THE MIGHTY BEAN

 

Sgt. Patrick Harper

 

 

The wonderful Irish sergeant, always at Sharpe's side through battles, and emotional turmoil, the 6' 4" tall giant of a man who began as Sharpe's enemy and ended up as his greatest friend. Born in Tangaveane, Donegal, Ireland, Patrick Harper only joined the British Army to avoid starvation, but he was a talented soldier, and Sharpe relied on his natural leadership of men and gave him sergeant's stripes. He was the only man who could fire the hefty 7 barrel Nock volley gun which Sharpe bought for him in Lisbon and although he fought ferociously when necessary, he was a peace loving man whose greatest love was bird watching.

He saved a young girl, Ramona, from the savage sack of Badajoz, had a child by her and subsequently due to Sharpe's insistence, married her. After Waterloo and peace Harper retired back to Dublin, opened a pub and became a horse dealer. He never forgot his friend Richard Sharpe and was happy to join him on a last adventure to Chile.

 

 

 

 

Daragh O'Malley

Daragh was born in Limerick, Ireland on 25th May 1954. His father was a prominent Irish politician and his mother was an eminent psychiatrist. Throughout his schooldays, Daragh was always involved in drama, and when he left school he joined the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. After drama school, he worked in theatre before his first tv role as Pat Grogan in ATV's Crossroads.

From those early days Daragh has gone on to appear in more than 80 tv productions and films. Since his role as Harper, Daragh has been busy writing, directing and appearing in various film roles on tv and the cinema. He is currently working on the latest series for tv, "Silent Witness". Daragh is married to Gabrielle and lives in Ireland.

Rifleman Daniel Hagman

Hagman was originally a poacher from Cheshire who joined the army rather than go to jail. His marksmanship with a rifle and his quiet humour endeared him to all the men he served with in the army.

Sharpe, in particular, valued the old rifleman's friendship and advice, including Hagman's oft repeated 'treat it with vinegar and brown paper, sir'!

In the films, of course, we have the added extra of Hagman's singing aka his alter ego, John Tams.

Many a tear was shed by Sharpe fans when Hagman was finally killed off at Waterloo - somehow we expected Hagman to live forever, much like Harper and Sharpe.

John Tams

John Tams was born on 16th February 1949, where music was always part of his upbringing. He left school uncertificated and in his words, "uneducated", and drifted into several jobs before becoming a reporter for local newspapers in the Derbyshire area.

Since his early days, Tams has become a major figure on the folk/rock scene, and is acknowledged by his peers as an outstanding musician and songwriter. He has worked extensively in theatre, film and television.

At the present time with two solo albums under his belt, Tams is touring the country with Barry Coope, another outstanding musician, their gigs are legendary, and hugely enjoyable. Information on John Tams can be found on his official website :  John Tams Official Website or visit his MySpace page : Here 

John is married to Sally, they have a daughter Rosie, and live in Derbyshire.

Rifleman Harris

Wp made by Sylvia

Harris, the only rifleman with no first name! The educated one! In his own words he admits to Richard Sharpe at their first meeting, that 'I was a courtier to Lord Bacchus and an unremitting debtor", Sharpe's reply, "You mean you're a rogue and a wastrel, what else can you do?" To which Harris says, "I can read, sir!"

Not only the educated rifleman, but he takes on the role of shoe repairer and is quite a lad with the ladies .... he was especially taken with a gypsy girl in Sharpe's Mission. Whilst he seems different in character to the other riflemen, Harris is accepted by his peers and indeed, they and Sharpe always turn to him when they need translations, or sundry information - although he did tend to annoy Sharpe at times by quoting latin, or pieces of literature sometimes when inappropriate!

A very active rifleman, Harris is the one with great strength and can generally be found in the thick of the action, but always keeping an eye on his friends. Towards the end of the films, Harris can usually be found at the side of Hagman, and its Hagman who asks him, "What IS your first name Harris?" We never get the answer to this, and sadly at the Battle of Waterloo, Harris dies trying to reach his friend, Daniel Hagman .... many a tear was shed during that scene, we'll miss him!

Jason Salkey

Jason was born in London, England on Tuesday 24th April 1962. He went to school at the Fox Primary School, in London, Amherst Regional High School, Massachusetts, USA and Hampshire College, Massachusetts, USA (BA in Acting and Directing). Jason's first 14 years were spent growing up like any other kid living in the inner city with dreams of becoming a footballer, pop star or actor.

