Gorden Kaye

Image of Gorden Kaye

Gorden Kaye, born in Moldgreen, Huddersfield (Yorkshire) attended Huddersfield Technical College in the early 1960's and made his TV debut as Elsie Tanner's nephew in Coronation Street in 1968. He went on to minor roles in many other shows and a part in the 1977 Python-filled film Jabberwocky (as Sister Jessica) before joining Jeremy Lloyd and David Croft on two short series, Oh, Happy Band and Come Back, Mrs. Noah, and finally teaming with them and achieving sex symbol status through 'Allo 'Allo. His popularity and work schedule didn't interfere with later film appearances as they continued, including appearing in Terry Gilliam's film Brazil. His fame made him a target for the British tabloids - one of which, in 1988, discovered that he was having a homosexual affair. In response, just before they were due to publish photographic evidence, he happily admitted that he was gay, writing a personal memoir called Rene and Me with the help of a friendly journalist - thus robbing the scandal-mongers of their scoop. Mr. Kaye appeared in a few episodes of the Lloyd-Croft comedy Are You Being Served?, popped up in episodes of Last of the Summer Wine and All Creatures Great and Small, and was the stalwart host of Nationwide in the short-lived Come Back, Mrs. Noah. Gorden Kaye made the news in January 1990 when a windstorm-related injury nearly led to his death. While in his car during a fierce windstorm, a wooden object broke through his windshield and stabbed into his head, nearly killing him instantly. After a six-hour brain operation, he went into a long but eventually successful recovery, while the tabloid press tried to sneak in and get shots of him unconscious on his bed. Jeremy Lloyd sat with him for long periods, and Gorden's agent came visiting with many videotapes of 'Allo 'Allo, which Jeremy thinks may have helped remind him who he was. Afterwards, Gorden suggested that 'Allo 'Allo should end, but Jeremy Lloyd convinced him otherwise, and the show continued for another two series. Despite his miraculous recovery, Gorden had no memory of the accident. After the end of 'Allo 'Allo, Gordon went on on to appear with Carmen Silvera (his long-suffering wife Edith in 'Allo 'Allo) in the 1996 film La Passione, and on stage starring in Harvey, with Rue McClanahan. Gorden Kaye died 23 January 2017.



1984-1992 Series 'Allo 'Allo! (BBC-1 1984-1992, Gorden Kaye, Carmen Silvera) as René François Artois