ANDREA BASIL MALINDRINOS

Researched and written by Christopher J. Hogger with additional input from the Malandrinos family.

A page prepared in 2020 for the ELHG Exhibition

ALL SORTS OF PECULIAR THINGS …

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Background

Andrea was born in Liverpool on November 14th 1888 to parents Basil Andrea Malandrinos and his wife Julia (née Sergiades). Many websites mistakenly give Andrea’s birthplace as Greece. His GRO birth registration is [Toxteth Park 8b 225, 1888 (Q4)]. His first sister Euphrosine was born about two years later [Toxteth Park 8b 152a, 1890 (Q4)].

The 1891 Census finds the family living at 52, Fern Grove in Toxteth Park and Basil occupied as a corn broker with his birthplace entered as Athens. Julia’s birthplace was given as Alexandria. In 1901 they were living a short distance away at 30, Brompton Avenue, with three servants. Basil was still occupied as a corn broker and merchant but additionally was holding the post of Consul-General for Greece in Liverpool. By now he and Julia had produced a second daughter Aspasia who was probably born on Christmas Day 1893 [Toxteth Park 8b 177, 1894 (Q1)]. The 1911 Census finds the family still in Brompton Avenue but now at No. 30, which may or may not have been the same house as before but renumbered. Basil was still Greek Consul-General and was occupied as a general merchant, whilst Andrea was working as a clerk in a cotton factory.

In that same year, when the annual Catholic Charity Ball was held, Basil’s wife attended (among many other dignitaries) with her daughter (it is not stated which one) and were described as follows:

“Mrs Malindrinos, wearing pale heliotrope satin with touches of gold, chaperoned her daughter, whose white silk frock was sashed with pink.” [The Queen, March 11th 1911]

Greek Consul Basil Andrea Malandrinos
© Malandrinos family
(click to enlarge)

Their attendances at these Balls in other years were similarly reported, as for example in 1912:

“Mrs Malindrinos also wore black with gold lace; Miss Malandrinos [Euphrosine] also wore black satin, with a peplum of gold wrought net;
Miss Aspasia Malandrinos was in pale blue.” [The Queen, March 2nd 1912]

A fulsome account of Basil was published in the Liverpool Post and Mercury on December 5th 1916 and can be read by clicking on this image of him. It explains that Basil had been appointed Consul-General in 1893 and gives examples of the charitable fund raising he had undertaken “for the benefit of Greek subjects temporarily in distress in their native land”.

Before long Andrea became Vice-Consul for Greece, deputizing for his father. In 1916, however, in the middle of the Great War, the crisis engulfing the governments of Britain and Greece over the supposed neutrality of Greece led to the resignation in September of the Greek Minister in London and also of both Basil and Andrea from their Consular positions in Liverpool. The Consul-Generals for London and Manchester also resigned:

Greek Minister and Consuls Resign

M. Basil A. Malandrinos, Greek Consul-General at Liverpool, and his deputy, M. Andrew [sic] B. Malandrinos, have resigned in consequence of the anti-Ally attitude adopted by King Constantine and his Government. M. Malandrinos, who is doyen of the Consular Corps in Liverpool, informed our correspondent yesterday that while his colleagues, the Greek Minister and the Greek Consul-Generals in London and Manchester had acted quite independently of each other in resigning, it was really the only course open to them having regard to the pronounced pro-Ally sympathies entertained by Greeks.”
[The Belfast News-Letter, December 5th 1916].

Some of these resigning individuals were subsequently reinstated when the political situation in Greece (as seen from their point of view) improved. In January 1917 Basil was re-appointed as Consul-General for Liverpool.

From the British Newspaper Archive :
reproduced by kind permission of Reach Plc / Mirrorpix
(click for full article)

The Press published many other accounts of Basil’s good works and public statements during this turbulent decade.