In 1976 Jason's father got a job teaching poetry and creative writing in New England, USA. Whilst living on the edge of the student campus, he become involved with playing Frisbee. Jason competed around the world in International Frisbee championships where he travelled a lot, got sponsored by AMF Voit and met a lot of interesting folk. However he eventually had to choose between acting and Frisbee - acting won!

Jason's first acting job back in London was playing various parts in a series of plays about art being performed in an art gallery in Chelsea. After several other roles, he landed a major role in a huge beer commercial campaign for Miller Lite after which he became instantly recognisable in the UK.

In 1992 Jason walked into an office in Noel Street, Soho, London. It housed the offices of John & Ros Hubbard, where he met Jim Goddard, the first director of a show called Sharpe's Rifles. The rest, as they say is history.

For a full list of credits and further information please visit Jason's website www.riflemanharris.co.uk/ or You can also visit his MySpace Page : Here

During his time working on the "Sharpe" series, Jason Salkey kept an extensive video record on behind-the-scenes life, both on and off the set. Information on how to but them you'll find on his website.

Buying his video's/DVD's will often get you a little extra like these pictures most of the people ordering received :

 

 

Rifleman Perkins

The youngest by far of the Chosen Men, Perkins wins his stripe by saving Sharpe's life at the end of Sharpe's Rifles. From there, it is fascinating watching both Perkins and his alter ego Lyndon Davies mature through the next 5 yrs and 6 films of Sharpe.

Perkins is alternately looked after, teased and brought up by some of the toughest and roughest soldiers in the British Army. Remember the scene in Sharpe's Enemy when they make him wear Ramona's best dress - hilarious!

Even Teresa kept a motherly eye on him!

It came as a great shock to fans of the Chosen Men when Perkins was stabbed by O'Rourke in Sharpe's Battle and dies in Harper's arms ... not a dry eye in the place, nor on set either from what we hear!

Lyndon Davies

Lyndon Davies began acting at the age of 9yrs when he appeared in tv's Singing Detective, he then went on to make Cider with Rosie, and appeared in some very successful adverts.

He also appeared in Black Beauty alongside Sean Bean ... who just happened to be playing Richard Sharpe whilst Lyndon took on the role of Perkins when he was 18 years old.

Now living in Cheltenham, Glos., his home town, Lyndon has left acting and at the present time has no plans to return.

Isaiah Tongue

Rifleman Tongue is a bit of an enigma, by that I mean that he's one character in the books and quite another in the films!

In Bernard Cornwell's books, Rifleman Tongue is the educated one of Sharpe's bunch of misfits. He was also a drunk, which is how he came into the army ... but he was invaluable in Sharpe's company when sober, he could read letters, and remember the bible. He comes to an untimely end in Sharpe's Gold.

In the films, he is the opposite ... not exactly dim witted but certainly a little slow except with the ladies! He has no background, other than the army, but he can fight and is good with the rifle, and follows orders to the letter. Tall, and willowy, Tongue is one of life's pieces of flotsam, no one knows where he came from ... and he disappeared after Sharpe's Eagle. He was a great character, and was very popular with everyone. Paul Trussell's characterisation was an interesting one, somehow you managed to find sympathy for Tongue whilst enjoying his cheekiness too! I wished he had returned after Eagle, just to see how his character developed.

Paul Trussell

Paul Trussell was born in Wimbledon in 1965. Son of a policeman and a housewife, the youngest by ten years of three brothers. He first enjoyed the limelight aged five for a production at Bushey Primary School but to this day believes he was robbed of a better role (He was in the chorus seated at side of stage) by Steven Bunworth.

Following a fairly normal upbringing, at fifteen he was devastated by the tragic death of his beloved elder brother, Barry, a fireman mortally wounded at a fire in St. George's Hospital, Tooting. He also lost his best friend, at eighteen in a motorcycle crash.

Despite being rejected for every drama school in London he was determined that a life of make-believe was for him and broke into professional acting aged twenty one when he formed a Theatre in Education company and gained an equity card.

Since then he (well me really, we all know I'm actually writing this..!) has performed in many plays and television programmes and the odd film. Highlights for me, I mean him are 'Sharpe' (obviously), 'Crime Traveller', 'Vanishing Man', 'So Haunt Me', two series of 'Big Meg, Little Meg' and 'Cry Wolf' all of which were nice regular parts and guest appearances in, amongst others, 'Chef', 'The Chief', 'Cadfael', 'Bugs', 'Wexford', 'Sam's Game', 'My Family' the odd 'Holby City' and of course a few 'Bills'(Including last years live one)!

