatly missed.
Anne Docherty, Montreal, Canada

Very sad to hear of the loss of Alan Bates, one of my favourite actors over many years. I had the privilege of seeing him perform on stage in a Shakespeare play as Richard III in Stratford, Ontario in 1967 and he was a familiar face around town for that summer, always friendly and polite. My deepest sympathies go to his family and friends. He will be missed by many around the world.
Andrea Pretli, Windsor, Ontario, Canada

I remember him as the gentle, somewhat shy, bookish "boss" in Zorba the Greek, who learned how to dance by the end of the film. He was a charismatic, evidently very sensitive man, stylish. Can one have any feeling except a sense of deep personal loss hearing this news?
Mr. James Grist, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

I loved Alan Bates in The King of Hearts which most people seem to have forgotten. A beautiful film with a quirky sense of humour. He will be missed.
Wallace Ryan, St. John's, the Republic of Newfoundland

Excellent actor. Very professional. Condolences to his family.
Rao Nanduri, Montreal, Canada

In his seemingly effortless portrayals of droll, offbeat characters, Alan Bates was the embodiment of fine English acting and, indeed, of Englishness. Will always be fondly remembered for his role in Georgy Girl, a defining film and character for the Sixties generation.
John Green, Montreal, Canada

Very sad to hear of Sir Alan Bates's death! He was truly a great actor of our time. I particularly enjoyed his performance in Women in Love. What a terrible loss to the acting community and Great Britain!
Alison Dalal-Haugen, Wisconsin, USA

He had a presence about him that would make you shut up and really listen to his lines...and believe in the character he played...a real loss.
Xavier Garcia, Miami, Florida, USA

After having the King of Hearts recommended to me, I realised what a fine actor Bates was indeed. I have followed each of his films and will miss the anticipation of another.
Bill McDonald, Los Angeles, California

Living and working abroad, whenever I hear of the passing of yet another great talent, I also feel the loss of a fellow countryman who was both a creator and a part of an English creativity, which I miss and of which I am intensely proud. As Alan Bates and others pass into history, there is a feeling that a little piece of history, all our collective memories of growing up and living in their company, is lost. Such was the part Alan Bates and others played in the cultural life of us all.
Adrian Parke, Jepara, Indonesia

I recall smoking with Alan (backstage) during the filming of The Rose many years ago in Southern California, he was a nice man.
Mick Mitchell, San Francisco

One of the truly great actors is gone. For a provincial Swede, adoring the English theatre and the English language, Alan Bates epitomised the very best of a what the English theatre has to offer. Many outstanding performances will be remembered. My favourite is Bates' rendition of John Malcolm, the former Labour politician turned journalist, in Terence Rattigan's oft forgotten little masterpiece "Separate Tables".
Jan-Erik Svensson, Stockholm, Sweden

Two particular performances from Alan Bates that stick out in my mind was his Claudius in Zefferelli's 1990 Hamlet. Dark, fearful and played with subtle malice, Bates shone and Mel Gibson couldn't steal the spotlight whenever Bates or Glenn Close were around. Bates however is memorable to me from his performance in the virtually unknown Silent Tongue, in which he played a dreadfully eccentric Irishman in 1800s America, who married a Native American and then is forced to go on a travelling circus with his family of half breeds.

This film has the distinction of being a memorable movie for the late Richard Harris and River Phoenix's final released film, both of whom are at the top of their game. Bates was fantastic in the role, I urge you all to try and get your hands on Silent Tongue and watch Mr Bates's mesmerising performance. Alan Bates... RIP
Adam TG, Kettering, England

David Hemmings... and now Alan Bates... Such great losses for British theatre and film! And yet, we all shall always remember them. They will live in our memories, in the wonderful films they've made. They did not die actually. How could they? Great actors are always immortal. Rest in peace, Sir Alan! God bless you for the art and beauty you shared with us!
Alexander Danga, Bucharest, Romania

Condolences to all who loved Alan Bates. I saw him perform in the play Fortune's Fool on Broadway. He had me laughing and crying at the same time with his incredible acting abilities.
Stephanie Kasper, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA

