Gorden Kaye Biography

Gorden Kaye was a British actor and singer who became a household name after portraying ‘Rene Artois’ in the hit comedy TV series ‘’Allo ’Allo!’

Quick Facts

Birthday: April 7, 1941

Nationality: British

Famous: Actors Singers

Died At Age: 75

Sun Sign: Aries

Also Known As: Gordon Fitzgerald Kaye, Gordon Kaye

Born Country: England

Born in: Huddersfield, England, United Kingdom

Famous as: Actor

Height: 5'10" (178 cm), 5'10" Males


father: Harold

mother: Gracie

Died on: January 23, 2017

place of death: Knaresborough, England, United Kingdom

Cause of Death: Dementia

More Facts

education: King James's School, Kirklees College

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Gorden Kaye was a British actor and singer who became a household name after portraying ‘Rene Artois’ in the hit comedy TV series ‘’Allo ’Allo!’ The series was also made into a stage play that had more than 1,200 shows. However, his first shot at fame was his appearance as the character ‘Bernard Butler’ in the soap opera ‘Coronation Street.’ He had started his career by hosting a radio show and had then moved to the stage and the small screen, eventually graduating to doing big-screen projects. He also appeared in many famous sitcoms, such as ‘Are You Being Served?,’ ‘Last of the Summer Wine,’ and ‘Born and Bred.’ He also appeared in a few critically acclaimed movies, such as ‘Jabberwocky’ and ‘Brazil.’ His autobiography, ‘Rene and Me: An Autobiography,’ co-written by him, was released in 1989.

