Happy 5th Birthday! The Official Tribute To Ian Hendry – Website Celebrates It’s 5th Year Online

Picture above: Ian Hendry

It all started as an idea back in 2011. I decided to do a bit of research into Ian’s life and Google was my first port of call.

The internet was, of course, well established by then and you could find out information and discover material that had previously been scattered to the four corners of the earth.

I found memorabilia in the States, Canada, South America, Australia, all across Europe and, of course, in the UK. I ordered old original film posters, lobby cards, press booklets, magazines and stills and soon became inundated with cardboard tubes and envelopes, full of musty smelling card, printed paper and black and white photographs.

Picture: Ian Hendry. Probably taken on his houseboat in Chiswick c.1962.

Then came the idea of a website, which could become an online hub for his life. Somewhere to bring the various disparate elements together and to try and help understand more about Ian and his somewhat turbulent life and career. Out of curiosity, I searched to see if a domain name might be available. There seemed little point in me collecting all these things, if I couldn’t then share them with others. And to my surprise, ianhendry.com was there on the registrar, waiting for me to take ownership. The first steps had been taken.


Video: A short tribute to Ian Hendry

Ian’s Wikipedia page was a bit like an unkempt garden, with a few random snippets of information, some factually incorrect, no real details and no photograph. It’s still a work in progress, but the framework is there and I try and update the appearance credits when I discover new TV programmes or plays that he appeared in. The following is a case in point.

Only a few days ago, I was contacted by a collector of theatre memorabilia who had a copy of the ‘Dinner With The Family’ programme, dated October 1957, Theatre Royal, Brighton.

It was originally believed that the production had transferred directly from the Oxford Playhouse to the New Theatre in London’s West End in December 1957. We now know from other recent finds, that it was also performed for short week-long  runs at the Arts Theatre in Cambridge, Royal Lyceum, Edinburgh, Theatre Royal, Brighton, then back to Scotland to the King’s Theatre, Glasgow, before finally transferring to London. This production is significant for a number of reasons, as it led to events that would dramatically change the course of Ian’s life.

In the audience, on at least one occasion in London, was Julian Bond. Bond was the co-creator and producer of the first few episodes of Police Surgeon, the series that ultimately led to the creation of The Avengers. He had come up with the idea for the series after meeting a GP in the Notting Hill area of London whilst working on another television series.

Picture: Ian Hendry as Dr. Geoffrey Brent and John Warwick as Inspector Langdon

When it came to casting the leading role of Dr. Geoffrey Brent, it was Ian’s performance as Jaques in ‘Dinner With The Family‘, that helped Bond to persuade others at ABC TV that, although relatively unknown at the time, Ian was the right man for the job. When Police Surgeon ended, The Avengers was created by ABC TV as a new vehicle for his talent and it was the part of Dr. David Keel that would significantly raise Ian’s public profile and popularity.

A protracted equity strike in 1961 put the production of the second season of The Avengers on hold for several months. During this time, Ian was receiving offers to play the lead in several films; the timing of the strike combined with the opportunity to work on ‘big screen’ productions, were the two key reasons for his decision to leave the series.

Returning to more recent times, I received a message from Gabriel Hershman in late 2011.

A long time fan of Ian’s work, he was curious as to why Ian’s story had never been told, aside from in the tabloids, where a headline and some gossip seemed to be the order of the day.

Over the course of several months, spanning much of 2012, we exchanged hundreds of messages and shared any research and anecdotes we could both find. So much time had already passed since Ian’s death, but Gabriel was still able to contact and interview many of the key people in Ian’s life.

Picture: ‘Send In The Clowns, The Yo Yo Life Of Ian Hendry’ by Gabriel Hershman

With the biography nearing completion, the creation of the website became the next priority. It was clear that the launch of the book should coincide with the launch of the website. And on 23rd March 2013, the very first article was posted:

Welcome To The Official Website Of Ian Hendry

Since then, I have been fortunate to have been contacted by many people who knew Ian at various stages of his life.

The daughter whose ‘Mum’ once shared digs with Ian in London in the 50s, actors who worked with him throughout his career, camera and sound crew who shared sets together, sons of producers who worked on some of his biggest films – as well as school and National Service army friends who knew Ian when he was much much younger. So a big thanks to all of them too. By sharing something about their own lives, we have also been able to find out more about Ian’s life, career and the times in which he lived. And it’s that discovery of the social history, that also fascinates and inspires me to research and share much more going forwards.

There have also been some great finds over the last five years, with the most significant clearly being The Avengers series 1 episode, ‘Tunnel of Fear‘, which had been missing for over 55 years; spending much of it’s life in the States before being returned to the UK some 20 years ago. Studio Canal will be releasing the episode shortly on DVD on 9th April 2018:

The Avengers ‘Tunnel of Fear’ – Released on DVD 9th April 2018

And finally, I’d like to say thanks to you for following this website and the Facebook page, for your feedback and your encouragement. You help to make this whole ‘project’ so worthwhile.

Until next time,

Neil Hendry
Editor, Official Tribute To Ian Hendry

Further Reading

A detailed account of the life and work of Ian Hendry in the new biography:

Read: ‘Send in the Clowns – The Yo Yo Life Of Ian Hendry’ by Gabriel Hershman

Send In The Clowns - The Yo Yo Life of Ian Hendry

You can keep up-to-date with all our latest articles and updates by following us on Facebook and / or Twitter:

Ian Hendry Appreciation Society Facebook Page 


Ian Hendry Tribute – Twitter Page





More From Ian Hendry