I am very sad to hear of Sir Alan's passing. Over the past few months this 32-year-old American girl has been getting to know this fine actor through DVDs & VHS tapes. I was hoping to see him on the London stage soon but that will never be. He was a treasure & I am so happy that he was knighted last year. Sir Alan you will be missed! My condolences to Benedick & the whole Bates family.
Patricia Holtry, Chicago IL USA

I fell in love with Gabriel Oak in my early teens and always followed closely, and gained so much happiness from, all things Alan Bates. To hear of your death on the radio today fills me with sadness. From We Think The World Of You to The Fixer, Women In Love to The Cherry Orchard - pure genius. An absolute delight. "Whenever I look up there shall you be, and whenever you look up there shall I be also" - the greatest film of all time. May the sun shine on you wherever you are.
Claire Ruddock, Cambridgeshire

Even today, some of the very best actors are from Britain. Of that admirable group, I feel Alan Bates has always been at the top.
Anupam Sharma, Oakville, Canada

Too many great performances and not enough time on Earth for us all to enjoy them. Rest in Peace, Alan....
Robin Thompson, Odessa FL USA

A great actor of enormous depth, versatility and immense charm. His performance as Guy Burgess in An Englishman Abroad remains one of my favourite performances that I never tire of watching. A genuinely sad loss to the world.
Andrew St.John-Brown, Armidale, NSW, Australia

Sir Alan also directed several television plays for the BBC in the sixties. I had the pleasure of working for him as his film editor for the play The Prussian Officer. I shall never forget the late night dinners we shared in a workman's cafe just outside Ealing during our long edit sessions. In one scene of the Prussian Officer he gave an amazing performance which he later confided in me was the result of a injury he accidently inflicted on himself in the opening seconds.
Christopher J. Hayden, Cape Elizabeth, Maine, USA

His last appearance on the NY stage in Fortunes Fool was a well deserved triumph and to leave us with that last memory is a blessing. His resume of roles onstage and in film will be admired by many generations. Rest in Peace.
Barry Greene, New York, NY

I remember as a child watching a BBC play called Watch Me I'm a Bird, starring Sir Alan and Ian MacShane. It played a big part in helping me move from a child to a teenager. You did your job well Alan, thank you.
Gary John, Fort McMurray, Canada

An actor of tremendous range and versatility, he took what many would consider risks to broaden his talent and art. He has given us and genrations to come some of cinema's most unforgettable characters in films such as: Zorba the Greek, An Englishman Abroad and The Rose and Georgy Girl. Like all greatness, he will never be replaced.
John Alaimo, Pittston, USA

I have been a fan of Sir Alan for three decades and was saddened to learn of his passing. I only wish I had been fortunate enough to enjoy his stage career as well as his film career. It is truly a loss for the entire world when such a fine and talented actor passes. Condolences to his family and his many devoted fans. I have to agree with the gentleman who said the greatest actors in the world come from Great Britain, and Sir Alan was certainly among the best of them.
Melinda Glover, St. Helens, Oregon, USA

If I had a choice to watch anything on television, or at the movies, and Alan Bates was it in, that would be what I'd watch. I just knew his part, if anything, would be worth the watching. I will miss his presence in the world. God bless your soul, Sir Alan.
Joanie Alford, Raleigh, NC USA

Oliver's Travels and An Englishman Abroad were as good as it gets. He is irreplaceable.
Caroline Stipe, Portola Valley, California

Born a north countryman, Alan Bates nonetheless played Thomas Hardy's best-known roles with a panache and finesse that made him the quintessential Dorset man. He never descended into "mummerset" as his depictions of Thomas Henchard in The Mayor of Casterbridge and Gabriel Oak in Far From The Madding Crowd made joyously clear. People who remember him from location filming of Far from The Madding Crowd in the Shaftesbury area in 1967 recall a journeyman actor with a huge yet unpretentious feel for the work of the great Wessex author. Irreplaceable, and dead too young.
David Humphrey, Bruton, Somerset, UK

One of the greatest British actors of all time. A talent that will be sadly missed. May his soul rest in peace.

