Bob Goody Dies: Classically Trained Actor And Co-Writer Of BBC Comedy ‘Wilderness Road’ Was 71

Bob Goody
Bob Goody Courtesy of family

Bob Goody, veteran British stage and screen actor and co-writer of 1985 BBC1 comedy Wilderness Road, has died at age 71.

He passed away March 5 after a long battle with cancer that he chronicled in a book of verse.

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Born in Brighton in 1951, Goody trained at RADA and became known as a charismatic actor and poet. He fronted his own ITV children’s sketch show, Smith & Goody, in the 1980s with writer and comedian Mel Smith before penning Wilderness Road, a sitcom set in a seedy London pub, with Richard Cottan.

Goody’s TV acting roles included appearances in Bleak House, EastEnders, Lovejoy, the Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels TV spinoff Lock Stock… and Queens of Mystery, and his film roles include Peter Greenaway’s The Cook the Thief His Wife & Her Lover, Mike Leigh’s Mr Turner and Peterloo, and The Borrowers. He also toured with the Royal Shakespeare Company and was part of Patrick Barlow’s National Theatre of Brent.

Cottan, his writing partner, called Goody “outgoing, warm, ineffably generous” and “a natural performer. With his distinctive appearance and unique comic talent he was an unforgettable presence on both stage and screen.”

Goody had written series of two-man comedy theater shows, on of which won a an Edinburgh Fringe First Award, and was an original member of theater company Shared Experience, where he performed a one-man show, The Insomniac In Morgue Drawer Nine, in 1982.

As a writer, he also wrote the libretto for the Deutsche Oper am Rhein opera The Fashion in 2008 and more recently published a book of verse, War and Paracetamol, which charted his life and the journey of his illness. “Funny, profound and often in extremely bad taste, these verses are in many ways Bob’s true artistic legacy,” said Cottan.

Goody is survived by his wife Gina; brother Dave; daughters Gemma, Seonaid and Sophie; and four grandchildren.

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