His favourite stage appearances would include 'Sam and Sarah Dress Up' at the Chelsea Centre (Having co-devised the piece with friends from his own company) 'Les Liaisons Dangereuses' touring with the RSC, 'Marya' at the Old Vic 'It's a Great Big Shame' (Which was devised with Mike Leigh, over three months of cast improvisations) and Mike Alfreds' production of 'Midsummer Night's Dream' and 'The Golden Ass' at Shakespeare's Globe.

Film includes Mike Leigh's 'Life is Sweet' and 'Secrets and Lies' (don't blink though!), Roger Michell's 'Titanic Town' and peep peeping his whistle as Ned the Fireman in the recent remake of 'The Railway Children'.

Paul lives in Mitcham with his fiancée Penny and dog Lottie. He is currently hard at work devising a television drama but in September will be appearing as Sir Andrew Aguecheek in Twelfth Night at The Bolton Octagon.

 

Rifleman Cooper

Cooper appears on the first page of the book, Sharpe's Rifles and also early on in the film too. From there he pops up quite a lot until finally leaving after Sharpe's Gold. Cooper is an old hand at the game of survival, like Sharpe he was born and bred in the London slums where he learnt his trade in thieving and pick pocketing. Remember, in Sharpe's Rifles when Sharpe asks Cooper for a picklock?

"Catch me with a picklock sir?" says Cooper
"They did, so hand it over Coops!" replies Harper.

Whilst not over endowed on the brains side, Cooper nevertheless is quick witted and a good shot, never one to miss any opportunity, whether its to leave the column to shoot a rabbit for supper or to eye up a pretty girl. He is fiercely loyal to his mates, but won't stand for any injustice within his company. Cooper possesses a dry kind of humour, and it was a sad day when he disappeared after Sharpe's Gold.

However, he did return to narrate Sharpe the Legend - sitting in a pub!

Michael Mears

Michael was born in North London in 1957, grew up there and trained as an actor at the DRAMA CENTRE, LONDON.

He has worked in many theatres in Britain, recently finishing a two-year spell as a member of the ROYAL SHAKESPEARE COMPANY, taking part in Steven Pimlott’s production of HAMLET, and JUBILEE by Peter Barnes, in which he played Thomas Arne. Last year he played the title role in Moliere’s THE HYPOCHONDRIAC at Bolton Octagon in a new version by Ranjit Bolt and all the Alec Guiness parts in a stage version of the classic Ealing Comedy film KIND HEARTS AND CORONETS at Hornchurch Queen’s Theatre.

Other theatre work includes playing Christ in the Medieval Mystery Plays cycle in the Old Cathedral Ruins at Coventry, and Fagin in the musical OLIVER! and Sherlock Holmes in HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES at Coventry’s Belgrade Theatre. He spent a year touring Britain and the Far East and Australia with the Actor’s Touring Co., doubling as both Malvolio and Orsino in Shakespeare’s TWELFTH NIGHT.

Film work includes FOUR WEDDINGS AND A FUNERAL, LITTLE DORRIT (in which he played two parts, including Alec Guinness’ s Valet), QUEEN OF HEARTS, and THE OLD CURIOSITY SHOP.

Television work includes INSPECTOR MORSE, the first six SHARPE films (playing Rifleman Cooper), and Alex Kozobolis in two series of the BBC’s LENNY HENRY SHOW.

He has also written and performed two solo stage plays. TOMORROW WE DO THE SKY, in which he played all the men and women working in a factory canteen, was premiered at the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh in 1991 - and nominated for the Independent Theatre Award. It then transferred to London’s Lyric Studio. SOUP, in which he played five homeless people and the architect who befriends them, followed in 1995, selling out and winning a FRINGE FIRST AWARD at that year’s Edinburgh Festival. Michael was also nominated for Best Actor at the Festival that year.

Both have been performed by him on BBC Radio 4, who also commissioned him to write and perform three solo plays specially for radio, A SLIGHT TILT TO THE LEFT, SLOW TRAIN TO WOKING, and UNCLE HAPPY, all produced by Enyd Williams. His latest piece, JAM, about a nightmare car journey, was broadcast on Radio 4 last year.

In June and July of 2004 Michael took two months off to walk the 500 mile ancient pilgrimage route in northern Spain, to Santiago de Compostela. His feet are still recovering. He raised over £5000 for the charity WATERAID including kind contributions from SAS members. In 2004 he will be seen in EVERYTHING I KNOW ABOUT MEN, a new comedy series for the BBC, and in the Christmas Day special of MY FAMILY.

 

Many thanks to Sylvia for her picture and wallpaper !

Source of most of the text thanks to :  http://www.southessex.co.uk/ 

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