One of the greatest British actors of all time. Will be sadly missed by many admirers including myself. May his soul rest in peace.
Margarita Faundez, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

A great man. A great actor. A great loss.
David Moore, Bexleyheath, Kent, London

I met Alan Bates on the Greek island of Spetses about eight years ago. He was dining with friends in a taverna one lunchtime and l sent his table a bottle of wine. He came over to my table and thanked me profusely for the wine. We chatted for a while about Greece, of which he was very fond and about his work as an actor, of which he was very modest. He explained that since making Zorba The Greek, he returned to Greece nearly every year to holiday with members of the original cast and crew.

A great actor who would be remembered for his perfect acting in movies like The Go-between, An Unmarried Woman, Women in Love... His final encounter with Jill Clayburgh in the Paul Mazursky`s forgotten masterpiece, An Unmarried Woman ,is one of the best scenes in its kind.
Sina , Cambridge,UK

It's a shame. He seemed such a nice man as well as a good actor.
Richard Doy, Selby, Britain

I have enjoyed Mr. Bates acting since I saw him in Far from the Madding Crowd as a young child. My heart goes out to his family and may God bless them all.
Julyienn, New Orleans, La./USA

Sir Alan played many wonderful roles. Among my favourites was as the spy Kim Philby in A Gentleman Abroad. He showed the side of a spy we rarely see: after all the headlines and scandal, how a life goes into decline. Sir Alan, we shall miss your dramatic excellence!
Father Gregory Schweers, Irving, Texas - USA

I was so sorry to hear of Alan Bates' death. He was a great actor and it was always a pleasure to see him both on stage and in film. He made so many other good films that were not mentioned in the obituary. He will be missed very much. Once you saw his name on the theatre board or cinema, you had to see the performance. Condolences to his family.
Jim Dillon, New York, USA

The brightest star has dimmed. He will forever be in the heavens, a wonderful actor, so magnificent in everything he did. I will miss him so much, Thank God he blessed our lives with his great acting.
Donna Leeds, Huntersville, North Carolina USA

I will never forget the magical movie, King of Hearts that starred Alan Bates as the WWI soldier who left the "mad world" and joined the "lunatics" in the insane asylum and how those in the asylum were more sane than the rest of the world.
Thomas A. Brown, Sterling Heights, MI. 48313

My favorite role of his was a television mystery called Olivers Travels from a few years back. He played a jazz-loving agnostic professor of religion,and pulled it off with grace and style. Rest in peace...
Patrick Hogan, NYC,New York

It was very sad to learn of the passing of Sir Alan Bates. Definitely, one of our favourite actor, and, for my wife, I would have to say, THE most favourite. She always put him right up there alongside Gregory Peck: to be enjoyed not only for his considerable acting talent, but also for his ability to induce rapid knee-weakening among the fairer sex. Our favourite portrayals? The Mayor of Casterbridge is right at the top, and we hope that public TV over here will re-run it one of these days.

That is followed closely by Whistle down the Wind, and the never-to-be-forgotten exclamation of "Jesus Christ" when he was awakened by the children in the barn. I don't feel that his persona on stage or screen was of the Olivier or Gielgud type - one simply rejoiced in part after part brilliantly and naturally acted in a manner which constantly brought a smile to the lips or a lump to the throat. A master craftsman indeed.
Janet and Chris Grounds, Mississauga, Canada

I was very sad to hear about the death of Sir Alan Bates, a most talented and versatile actor, making some truly memorable performances in films such as Zorba the Greek, The Rose (a particualar favourite of mine) and also in TV serials such as The Mayor of Casterbridge, and lately Love in A Cold Climate. I very much treasure the autograph I once received from him. He'll be greatly missed.
Viveca Andersson-Baluchi, Helsingborg, Sweden

The next day I was dining with friends in the same taverna when a bottle of wine was delivered to our table. It was from Alan Bates who was sitting quietly in a corner.

