Actors use fictional deaths to raise awareness
The theme of this year's Awareness Week, which ran from 12-18 May, was 'You only die once', but if you're an actor you may be called upon to die several times. Now three thespians who have famously “died” in their acting roles are using their experiences to raise awareness of the need to talk about death and dying.
Brian Blessed, Julie Hesmondhalgh and Graham Seed discuss their screen and radio deaths and reflect on why it is important to plan for the end of life in new short film “Playing Dead”, which has been commissioned for Dying Matters Awareness Week.
Watch 'Playing Dead'
Brian Blessed’s most famous on-screen death, in iconic Seventies series ‘I Claudius’, saw him dead in close-up for an unprecedented four-and-a-half minutes. Former Coronation Street star Julie Hesmondhalgh wowed critics and the public alike with her sensitive portrayal of the final weeks in the life of her character Hayley Cropper, who had pancreatic cancer. Graham Seed played upper class Nigel Pargetter in The Archers for 27 years before departing Ambridge following a fall from the roof of his stately home.
The film was made by Manchester-based PictureWise Productions, who have previously produced two films for Dying Matters Awareness Week: 'Last Laugh’, in which Alexei Sayle confronts attitudes towards terminal illness, and 'Dying for a Laugh', which featured well known comedians including Ardal O’Hanlon discussing death and dying.
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