Musical and Theatrical Beginnings

A few newspaper accounts exist which provide a little insight into Andrea’s early interests in music and the dramatic arts. His early acting evidently began with Merseyside’s amateur dramatics group, the Green Room Society. One report also stated that during his period as acting Consul he ran an amateur gypsy orchestra and conducted it (under an assumed name Ibrail Sztereizi) because he could not play any instrument. It was composed of Consular officials and raised a good deal for charities. From newspaper reports we know that he was involved in amateur acting in Liverpool at least as early as 1912.

An account of Andrea’s early performing activities was published on February 1st 1916 in The Liverpool Echo:

The Crane’s Music Hall in Liverpool’s Hanover Street had opened in 1913, being constructed above the ground-floor music shop run by the Crane brothers. In its early years the Hall was used especially by small amateur dramatics groups.

The review provided at right indicates that the performance was staged by “a small company of talented local ladies and gentlemen” whose intention was to take the show to military hospitals and camps, funds for which were to be raised by this appearance at the Hall. It is not wholly clear as to Andrea’s contribution – we are told only that:

“… the most amusing items being … certain musical differences between Signor Carlos Szterenzi (Mr. Malandrinos) and the village organist and pianist (anonymous).”

“Song, story and burlesque were the ingredients of the programme, and very happily were they blended.”

The Cranes Building in Liverpool
(click to enlarge)

Review of “The Eccentrics”, February 1916
(click to enlarge)

Two Weddings in Liverpool

On February 12th 1918 Andrea married Mary Kathleen House at the Greek Church of St Nicholas. It appears to have been a lovely wedding, with the church “beautifully decorated with spring flowers and giant palms” and “singing by a splendidly-trained male choir”, all amidst the light of numerous candles.
[Liverpool Daily Post and Mercury, February 13th 1918]

Just over a week later, on February 21st, his sister Euphrosine married Lt Cyril Groves Banner of the Royal Engineers at St Luke’s Church. Andrea acted as one of the stewards. The bride’s outfit was described as:

“… a dainty gown of white georgette over soft pink ninon, with panels handsomely embroidered with silver. The beautiful Brussels lace that formed the court train was shown to perfection over a lining of pale pink. A narrow wreath of heather and orange blossoms secured the long veil, and the bridal bouquet was of white carnations, heather, and lilies tied with the regimental colours.”
Liverpool Daily Post and Mercury, February 22nd 1918]

Use these buttons to read the full articles reporting the weddings.

From the British Newspaper Archive : reproduced by kind permission of Reach Plc / Mirrorpix

Marriage of Andrea and Kathleen : February 12th 1918
© Malandrinos family

The Twenties

Very little is known of Andrea during this decade. In the spring of 1920 he appeared in a production of Somerset Maugham’s play “Jack Straw” put on at the Crane Hall by the Green Room players, and he was mentioned in a newspaper article about the event:

“… other helpful contributors to the general success were Mr A. B. Malandrinos ([as] Count von Bremer) …”
[The Liverpool Echo, April 28th 1920]

On December 5th 1921 Andrea’s father Basil died and was interred in a private ceremony at Toxteth Park Cemetery on the 7th. The Probate Calendar stated that his effects were valued at £8,747 and described Basil as Greek Consul-General and corn broker “of the Adelphi Hotel and of 8, Fenwick Street”, although his domestic address in the burial register was given as 30, Brompton Avenue. Administration was granted to Julia and Andrea, the latter described as a shipping insurance broker.

In October 1922 Andrea’s mother Julia died and was interred in the same grave on the 20th. The gravestone reportably bears inscriptions but is missing a cross.

In late 1925 the only child of Andrea and Kathleen, Basil Andrea, was born [Liverpool 8b 154, 1925 (Q4)].