He was a tremendously talented actor with depth, subtlety, and great passion. He was also a simple and kind man who suffered a great deal of tragedy in his personal life. The passing of Alan Bates is indeed a great loss to cinema and to theater worldwide.
Dave Robinson, Athens, Greece

I consider Sir Alan Bates to be one of the greatest British actors of all time. A remake of The Mayor of Casterbridge is being screened tonight - I wish it was the 78 Alan Bates version, that should be screened as a tribute. How poignant that the Go-Between was screened just days ago. A talent that will be sadly missed, a hero of mine when I myself was at stage school years ago.
Melissa Lumley-Wright, UK

I saw him in all the famous films but i also saw him on stage a few years ago in Ibsens play The Materbuilder and his full stature as a stage actor was immense. I feel very privileged to have seen him 'live' I feel a great sense of loss at this news.
Trevor Waldock, Maldon Essex

Alan was always eminently watchable, a rare gift sadly gone. From Whistle Down the Wind to Hamlet I never ceased to believe the character or the man. He portrayed perfectly the fall of thought across the eyes and ensured my trust in his presence. Quite rightly, a presence immortalised through film and thought.
adam waters, manchester, uk

Only days ago we were speaking of Alan's role in The Mayor of Casterbridge and how brilliant he was in it, and in so many films over the years too, so I was shocked to read tonight of his death. He brought a lot of pleasure through films and series and will be sadly missed. Condolences to his family.
Carol Brown, Adelaide South Australia

I am saddened to hear of Alan Bates' death. He was a very fine actor who had the talent to play a variety of roles. I particularly loved him in Far from the Madding Crowd in which he was tender and appealing as the patient Gabriel yet brash and unfeeling as The Mayor of Casterbridge. I look forward to a season of his films in tribute on the BBC.
Madeleine Brierley, Chorley, Lancashire

Condolences to friends and family, the sad loss of a legend of British stage and screen.
James, Wales

I was deeply saddened to hear of the death of Alan Bates, whose acting performances always guaranteed quality. Many thanks Alan.
Ellice Viggers, Melbourne Australia

There are no words that could console a very deep loss as the death of Sir Alan Bates. May he rest in peace.
susan, serramazzoni, modena. Italy

Alan Bates was a very,very good actor and he will be sadly missed. I remember him in A Kind of Loving.
Anne Brooks, Skegness, Lincolnshire

I've been a fan of AB since the 1970s, and have greatly enjoyed his work on film and audio for decades. I finally had the opportunity to meet him in person after a stage performance of The Unexpected Man. All those years I knew he was handsome, but when I finally met him I was struck by how beautiful he was. His eyes were grey and the irises were lined in black, which gave him a most striking look which was never appreciated until one was near him; he was warm, pleasant, and totally at ease with this star-struck fan. He was genuine and wonderful. One is tempted to say "he was a class act", but his was no act; he truly was class.

I am grateful that we can continue to enjoy so much of his work on film and audio.

My condolences to his son Benedick, his brother, and their families

The man just oozed class and absolutley made himself the characters he played. The Nazi he played in The Sum of All Fears could only have been played that way by him.
Paul Smith, Manchester, UK

Whenever I was able to watch Sir Alan Bates on the London theatre stage I was moved by his great performance and human touch. A great actor will be missed by many admirers.
Assunta Berger, Vienna, Austria

Alan Bates. A great actor in the greatest tradition. His was a great gift, I for one will miss his presence and rugged good looks. His role in many classics brought joy to the ear and eye. I shall miss him.
Marie Knight, St Albans, Hertfordshire.

It was the brilliance of actors like Sir Alan Bates that made British actors the best in the world. He will be sorely missed. My condolences go to his family.
Ian Mansell, Cardiff

Very sorry to hear of Alan Bates' passing. His performance in "Butley" still ranks as the finest piece of acting I have ever seen.
S A Khan, UK

Alan Bates performance in Far From the Madding Crowd is one of the most memorable for me - in particular his closing line "Whenever I look up there shall you be, and whenever you look up there shall I be also". Magic.
Robert Neather, Milton Keynes, England

A tremendous loss to both theatre and cinema. A sad day for all who enjoy great acting.
philip newth, norway

Two wonderful performances I'll remember Alan Bates for were in John Mortimer's A Voyage Round My Father, and as Guy Burgess in An Englishman Abroad. His timing and sensitivity were brilliant. He is sadly missed
Tony Cheney, Ipswich, Suffolk, UK

A favourite actor of ours for many, many years. It is too early to lose an actor of his abilities and charm. So sorry.
Hannah & John Gostling, Taunton, England

Obituary: Sir Alan Bates
28 Dec 03  |  UK
Actors show honours nerves
19 Mar 03  |  Entertainment
Bates and Scott lead showbiz honours
31 Dec 02  |  Entertainment


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