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Childhood & Early Life
  • Before taking up acting as a profession, Kaye had had stints in a hospital radio, several textile mills, a winery, and a tractor factory.
  • He started his acting career by performing in radio and TV plays.
  • He auditioned for the ‘Octagon Theatre’ in Bolton, Greater Manchester, England, and was offered a job.
  • At the ‘Octagon Theatre,’ he performed in the plays ‘The Cherry Orchard,’ ‘The Homecoming,’ ‘The Imaginary Invalid,’ ‘Luther’ ‘Oedipus,’ and ‘Cyclops.’
  • He began portraying minor characters in movies during the early and the mid-1960s. ‘The Party’s Over’ was one such movie and was ready for release in 1963. However, due to censor issues, it could not hit the theaters before 1965.
  • He made his TV debut in the year 1968, as a railway guard in an episode of the ‘BBC’ drama series ‘Champion House,’ titled ‘Go West, Young Man.’ The same year, he appeared as a clerk in an episode of the series ‘Inside George Webley,’ titled ‘Are You Sure or Only Positive.’
  • The year 1969 saw him appear in the record-making soap opera ‘Coronation Street,’ as ‘Bernard Butler.’ He appeared in 37 episodes of the series in the years 1969 and 1970. He had bagged the role after Pat Phoenix, who portrayed ‘Elsie Tanner’ in the series, watched him perform at ‘Bolton’ and recommended him to the producers. In 1969, he also appeared in the TV movie ‘All Star Comedy Carnival,’ as ‘Bernard Butler,’ the same character he played in ‘Coronation Street.’
  • He appeared in two episodes of the TV series ‘The Flaxton Boys’ in 1971 and was then seen in two more episodes of the series in 1973.
  • In 1972, he depicted a garage man in an episode of the docuseries ‘Scene,’ titled ‘Bank Holiday.’ He also appeared as ‘Mervyn’ in an episode of the TV series ‘Villains,’ titled ‘Sand Dancer.’
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  • He appeared in five episodes of the TV series ‘Emmerdale’ in 1973 and two more episodes of the same series in 1975.
  • Between 1973 and 1975, he also appeared in the TV series ‘Hey Brian!,’ ‘Follyfoot,’ ‘Till Death Us Do Part,’ ‘My Old Man,’ ‘South Riding,’ and ‘The Growing Pains of PC Penrose.’
  • From 1976 to 1981, he appeared in productions such as ‘The Littlest Horse Thieves,’ ‘Well Anyway,’ ‘Sykes,’ ‘Jabberwocky,’ ‘The Boys and Mrs B,’ ‘Mr. Big,’ ‘It Ain’t Half Hot Mum,’ ‘Backs to the Land,’ ‘The Foundation’ ‘Come Back Mrs. Noah,’ ‘All Creatures Great and Small,’ ‘The Waterloo Bridge Handicap,’ ‘The Strange Affair of Adelaide Harris,’ ‘Doing Time,’ ‘Shoestring,’ ‘Citizen Smith,’ ‘God’s Wonderful Railway,’ ‘Just Liz,’ ‘Oh Happy Band,’ ‘Born and Bred,’ ‘Kelly Monteith,’ ‘Are You Being Served?,’ ‘Sredni Vashtar,’ and ‘Codename Icarus.’
  • In 1982, he became a household name after he started playing the lead role of ‘Rene Artois’ in the British sitcom ‘’Allo ’Allo!’ The comedy series had 85 episodes and was aired until 1992. The audiences loved it. He also performed in the stage adaptations of the sitcom.
  • During the rest of the 1980s, he appeared in ‘Fame is the Spur,’ ‘Dead on Time,’ ‘Let There Be Love,’ ‘Don’t Rock the Boat,’ ‘Mansfield Park,’ ‘Minder,’ ‘Play for Today, ‘The Gentle Touch,’ ‘The Life and Death of King John,’ ‘Much Ado About Nothing,’ ‘Brazil,’ ‘Screen Two,’ ‘The Les Dennis Laughter Show,’ ‘The Noel Edmonds Saturday Roadshow,’ and ‘’Allo ’Allo’ (at the ‘London Palladium’).
  • In 1990, he appeared in ‘Last of the Summer Wine’ and ‘The Tale of Little Pig Robinson.’
  • In 1993, he appeared in an episode of ‘Screen One,’ titled ‘The Bullion Boys.’ The following year, he appeared as ‘Rene Artois’ in the TV movie ‘The Best of ‘’Allo ’Allo!’
  • In 2001, he portrayed ‘The Farmer’ in one episode of the series ‘Revolver.’ He appeared in three episodes of the same series in 2004.
  • In 2005, he received the ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ at the ‘Examiner Community Awards’ ceremony.
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Family, Personal Life & Death
  • He was stereotyped as a shy, gay, and overweight youngster.
  • His professional name, “Gorden Kaye,” was the result of a typographical error that had occurred when his name was entered in the records of the ‘British Actors’ Equity Association.’
  • Along with Hilary Bonner, he co-authored his autobiography, ‘Rene and Me: An Autobiography.’ It was published by ‘Sidgwick & Jackson’ in September 1989.
  • On January 25, 1990, he sustained grave injuries to his head due to a freak accident while driving during the ‘Cyclone Daria,’ also known as ‘Burns’ Day Storm.’ A plank of wood from a hoarding broke through his car’s windscreen and crashed into his forehead. Fortunately, he survived due to the timely intervention of an off-duty nurse at the spot of the incident. However, he had to undergo surgery. Even after receiving proper medical care, he was left with a permanent scar on his forehead. However, the gruesome accident did not have any lasting impact, and he returned to perform soon.
  • He was a patient of dementia and stayed in a care home during the last 2 years of his life.
  • He breathed his last on January 23, 2017, at a care home in Knaresborough, in the Borough of Harrogate, North Yorkshire, England. He was 75 years old at the time of his death.
  • His funeral was held on February 17, 2017, 25 days after his death. It was attended by his co-actors from ‘’Allo ’Allo!’ and ‘Coronation Street.’
  • His ‘’Allo ’Allo!’ co-star Vicki Michelle claimed that Kaye had been embarrassed to kiss her.
  • He interviewed ‘The Beatles’ when he worked with the local ‘Huddersfield Radio Station.’
  • He appeared as himself on a lot of shows, such as ‘Family Fortunes,’ ‘The Return of ‘’Allo ’Allo!,’ ‘Saturday Night Out,’ ‘Happy Birthday, Coronation Street!,’ and ‘Christmas Morning with Noel.’

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