2 3 Throwback Thursday and Gareth Jones | Ballet Webb

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Throwback Thursday and Gareth Jones

Throwback Thursday and Gareth Jones

In the ironic world of the performing arts, sometimes one is best remembered not for their skill as an artist but  for the manner of their death. Dancer Isadora Duncan is remembered for her art and her death, but she is an exception. A case from the theatrical world of one who is known today for his death is British actor Gareth Jones (June 6, 1925-November 30, 1958).

During the early days of television, shows were often broadcast live, and it was during a live broadcast of the Armchair Theatre play Underground on November 30, 1958, that  Jones suffered a heart attack and died. Fortunately, most accounts say he was off-camera and in between scenes at the time. However, according to actor Peter Bowles who was also in the cast:  "During transmission, a little group of us was talking on camera while awaiting the arrival of Gareth Jones's character, who had some information for us. We could see him coming up towards us, but we saw him fall. We had no idea what had happened, but he certainly wasn't coming our way."

Regardless, the remaining cast was forced to improvise – since this was a live broadcast. In yet another ironic twist, Jones’s character was supposed to suffer a heart attack during the play.

From the Big Blue Book of Ballet Secrets
History Secret #254:
“Actor Gareth Jones is best remembered for the manner of his death.”

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“I'd rather be partly great than entirely useless.”
― Neal Shusterman, Unwind

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