I know very well what is the loss of a person like his father, and mine, although someone extremely discreet, made his mark and legacy in my life, as I feel that in you also.
An unforgettable Merlin,The Merlin!]]>
I had a dream a few nights ago and in it I was looking at the photos I had taken of your Dad and Mum in the hospital right after you were born. Your parents were so happy in the those photos. I think I gave them copies then or when I visited you all in London a while later. I remember the day you were born. I worked at the Pub Theatrical on 50th and Broadway. Your Dad was starring in Uncle Vanya with Julie Christie. I had just come to work and I hear that your Dad got the news and with a hue and cry ran out of the Pub full of joy knowing you were on your way out into the world. He was so overjoyed and happy to be your Dad.
I was only 22 and so wanted to be a good actress so being able to talk to your Dad and see him act was so inspiring to me. As so many have written it was a genuine pleasure to know him. That wicked sense of humor. I remember him sharing the story of people stopping him on the street and asking him. “Are you who I think you are?” He tried to balance the false adulation and the real expression of the human condition in all the characters he crafted through his own life’s experiences. I am so glad he moved more into his music as a way to express his love for life and to express his spirit which will never die in the hearts he touched and in you as you make your way is this wild world.
You were a fine handsome baby and you are a true loving son. My heart is heavy with the news of your Dad’s passing. And yet to have my dream around the day you posted the news tells me the connections we all share are mysterious indeed. As a singer as well as an actor, I know our voices and music reverberate with the love we all share in the listening. And that lifts my heart and allows it to sing with joy that we made the connection.
We All Shine On. Keep making music and have a wonderful life.]]>
To my knowledge I have seen your father in only one thing, the movie Excalibur. I was eleven, and even then he stood out so far above every other character that his face is still what comes to mind when I imagine anything Arthurian. In a way I feel I’m spoiled; I don’t think another will ever match him. And now as I see a Gandalf or a Dumbledore I am nonplussed at best, and more, despairing. But better to have loved and lost…I look forward to seeing his other performances and having many other peoples’ roles spoilt.
Thank you for sharing his magic with us.]]>
On my first encounter with him, I put my foot straight in my mouth. I walked up to him and asked… “what do you think of that guy who played Merlin, in Excaliber”. He eyed me with disbelief, but then answered most graciously, and with twinkle in eye, ” well… he tried”.
I had just one line near the end of the play (the soldier with the cross), and I’ll never forget the end of the week’s rehearsal when we finally got to my part. At the end of that scene, with full cast onstage, Nicol said good work, good night, and we’ll see you all next week. I tentatively raised my hand and said “Uh… excuse me, please can we do that one more time… please”? Nicol swept around grandly, and in front of the entire cast and said to me with his best theatrical voice, “is it heavy on your heart”? After a moment, I replied very shakily “…yes, actually, it is”. And so, we did scene again.
I’m so grateful for this amazing gift for a first professional theatre experience, and for the chance to know Nicol, if only for those 6 weeks, so long ago.]]>