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Who's that Guy?

Sunday 13th September 2020

Who's that Guy?

New book about erstwhile Hampton Wick resident, Guy Standeven

A few years ago, the HWA was contacted by Marcus James Heslop. Marcus was researching the life of Guy Standeven, a prolific “jobbing” actor who lived in Hampton Wick. We put out feelers and one or two people remembered him.

Now the fruits of Marcus’s research are available in a new book entitled, “Who’s That Guy?”.

Mark Merrington reviews the book:

Guy Standeven led an extraordinary life. Think of your favourite British film (or US film filmed in the UK) from the early 1950s to the late 1990s and there’s a good chance that Guy was in it. But his appearances were often of the “blink and you’ll miss him” variety. Although he had a few lines, he was an actor who chose to work as an “extra” for much of his career.

So, the first question that Marcus bravely addresses in his book is “Why write a book about someone nobody’s ever heard of?”. Three answers are provided. The first is that if a story is worth telling, it’s worth telling. The second is to address the status of the work of extras which may have been diminished in recent years. The third is to recognise Guy’s own cumulative contribution to British entertainment.

To Marcus’s credit, the book works. It is a well written and engaging study of the British entertainment industry for the long period in which Guy worked in it but viewed from his point of view. There are a few references to Hampton Wick but the real appeal of the book will be to those with an interest in film, television or acting. Once you’ve read it, you may well find yourself looking out for Guy in very many films.

This book is fascinating. I can say no more than that it caused me to dig out my DVD of the Vincent Price horror classic The Abominable Dr Phibes, and enjoy one of Guy’s most celebrated appearances (with lines) in a scene with Peter Jeffrey!.

“Who’s That Guy?” by Marcus James Heslop is available from Amazon – click here