Gorden Kaye had appeared in a radio play directed by Alan Ayckbourn and also in a television play from Manchester. Ayckbourn suggested that he audition for the Bolton Octagon Theatre; he was offered a contract and his roles there included Pishchik in The Cherry Orchard followed by roles in The Homecoming, The Imaginary Invalid, Luther and a double-bill of Oedipus and Cyclops. He made his TV debut as a railway guard in the BBC’s Yorkshire mill drama Champion House (1968) and played small roles in such films as The Party’s Over (1965), starring Oliver Reed. Having been seen by Pat Phoenix in Little Malcolm by David Halliwell at Bolton, he was cast as Bernard Butler, the nephew of Elsie Tanner (Phoenix), in the soap opera Coronation Street in 1969. He later made an impression on producer/writer David Croft following guest roles in It Ain’t Half Hot Mum and Come Back Mrs. Noah. He appeared in the 1978 comedy short The Waterloo Bridge Handicap, starring Leonard Rossiter, and featured as Dimes in the feature film version of Porridge (1979) alongside Ronnie Barker. He also appeared in the drama series All Creatures Great and Small and in the private detective series Shoestring. In 1981, Kaye appeared as Frank Broadhurst in the children’s drama serial Codename Icarus. Gorden Kaye appeared in three episodes of Croft’s British department store sitcom Are You Being Served? and was later offered the lead role in a series he had written called Oh Happy Band!, but Kaye was unavailable and the part went to Harry Worth. Oh Happy Band! lasted one series.’ In 1990, Kaye played the fictional local television presenter Maynard Lavery in an edition of Last of the Summer Wine.
Gorden Kaye had a small part in Terry Gilliam’s film Brazil as desk clerk M.O.I. Lobby Porter and appeared in Gilliam’s 1977 film Jabberwocky as Sister Jessica. He played Dr Grant in a television adaptation of Mansfield Park and Lymoges, Duke of Austria in the 1984 BBC production of King John by Shakespeare. He also toured in the National Theatre production of As You Like It, as Touchstone. In 1993, he made a guest appearance in a Christmas special of Family Fortunes, in which he served as team captain and placed host Les Dennis on a special “Double Big Money” round for Dennis to score more than one hundred points to double the charity prize money, which he did. Gorden Kaye died in a care home, on 23 January 2017, at the age of 75.
- April, 07, 1941
- United Kingdom
- Huddersfield, West Riding of Yorkshire, England
- January, 23, 2017
- United Kingdom
- Knaresborough, North Yorkshire, England