In his Vice-Consular capacity Andrea was caught up in a very difficult and unfortunate legal entanglement in the spring of 1926. He had given assistance to a Mrs Calypso (née Jacovides) Sakellarios, a resident of Liverpool, to make a trip to Egypt with her parents against the will of her Greek husband, a rich cotton merchant named Constantine Alexander Sakellarios. Calypso, who was some fourteen years younger than him and already a wealthy heiress, claimed that her husband was insufferably domineering. Andrea considered that it was his duty to assist her and and did so by helping her, her young child and her parents to get away from England by crossing over firstly to Ireland. Subsequently the family reached Egypt from where Calypso then initiated divorce proceedings against Constantine.
The latter then sued her parents and Andrea for conspiring to entice his wife away from him. The case came to court at the Liverpool Assizes on April 27th 1927, almost a year after the originating event, before Mr Justice Roche and in front of a special jury. Andrea had decided to defend the case against him through the advocacy of Kings Counsel Mr Hemmerde, the Recorder of Liverpool. Mr and Mrs Jacovides chose not to defend themselves and did not attend the hearings, which extended over three days. On April 29th the jury found in favour of Constantine, awarding him damages of £6,750 and apportioning the award such as to require Andrea to pay one third of it, that is, £2,250. “The judge remarked that if all self-opinionated husbands were forsaken, there would be many empty homes.”
[The Auckland Star, May 11th 1927] The imposition of the damages upon Andrea was deferred by the judge in order that a check could be made that the jury’s apportionment in this case was lawful, the issue being whether the entire damages could be so divided as opposed to each defendant being individually liable for that whole amount. The outcome of the check is not known to us.

Use this button to read the report of Andrea’s defence [The Liverpool Echo, April 29th 1927].

From the British Newspaper Archive : reproduced by kind permission of Reach Plc / Mirrorpix

From our present-day perspective it may appear extraordinary that Andrea should have had this claim brought against him, even more so that the verdict was cast in Constantine’s favour; however, this episode took place before women had even been granted the vote.

A month or so later Andrea was again a defendant in a court hearing for his alleged default in settling a tiny outstanding charge of £18 owed to an outfitter. Andrea did not attend but a witness, apparently appearing on his behalf, stated that Andrea had “no income beyond a proportion of his Consular fees”, at least half of which had to be transmitted to the Greek Government. “Unfortunately, during the past twelve months he had had nothing else to live upon.” [The Liverpool Echo, May 16th 1927] The court ruled that Andrea should have to repay the £18 at the rate of £2 per month. How he was to pay the colossal damages from the former case was not stipulated.

It is presumed within the family that in the end Andrea had to pay those damages and did so having been refused any assistance in that respect from the ungrateful Jacovides family. Independently of this case, it seems odd that Andrea’s finances should have been in such dire straits at this time, for he had surely been the beneficiary of his father’s estate the value of which had been four times greater than the amount of these damages. He had been occupied in shipping insurance back in 1921, but that position may have been one established by his father and may have ended when his father died.

A year later Andrea was continuing his interest in the performing arts. On October 22nd 1928 The Liverpool Echo advertised his appearance “on the stage” at the Palais de Luxe, billing him as “The Celebrated Greek Tenor with Local Associations”. On December 7th he was similarly advertised as appearing on stage at the Avenue Super Cinema, again described as “The Celebrated Greek Tenor” and accompanied by pianist “Nadini”. Such appearances were typical of the silent film era.

The Thirties

The transition from the Twenties to the Thirties marked a transition also for Andrea, as his public singing became largely displaced by his new focus upon stage and film work. Newspaper articles often comment that he was aided in this by his fluency in six languages. A surviving note in his own hand lists his languages as “English, Broken English, German, French, Greek, some Italian and Spanish”.

Perhaps the earliest newspaper reference to his film work is the article published in The Bioscope in early 1930 discussing the forthcoming all-British “talkie” entitled “Greek Street” being produced by the Gaumont-British Picture Corporation. Andrea was one of the actors mentioned:

“Another interesting engagement is that of Andrea Malandrinos, well known as a tenor singer at fashionable restaurants.” [The Bioscope, January 22nd 1930]

In this film he played the part of “Carlo”, apparently a restaurant worker. This image on the right shows him in the film standing right-most in the foreground.

