Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Alternative Heroes - Pat Roach

Pat Roach will long be remembered for his role as Bomber in the excellent tv series Auf wiedersehen Pet. A gentle giant, Bomber was a proud, unassuming Cornishman that would utter "Bomber doesn't like that, Bomber doesn't", and it's a credit to the character that no one considers him a fool for talking about himself in the 3rd person.

In addition to Pat Roach's fame in Auf wiedersehen Pet, he is also one of the great movie henchmen, the English answer to Al Leong. Can't recall the big man in a movie? Let me refresh your memory:

- A Clockwork Orange (milkbar bouncer)

- Raiders of the Lost Ark (Giant Sherpa)

- Never Say Never Again (Lippe)

- Temple of Doom (giant Indian guard)

- Conan the Destroyer (Man Ape/Toth-Amon)

- Red Sonja (Brytag)

- Willow (Gen. Kael)

- The Last Crusade (Gestapo)

Pat Roach was also a fine wrestler, and I had the priviledge to see him (along with Big Daddy) at Diss Corn Hall c.1992. I must admit that until I began this entry, I had no idea that Pat Roach was dead (due to throat cancer in July 2004). One of the downsides to living in Japan is that it is very easy to get completely out of touch with world news, other than the CNN headlines. Once again, another of my childhood heroes has passed before I had a chance to meet them. Pat Roach joins the likes of Bruce Lee, Lee Van Cleef, John Lennon, Sid James and Peter Cushing at my minds eye dinner party. For all those great roles, for making the announcement about "no longer coming in your parlour" when wrestling went off the air in the UK, for being able to give Mr T a run for his money in the fisticuffs stakes, as well as for all the above, Pat Roach you are an Alternative Hero.


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