Saturday, April 02, 2005

David Kossoff

David Kossoff, who died yesterday, 24/03/2005, aged 85, was a versatile actor best known for his role as Alf Larkin in the television series The Larkins, and a charming exponent of Jewish humour, manners and aspirations.
Kossoff's gentle, lugubrious delivery would be laced with irony and self-deprecating humour which was never without a wry kind of dignity; on radio and television he told Bible stories with a particular warmth.
Apart from his cosy retelling of Bible stories, he was best known on the small screen for his successful collaboration with Peggy Mount on The Larkins. But although the programme was a hit, and though he also had memorable roles in films such as A Kid for Two Farthings and The Bespoke Overcoat, it was the theatre which was closest to his heart.
The son of Russian parents, David Kossoff was born on November 24 1919 in London, and trained at art and architecture schools, including the Northern Polytechnic. He worked for a time as a commercial artist, a draughtsman and a furniture designer, before trying his hand at technical illustration and aircraft design. But by the age of 23, he decided to try his luck on the stage.
Kossoff played Sam Tager; later that year he had a great personal success in Wolf Mankowitz's one-act play The Bespoke
David Kossoff married, in 1947, Margaret (Jennie) Jenkins. She died in 1995. They had two sons, one of whom survives him.

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