News – UK – Tony Hendra, who played band manager Ian Faith on “This Is Spinal Tap”, dies at the age of 79


Tony Hendra, the British satirist and comic book whose roles included top editorial positions on magazines such as National Lampoon and Spy, as well as a role in the musical Mockumentary “This Is Spinal Tap” died Thursday in Yonkers, NY He was 79 years old

His wife, Carla Meisner, told the New York Times that the cause of death was Lou Gehrig’s disease, which the writer was first diagnosed with in 2019

In Rob Reiner’s 1984 mockumentary “This Is Spinal Tap,” he played Ian Faith, the awkward band manager who tells Michael McKean’s character that canceling a gig in Boston isn’t a big deal because “it’s not a big university town”

Hendra began writing and performing comedy as a student at Cambridge University and worked with future members of the Monty Python troupe. In 1964, he and his performing partner Nick Ullett began their stage appearance in the United States, where he regularly stood. performed comedy, wrote and edited for various publications, and acted and published books
Looking for a steady income, Hendra turned to television writing in 1969. He wrote “Playboy After Dark” and “Music Scene” for Hugh Hefner, but after those hits he accidentally sabotaged his career. He took advertisements in Variety and The Hollywood Reporter in the form of an open letter to James Roche, chairman of General Motors, scolding him for the company’s record for pollution that damaged his opportunity to write an appearance for a Chevrolet-sponsored special
He began writing for the newly formed National Lampoon in 1970, founded by alumni of Harvard Lampoon. He was named editor-in-chief the following year and stayed with the magazine for most of the decade a franchise of books, record albums, series of films and more was born, including National Lampoon’s Lemmings theater production that became an off-Broadway hit starring Chevy Chase and John Belushi

Among other notable projects, Hendra co-wrote the 1996 screenplay for the boxing comedy “The Great White Hype” with Ron Shelton with Samuel L. Jackson, Damon Wayans and Jeff Goldblum In 2004 he published his critically acclaimed treatise “Father Joe: The Man Who Saved My Soul, ”in which he recounted his relationship with a monk whom he wrote to overcome personal setbacks and moral corruption and brought him back to his Roman Catholic faith in childhood, in the book he said he had thought about suicide before “Spinal Tap” started filming, but working on the production breathed new life into it

After the book was published, Jessica Hendra, Hendra’s daughter from his first marriage, submitted an essay to the New York Times stating that Hendra had sexually abused her several times as a girl, which was not the case in his book While the Times did not publish the article, it hired an investigative reporter to investigate the allegation. A month later, the Times published a report on Hendra’s story. A year later, Hendra published a paper of his own entitled “How to Cook Your Daughter,” in who fully described the abuse. Hendra denied her allegations

Following the allegations, Hendra avoided the limelight despite writing a 2006 novel called “The Messiah of Morris Avenue”

He was born in Willesden, England, and lived in the US for most of his life. He married Judith Hilary at Christmas in 1964. After divorcing her in the 1980s, he married Meisner in 1986 Jessica and another daughter from his first marriage, Katherine; three children from his second marriage, Lucy, Sebastian and Nicholas; a brother, Martin; two sisters, Angela Hendra and Celia Radice; and four grandchildren

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Tony Hendra, this is Spinal Tap, Ian Faith, National Lampoon

News – GB – Tony Hendra, who played band manager Ian Faith in “This Is Spinal Tap”, dies at 79