Sadly, Graham Stark passed away in London on 29th October. Here is a link to the Guardian obituary:
Graham Stark is perhaps best-known for his roles as the comic stooge, notably alongside his friend Peter Sellers’ Inspector Clouseau in the early Pink Panther films from 1964.
There are connections with Dad – he too was born in Wallasey, went to Wallasey Grammar School and served in the RAF. I have wondered if Dad knew him at school – they went there at the same time, but Graham was born on 20th January and Dad on 23rd July, so maybe they were – just – in different school years. If my memories of school are typical, you would not know someone in a different year, although sometimes you might be aware of an older boy. Anyway, despite Graham Stark’s appearing in various TV and cinema comedies beyond Clouseau, there are no memories of Dad pointing to him on the screen and stating “I knew him”. I have met someone else in Wallasey whose father was a near-contemporary of Dad, and he did point to the screen when Graham appeared. Mum, who did know Graham socially, and who was saddened when I told her tonight [Nov 1 2013] about his death, said that Dad never suggested that he had known him.
Oddly, I came across a member of the Stark family – his elder brother, I think – in the 1980s. An irate man who lived in Wellington Road in New Brighton, although, frankly, the matters about which he contacted me would have annoyed me too.
It’s odd to think that any of Dad’s contemporaries were still alive until recently, and shows how long ago he left us.
Since posting this, I have read some unpleasant public accusations against the late Graham Stark. Whether these are true or not is unclear, but I must stress that this piece does not endorse any possible unpleasant features of Mr Stark.