An actor who hates shop talk – that’s Stanley Meadows

Meet the actor behind Coronation Street’s Laurie Frazer

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From the TVTimes for week commencing 26 January 1964

IF Stanley Meadows ever runs out of work as an actor, he won’t starve.

He has the basic principles of half a dozen jobs at his fingertips.

And before finding his feet in the theatre he worked, among other things, as a barman, storeman, waiter and shipping representative.

“But I never worked as a theatrical agent,” said Stanley, referring to the part he plays as Laurie Frazer in Coronation Street.

“And I don’t suppose I ever shall. I just don’t have the temperament for it. To succeed in this business, an agent has to be ruthless.

“He has to be able to sell a thing really big, to project a somewhat exaggerated image of the artist he is pushing. And I just couldn’t do that.”

Smooth, polished and quietly accomplished, Stanley Meadows isn’t what you might call a conventional actor.

Stanley Meadows

Many actors and actresses concern themselves almost exclusively with acting, on and off the stage. Stanley doesn’t.

“When I leave the studio in the evening, I forget all about my work. I have no special friends inside the business.

“All my close friends are doctors, or lawyers, or people like that. At home I want to meet new people — not talk shop.”

It was a lesson Stanley learned when he was odd-jobbing around London a few years ago.

“Every job I did brought me into contact with new people,” he said. “It was invaluable experience and grounding for an actor.

“There aren’t many kinds of people that you don’t get a chance to study first-hand if you’re working as a waiter in a restaurant, or serving drinks behind a bar.”

But then Stanley has always been a great one for mixing with a variety of people. He had to be.

The elder son of a sweetshop owner in one of the poorer districts in Stepney Green, he won a scholarship to Forest School in Epping Forest.

“The scholarship provided me with a double problem,” said Stanley drily. “When I was at school I was a Cockney trying to establish myself in public school company.

“When I was at home I was a public school boy trying to adjust again to life in Stepney.”

Stanley emerged singularly lacking in neuroses — which ought to prove something — and by the time he was 21 he knew the only thing he wanted to do in life was to act.

He has worked in a variety of rep. companies, under-studied Sir Laurence Olivier in “The Entertainer,” worked with Sir John Gielgud and Harold Pinter and most of the other top names in the business, and starred in a number of plays on ITV.

His direction at the moment?

“To return to the stage for a while,” he said.

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