Thursday, April 16, 2009

"Carry On" producer Peter Rogers dies

Yesterday, 06:03 pm Reuters

Film producer Peter Rogers, who was behind the hit British "Carry On" comedy films, has died aged 95, Pinewood Studios announced on Wednesday.

Rogers died at his home in Buckinghamshire on Tuesday following a short illness, according to British media.

"We were saddened to learn of Peter Rogers' passing," Ivan Dunleavy, chief executive at Pinewood Shepperton, said in a statement.

"Peter was an institution at the studios. As a prolific film producer, he worked at Pinewood Studios since the 1960s.

"The 'Carry On' films, for which he was most well known ... were enjoyed by millions internationally and will always remain a part of modern British culture."

The 31-strong "Carry On" franchise, popular for its innuendos and slapstick humour, began with "Carry On Sergeant" in 1958 and went on to feature nurses, doctors, teachers, spies, cowboys and even Henry VIII and Cleopatra.

It starred the likes of Kenneth Williams, Sid James, Barbara Windsor and Leslie Phillips.
According to Phillips, there were arguments between Rogers and the "Carry On" actors over how much they were paid.

"We all argued about the money he paid us, but I am in a fortunate position and I could move on," Phillips was quoted as saying by the Telegraph newspaper.

"Some of the others, who have died, weren't able to and if they were alive today I would be interested to see what they would say.

"Since he made all those people famous the world has changed in every conceivable way. Contracts were not sorted out in those days ... I can afford to say I loved Peter. I was very fond of him and his wife," Phillips told the newspaper. Rogers was married to fellow producer Betty Box, who died in 1999.

(Reporting by Mike Collett-White; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte)