Thursday, August 23, 2001

Thanks Sameer!

Sameer Thaver has sent me some really interesting tidbits about Bob Uecker for Bob's page on the site. Thanks man! I've been trying to upload the new page, but I seem to be having problems with my FTP, as well as other programs that access the Internet including my download managers. The only exception are browsers, and that's why I'm able to update this journal via Blogger. I think I got a bug. I don't know when I can fix it, and when I do, I'll upload the page. Just wanted you to know that I appreciate your efforts. Thanks!

Tuesday, August 14, 2001

Who Is This Christopher Guy?

Once in a while I get an email from someone that deserves a really good answer. I have received numerous questions in the past which I have answered individually. I'm thinking now that I ought to go and put up a FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) for Mr. Belvedere. This is one such question I received today:

"I thought Clifton Webb was Mr. Belvedere. Who is this Christopher guy?"

Yes, Clifton Webb was indeed Mr. Belvedere, the original one, I must say. He originated the role (and got an Oscar nomination for Best Actor) of Mr. Lynn Belvedere in the movie Sitting Pretty, released in 1948. He then followed this up with two more films. Mr. Belvedere Goes To College and Mr. Belvedere Rings The Bell.

Christopher Hewett played the same character of Mr. Lynn Belvedere, albeit in a different time period and different location, in the 80's TV sitcom called "Mr. Belvedere" which ran from 1985 to 1990. I chose to concentrate on this version of this character in this site. More info on this can be found in the "History" section.

Looking at the History page now, I suppose I should expand it a bit. I haven't seen those three original films myself. The video of Sitting Pretty is available, so I might do well to check it out one of these days.

Monday, August 13, 2001

Christopher Hewett Anecdotes

Here's an interesting anecdote from Mark Evanier, TV and Comic Book scribe. To you comic book fans, he worked on the terribly funny GROO with Sergio Aragones.

"When Hewett came into the room, I couldn't resist: In my best Gene Wilder simulation, I muttered, "Max, he's wearing a dress." There was a pause as everyone else in the room looked at me like I was more insane than usual. None of them got the reference. None of them recalled that Christopher Hewett played the effeminate director, Roger DeBris, in Mel Brooks's classic movie, The Producers."

Read More about what happened here:

From the AP report from the Dallas Morning News:

Christopher Hewett, TV's 'Mr. Belvedere,' dies at 80

Associated Press

Christopher Hewett

LOS ANGELES – Christopher Hewett, the British-born stage actor perhaps best remembered as television's endearing English butler, "Mr. Belvedere," died Friday. He was 80.

Hewett, whose career began at age 7 on a stage in Ireland, had been in declining health for some time, said his nephew, Paul Hewett. He died at home a day after being released from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

"His biggest goal was to get back home, and he made it," his nephew said. "We got him back home yesterday and he died today."

Although the stage was his first love, Hewett likely gained his greatest fame playing the endearing title role on television's "Mr. Belvedere" from 1985 to 1990.

As Lynn Belvedere, he was a one-time butler for England's royal family who moved to the United States and wound up working for a dysfunctional family, some of whose members never did learn to pronounce his name properly. He made his way through the job with wisecracks and sarcasm.

He wasn't as gracious with people who often misspelled his name, substituting an "i" for the second "e," his nephew recalled.

"Oh he hated that," he said with a laugh.

Hewett, whose career spanned more than 60 years, made his acting on the Dublin, Ireland stage at age 7, in Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream."

"I played the Indian prince, a very easy part. No lines, but lots of lovely costumes," he recalled years later.

Born April 5, 1921, in Worthing, England, Hewett joined the British Royal Air Force at 16. Upon leaving the service, he joined the Oxford Repertory Company where he recalled appearing in more than 100 plays, including some punctuated by the sounds of bombs exploding during World War II.

"I was back in theater just in time for the Blitz," Hewett said of the German air raids that rained bombs on London during the war.

"Shows were often interrupted by the bombing, but I don't remember that we ever stopped, even during a heavy blitz," he recalled. "We would pause for a minute during the air raid alarm so that anyone who wanted to leave could do so."

He also appeared in several movies, including "Pool of London" and "The Lavender Hill Mob," both in 1951, as well as the Mel Brooks film "The Producers," in 1968.

His first foray into television came in the 1976 series "Ivan the Terrible." That was followed by a short stint on television's "Fantasy Island" in the late 1970s.

His Broadway debut came in 1956 in the original production of "My Fair Lady."

"It's been a very good life for me," Hewett once said. "I don't know what another life would have been like, so it's hard to tell. As an actor, I've been round the world doing it, and I've paid my way."

He is survived by a sister-in-law and a number of nieces and nephews. A memorial service is scheduled Aug. 10 at St. Victor's Church in West Hollywood.


I had been wondering how Christopher Hewett's memorial went. It's a good thing this fella named Ryan posted this report from the guestbook. I'm reprinting it here for those who haven't seen it yet. I wish I could have been there.

Who Are You? Ryan
Date Fri Aug 10, 2001 1131 pm

I fortunately live about 45 minutes from Hollywood, so I decided to attend Mr. Hewett's memorial this afternoon. It was nice to be able to say goodbye to "Mr. Belvedere" properly. Rob Stone was very gracious when I offered my sympathies and we had a pleasant talk for a minute or so. He telling me that Chris was like the grandfather of the set, what you saw on the screen was him in real life. Brice was either shy or busy, as he didn't really stop but for a few seconds to let me say sorry about Mr. B. I couldn't help but stargaze a bit, as Jeffrey Jones (the principal from "Ferris Bueller's...") was there, oddly enough, with Edie McClurg, who played his goofy secretary in that movie. Other notables were Doris Roberts ("Everybody Loves Raymond", played the judge in the deportation episode) and a slew of journeyman actors. The pastor had some interesting comments that Mr. Hewett was suffering from diabetes, cancer, had recently had a stroke, and had to have one of his legs partially amputated. But on the sunnier side, he was a fixture at St. Victor's in Hollywood, always doing a reading or singing, and surprisingly was a Eucharistic minister. There was also a great board decked out with pictures of Mr. Hewett from over the years, a great sight that really showed you how full a career, and life, he had. All in all, some good closure for a fan like myself, who's been following this guy since I was 9. So, goodbye Mr. Hewett, and goodbye Mr. Belvedere, we'll never forget you.

Friday, August 10, 2001


I got an email from DAVID STAAB with the subject line "So sorry for your loss". I thought, well, why should he be sorry to me, I never lost anyone. I'm thinking that maybe it's for the tribute. So I look inside and David turns around and tells me, in huge capital letters, "GET A LIFE!".

I could ignore it of course, but I'm not kind of person. Most likely a lot of other people visiting this site are thinking the same thing. Some of you reading this are probably thinking that same thing right now. For their benefit and David Staab's, I'm going to pursue it here.

Probably David Staab thinks I've got nothing else to do, and that Mr. Belvedere fans have got nothing else to do. He probably thinks we do nothing but sit in our rooms and watch nothing but Mr. Belvedere 20 hours a day, and devote the next 4 hours to creating websites about the show.

Apprently, David Staab thinks that he is an authority in my life so much so that thinks he is knowledgeable enough to pass judgment on my life and what I do. I think that's remarkable because I've never met David Staab. From this I can maybe draw a couple of conclusions. Maybe he's psychic. Or maybe he's a stalker. Creepy! Or maybe he's just someone who's got nothing else to do but drop bombs of judgment on poor unsuspecting webmasters of defunct TV shows.

I wouldn't know, I don't know David Staab. But I do know what he wrote to me. David Staab, don't you have anything better to do? Who between the two of us really doesn't have a life?

I have no regrets making the website. I'm proud that I've done it, and I will continue to do it. Mr. Belvedere was truly one of the warmest, comfortably amusing shows in television. One of the reasons I've put this all together is to keep the memory of this wonderful show alive, and hope that the show be once again put on the air. I truly believe that everyone in the world will be better off with a Mr. Belvedere on their side, including YOU, David Staab.

For everyone's info, yes, I've got a life. What makes people think I don't? I don't see the logic and reasoning that anyone devoting time to appreciate a show like this as a hobby be considered as not having a life. While I love this show, it's not the only thing I devote my time too. In fact, for the past year or so, I've practically neglected the site because demands on my time from other places are just simply too much. For anyone interested, THIS is what I really do.

Tuesday, August 7, 2001

More on Christopher Hewett's Passing

Thanks to all those who had been signing the guestbook, and those sending me messages for our tribute. Please keep them coming!

Here are 2 more news reports about Christopher Hewett over at Yahoo Daily News:

"One of TV's most endearing butler's has passed away.

British actor Christopher Hewett , who had the lead role in Mr. Belvedere from 1985 to 1990, died Friday at age 80 after returning home from the hospital."

