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Eric Blore

Eric Blore

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  • Hilarious, underrated character actor

    • Cynthia Brideson
    • 2011-01-08

    Eric Blore is most remembered today by Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers fans. He appeared in five of their films and in each one, he was a scene stealer. This says a lot, especially when he shared the screen with Astaire, Rogers, or other great character actors like Edward Everett Horton. His best performance was in "Top Hat" as Horton's "indispensible valet" Mr. Bates. Blore's performance as Bates seems to have influenced Stephen Fry's portrayal of the butler Jeeves in the BBC's Jeeves and Wooster series. Blore is priceless in a scene with Horton in which he acts resentful and supercilious toward his employer because of a disagreement they had over what color of bowtie was most proper. When Fred Astaire walks in wearing a properly colored tie, Blore sniffily says, "Let me compliment you on your excellent taste in ties" and then turns a smug, furious glance at Horton. Blore uses his British accent perfectly, hissing his s's and pronouncing each syllable with exaggerrated precision as if to make others around him sound coarse in comparison. Though Eric Blore has fallen into obscurity today, his contribution to 1930s comedy is invaluable.

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