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FDA Tributes

 

Alexander Walker (1930 -- 2003)

Film critic of the London Evening Standard for 43 years, Alexander Walker became a legend in the UK film community. Raised in Northern Ireland, he graduated in political philosophy from Queen's University, Belfast, then studied further in Bruges and Michigan.

Returning to England, he started writing for newspapers in Birmingham, first features and editorials, then film reviews. Throughout his childhood, he had been a very regular cinemagoer and accumulated an encyclopaedic knowledge of the movies. Aged 30, he was interviewed for, and secured, the post of Evening Standard film critic, which he retained for the rest of his life.

He ate and breathed the job, never losing his passion for filmmakers and their works. He always championed those he liked, ranging from A Clockwork Orange to Citizen Kane, Dr No to Lawrence of Arabia, Clint Eastwood to Billy Wilder. As well as thousands of sharply crafted reviews, he wrote more than 20 biographies of film stars, including Peter Sellers, Vivien Leigh and Elizabeth Taylor, all typewritten at his London flat.

He would express his independent opinions firmly, whatever other people may think; yet he was courteous and smart. FDA last saw him in April 2003, when he came in to the office to record on video a sparkling, good-humoured tribute to the film distributor, Kenneth Rive. Alex passed away in the London Clinic, aged 73, having been ill for just a few weeks.