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Sir John Mortimer, Creator of Rumpole of the Bailey, Dead At 89

Britain has given us many lowbrow entertainers such as Monty Python, James Bond and Benny Hill, but perhaps none is enchanting to the legal profession as Rumpole of the Bailey, a long-running radio and television series penned by Sir John Mortimer, QC, CBE.  His death leaves us remembering Rumpole, eminently played by Leo McKern, as the champion of the common criminal and the Timson family clan that kept him employed throughout his career.

To Mortimer, nothing was sacred, which kept many wondering whether his first or second wife was the inspiration for "She Who Must Be Obeyed," the nickname given by the character Rumple to his wife, Hilda.

If you haven't watched Rumpole, it's worth tuning in to the BBC or PBS's Mystery! and catching a few episodes or reading the series of books - you'll likely enjoy the entertainment.  You can also watch a two-part interview of John Mortimer on here and here.  Mortimer wrote prodigiously and remained on the cocktail circuit almost up to his death.

Rumpole would have approved. 

Posted by J. Craig Williams on Sunday, January 18, 2009


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