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IN MEMORIAM: Alec Guinness

My great fear is that the West, addicted to nonsense and worse, will collapse. Hollywood abets this decline and profits hugely from it. I view it as the Empire of Evil. Acting should perhaps be thrown into the garbage can of history. When I watch on TV the faces of the Russians who lost relatives in the submarine "Kursk," I weep with them. Their tears are genuine. It is easy to tell that actors are acting.

Guinness was one of the few actors of whom this could not be said. In "Kind hearts and coronets" he fooled the viewers into believing that he was eight different people. Most actors have a hyper-inflated ego. Not Guinness. His idea was service.

Most actors want and get impressive funerals. Not Guinness. As his friend Keith Baxter reported: When he was told that he was about to die, "He accepted the news calmly, made his last confession and died within 24 hours. He was carried into a plain, red-brick Catholic church where he and his wife worshipped every Sunday. The cushion with his honors lay on a plain, oak coffin, unadorned save with the crucifix and a wreath of English wildflowers...The elderly priest dropped his prayer book and lost his place in the Mass, and everyone felt it was a role that Alec could have played. Then we stood by his grave in a green English field and said goodbye to him".

Ronald Hilton - 8/26/00