From E! Online:

"Christopher Hewett, the British stage actor who made his mark on American pop culture as TV's beloved butler Mr. Belvedere, died Friday at his home in Los Angeles. He was 80.

The thespian reportedly had been ailing for some time. He died just one day after checking out of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, his nephew, Paul Hewett, told the Los Angeles Times."

Monday, August 6, 2001

Christopher Hewett Tribute

A few days ago I received an email telling me that Christopher Hewett had passed away. I was skeptical, because I knew how easy it is to say anything on the Internet. I decided to get in touch with some of those who were close to him to confirm the news. So I wrote to Rob Stone, who played Kevin on the show. Rob had emailed me once after he saw the site and confirmed to me that he was not Marilyn Manson. I thanked him for writing, as he had requested, I promised not to give out his address. I know some of you really want to write him, and I understand it, really. If it was up to me I would tell you, but I can't. I'm sorry! I tried not to write him too much after that because I wanted to respect his privacy. But this was an exception. So I wrote him, and not long after he sent me this reply. I thought I could share it with all of you.

Yes, Chris passed away Friday at the age of 80. He was a wonderful man and an enormous talent. He'll be greatly missed.


Posted 8:54 AM by Gerry Alanguilan

I've put the TRIBUTE page up. Thanks to all those who have written me and sent their anecdotes, and thanks to all those who agreed to let me use their words for the site. If you have something to say about Christopher Hewett and Mr. Belvedere, please feel free to write me and I'll put it up there. I hope you pardon me for not automating this process, but it's just a way of keeping the freaks from leaving inappropriate messages, specially at this time.

Saturday, August 4, 2001

I Can't Stay Away

(Mr. Belvedere)

Believe it or not, Mr. Belvedere had a huge influence in my life. It was 1996. I was at home resting after months of gruelling work and all I wanted to do was channel surf. This was where I discovered Mr. Belvedere. I would later learn that the show had been off the air for 6 years, after it had been on the air since 1985. So I guess I never really grew up with the show, but I can certainly say I have grown, if only for a little bit, after watching it.

It wasn't the funniest of shows. In fact, there were jokes that simply fell flat, and some were absolutely corny, just like the jokes my dad would crack once in a while. But in spite of that, the show felt real. The characters felt real. There were times I felt like I was watching a reality TV show into a real American family where cameras would follow them around. The Owenses became like a second family, and Mr. Belvedere, a big wise old uncle. In the many decisions I have made in my life since then, I have often wondered, well, what would Mr. Belvedere do in this situation? Would he do this? What would he say? What would he decide?

I'm speaking of course, of Mr. Belvedere and the effect he had on my life. But what of Christopher Hewett? To be honest, I really don't know him. I don't know what he's like. But I did get to know him in bits and pieces from those lives he had affected. His cast mates speak fondly of him, as I have read in that special Mr. Belvedere "Where Are They Now?" article from a People Magazine issue last year. I had gotten in touch with a former guest star, Mr. Harvey Goldenberg, and he was all praises for Christopher. He told me the story of how at times Christopher would have an acute attack of his arthritis and yet he took it and he continued to work like a trouper. He continued to make everyone feel welcome on the set. He made sure the guests were treated special. I believe Mr. Goldenberg. I'm sure that Christopher indeed was a truly wonderful and special man.

I had his address for several years. In fact, I have posted it on this site somewhere. But for some reason, I never worked up the guts to actually pick up the pen and actually write to him. What could I possibly say? It has occurred to me just now that I could have at least thanked him. I now wish that I had.

Thank you Mr. Hewett for all the great and wonderful memories. You will be sorely missed.

Do you have something to say about Christopher Hewett and Mr. Belvedere? You can write me at this address: mrbeaverfalls at yahoo dot com I'll be putting up a tribute page where I'll be putting up all your comments.
Posted 12:05 PM by Gerry Alanguilan

I just learned that Christopher Hewett passed away. He died Friday, August 3. I know he had been ill for a while, but it was still quite a shock nonetheless. I'll be writing a much more fitting eulogy for him later tonight. Thanks Christopher, thanks Mr. Belvedere for all the great and wonderful memories. You were, and still are, THE BEST!

Posted 10:15 AM by Gerry Alanguilan

Hello Everybody! Contrary to what I have mentioned in this site previously, I have changed my mind and will continue to update this site, although not as often as I did before. I have put up this on line journal so surfers to this site will have a place where they can see what new updates there are, or if I just have any thoughts about the show that I wish to share.

Try as I might, I really just can't stay away. :)