Obituary: Bernard Braden

Bernard Braden, actor and broadcaster, born Vancouver 16 May 1916, married 1942 Barbara Kelly (one son, two daughters), died London 2 February 1993.

BERNARD BRADEN recalled that the most important influence on his fledgling acting career in Vancouver in the early 1940s was Andrew Allen, the Scottish- born 'father of Canadian radio drama', writes Frank Gray. Seconded to Canadian Broadcasting Corp's radio station in Vancouver from Toronto, Allen squeezed writing, acting, singing and technical talent out of the locals, including Braden and Barbara Kelly, whom he brought together in an adaptation of the York and Chester Mystery Plays.

The group's success prompted the CBC to bring the crew back to Toronto where there were more opportunities for live acting in amateur theatre, 'and where we gained the experience but not the money.'

Braden considered moving to New York in time for the advent of television, but, on a visit, became aware of the humiliations experienced by a talented but out-of-work fellow actor. 'The New York rat-race decided us on Britain, which we said we would try out for a year,' he said. On that New York visit, he saw the 500th performance of Streetcar Named Desire, starring Jessica Tandy and Marlon Brando.

'An important contact was Lawrence Gilliam, head of BBC Features. He got us both auditions at the BBC. For Barbara, this led to an interview with Leslie Mitchell for a programme called Picture Page. Her controversial comments on commercial broadcasting in Canada versus non- commercial in Britain - complete with mention of many brand names, a real taboo in those days - caused a stir and led to a call from a man named Roy Rich, who cast her in The Male Animal.'

This coincided with Braden's own break in gaining an audition before Tennessee Williams and Irene Mayer Selznick, who were casting for the London version of Streetcar, directed by Laurence Olivier, and starring Vivien Leigh. Braden starred opposite Vivien Leigh for 18 months. Her beauty, despite layers of make-up to make her look older, sustained his attention for the long run, before he and Kelly moved off into radio and television sitcoms for the 1950s and then he to investigate consumer affairs programmes in the 1960s and 1970s, and she to a triumph on What's My Line?

(Photograph omitted)

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Austen Lloyd: Practice / HR Manager - Somerset

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: A rare and exciting opportunity for a Practice...

Recruitment Genius: Human Resources Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This company provides global satellite communi...

Austen Lloyd: Practice / HR Manager - Somerset

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: A rare and exciting opportunity for a Practice...

Ashdown Group: HR Executive

£20000 - £23000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: An exciting opportunity...

Day In a Page

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen
RuPaul interview: The drag star on being inspired by Bowie, never fitting in, and saying the first thing that comes into your head

RuPaul interview

The drag star on being inspired by Bowie, never fitting in, and saying the first thing that comes into your head
Secrets of comedy couples: What's it like when both you and your partner are stand-ups?

Secrets of comedy couples

What's it like when both you and your partner are stand-ups?
Satya Nadella: As Windows 10 is launched can he return Microsoft to its former glory?

Satya Nadella: The man to clean up for Windows?

While Microsoft's founders spend their billions, the once-invincible tech company's new boss is trying to save it
The best swimwear for men: From trunks to shorts, make a splash this summer

The best swimwear for men

From trunks to shorts, make a splash this summer
Mark Hix recipes: Our chef tries his hand at a spot of summer foraging

Mark Hix goes summer foraging

 A dinner party doesn't have to mean a trip to the supermarket
Ashes 2015: With an audacious flourish, home hero Ian Bell ends all debate

With an audacious flourish, the home hero ends all debate

Ian Bell advances to Trent Bridge next week almost as undroppable as Alastair Cook and Joe Root, a cornerstone of England's new thinking, says Kevin Garside
Aaron Ramsey interview: Wales midfielder determined to be centre of attention for Arsenal this season

Aaron Ramsey interview

Wales midfielder determined to be centre of attention for Arsenal this season
Community Shield: Arsene Wenger needs to strike first blow in rivalry with Jose Mourinho

Community Shield gives Wenger chance to strike first blow in rivalry with Mourinho

As long as the Arsenal manager's run of games without a win over his Chelsea counterpart continues it will continue to dominate the narrative around the two men
The unlikely rise of AFC Bournemouth - and what it says about English life

Unlikely rise of AFC Bournemouth

Bournemouth’s elevation to football’s top tier is one of the most improbable of recent times. But it’s illustrative of deeper and wider changes in English life
A Very British Coup, part two: New novel in pipeline as Jeremy Corbyn's rise inspires sequel

A Very British Coup, part two

New novel in pipeline as Jeremy Corbyn's rise inspires sequel
Philae lander data show comets could have brought 'building blocks of life' to Earth

Philae lander data show comets could have brought 'building blocks of life' to Earth

Icy dust layer holds organic compounds similar to those found in living organisms