Warren Clarke (1947-2014)

Clarke (far left) in A Clockwork Orange.

Clarke (far left) in A Clockwork Orange.

Warren Clarke, a British actor who appeared in A Clockwork Orange and was best known for his role in television’s Dalziel And Pascoe, died November 12 after a short illness. He was 67.

In Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange he played Dim, one of Malcolm McDowell’s sociopathic droogs who tagged along on his sprees of “ultraviolence.”

On the 40th anniversary of the film’s release in 2011, Clarke spoke to The Guardian about working with Kubrick:

“If he thought your performance was false he would ask: ‘Why are you doing that?’ If you didn’t have an answer, he’d shout at you. But I got on well with him and I would shout at him if I thought he was pushing us too hard,” said the actor.

The film’s violent scenes of rape and murder passed British film censors, but when the film was blamed for copycat violence Kubrick withdrew it from British distribution in 1974 and it was not shown there again until after the director’s death in 1999.

Clarke’s extensive professional resume includes turns in genre series such as The Avengers (1968) and Blackadder the Third (1987).

[Via Andrew Porter and Paul Di Filippo.]

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12 thoughts on “Warren Clarke (1947-2014)

  1. “Far left” in the photo caption is ambiguous. Is he the one who’s sitting furthest to the left, or the one whose head is furthest to the left?

  2. It’s only ambiguous if you’ve been taking lessons from Seth Breidbart. Your average person would realize there’s no point in even having a photo unless the person’s face is shown, therefore it must be the “leftmost” face. (If Clarke had been in the back and I’d said he was the hindmost, would you complain about not being able to find a Puppeteer in the photo?)

  3. I object to the implication that I’m being disingenuous. They’re sitting pretty much in a row: it’s genuinely ambiguous. If I thought it wasn’t significant to show the face, then the leftmost person would be the one the back of whose head is in the bottom left corner. But the head isn’t the whole person, or floating in space disconnected from the body. Would you say that Vermont is north of New Hampshire because its capital (Latin for “head”) is more northward than it is westward? That’s a much less ridiculous question than the one you closed with.

  4. Just replying to your own pedanticism, and your sarcasm, and your dismissal of a genuine question. If you’re going to call out people for this, you should have started with yourself.

  5. I was trying to tease you into a more entertaining exchange. Was the genuine question I dodged about the norhwardness of New Hampshire? What I might say about that would depend on what I was trying to illustrate, like whether Miami is farther east than Brazil. Generally I think east and west about New Hampshire and Vermont too.

  6. You didn’t dodge a question, you dismissed it. (Which is what I said you did.) The question you dismissed was the one I originally asked, about the uncertainty of who was at the far left of the photo. I was only pedantic about New Hampshire _after_ you were being pedantic about heads, sarcastic about “the hindmost”, and dismissive of the question. Are you losing the thread here?

  7. It’s only ambiguous if you haven’t seen the movie; Dim is Dim. What a wonderful character.

  8. The photo is a two-dimensional representation of a three-dimensional scene. In the original 3-D, Clarke would be described as being second from the left. Since it’s a 2-D photo, he’s at the far left.

    (The most pedantic commenter in this thread wins a prize, right?)

  9. I guess it does, Bruce, because it doesn’t make any sense. Clarke hasn’t moved. His head would still be further left in the 3D. He’s still sitting further to the right in 2D.

  10. The caption is describing the photo, not the real-life seating arrangements, and the person leaning over is furthest to the left in the photo. Think of it this way: if you were to draw vertical lines every quarter-inch in the photo, the person you’re claiming is “far left” would not show up to the left for several segments of the photo, whereas the person leaning forward would.

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