Acting in “Greek Street”
The Bioscope, May 21st 1930
(click to enlarge)

In February 1930 he acted the part of “Pedro” – probably not much different from “Carlo” – in the film “Raise the Roof” starring the very well known actress Betty Balfour, famed as much for the quality of her legs as for the quality of the films she usually appeared in. Both “Greek Street” and “Raise the Roof” received excellent reviews, however.

The photograph at right of Andrea and Betty was published in The Bioscope on February 26th.

© Malandrinos family
(click to enlarge)

This photograph on the left was probably taken in Liverpool around 1930-31.

At the left is Basil Andrea (junior), then aged about 5-6.

The three woman have not been firmly identified, although it is suspected that the one standing next to him is his mother Kathleen. The woman seated may be Kathleen’s mother.

Acting in “Raise the Roof”
© Malandrinos family
(click to enlarge)

In 1931 Andrea was engaged for a theatre production of James Bernard Fagan’s play “The Improper Duchess”, with Yvonne Arnaud in the starring role of the “Duchess”. His own role was that of “Myrom B. Garcia”, proprietor of the Paradise Hotel. In Fagan’s play script Garcia is described as “... a middle-aged, stoutish yellow-faced Italian American with black waxed moustache and hair going bald. He is over-smartly dressed in black morning coat, striped trousers, and white spats. He carries a bowler in one hand and mops his head with a coloured silk handkerchief with the other.” Andrea’s acting in this play was well received:

“In several notices of J. B. Fagan’s play ‘The Improper Duchess’, just produced in London, praise has been given to the performance of a member of the cast named Andrea Melandrin. This is the stage name of Andreas [sic] Malandrinos, the son of the late Greek Consul in Liverpool. Mr. Malandrinos was very popular here as an exceptionally witty amateur performer. After leaving Liverpool he tried the music-halls, but it is in film work that he has been mostly employed.”
[The Liverpool Echo, January 27th 1931]

Real Tenor – Andrea Melandrino [sic], who is the excellent maitre d’hotel of ‘The Improper Duchess’, is also a very fine tenor singer, and is not unlikely, one of these days, to be hailed as a second Maurice Farkoa. Before he came into the “profession” he was a representative of the Greek Government in the Consular Service.”
[The Daily Mirror, March 6th 1931]

The Improper Duchess, in which Winifred Oughton also acted, premiered at the Empire Theatre in Southampton on January 12th 1931 and then opened on January 22nd at London’s Globe Theatre where it continued through to the autumn making a total of 348 performances. In March of that year he featured in the cabaret show presented at The Daily Mirror’s Annual Dinner in Marylebone’s Wharncliffe Rooms. The show subsequently went on tour, appearing for example at the Prince’s Theatre in Manchester, where Andrea was reviewed as “most appealing of the other characterisations”. [The Stage, February 18th 1932]

From the British Newspaper Archive :
reproduced by kind permission of Reach Plc / Mirrorpix

In early 1932 he was singing with Joseph (“Jose”) Norman’s Cuban Rumba Band, these performances being broadcast on BBC Radio. A review of this was accompanied by the photograph of him on the left:

That Cuban Rhythm
A new rumba which is very attractive is ‘Manuella.’ This is being sung at the New Gallery Cinema by Andrea Malandrino [sic], who tells me that audiences take to the number enthusiastically. Malandrino is actor and singer, too. He is playing in ‘And So to Bed’ at the Globe, as well as appearing three times a day at the cinema, so he finds himself tolerably busy.” [The Daily Mirror, January 28th 1932]

In March 1932 he was appearing by “special engagement” at Saturday Dinner Dances at the Queen’s Hotel in Birmingham, delivering “character vocal numbers including The Rumba” [Birmingham Daily Gazette, March 17th 1932]. In May he played a role in the romantic comedy “Fame in a Night” broadcast on BBC radio. He was on the London West End stage at the Wyndham’s Theatre later that year acting as “Enrique” in Philip Leaver’s play “The Way to the Stars” [The Stage, September 8th 1932].

The following year saw him playing a part in a topical revue “Montmarte to Montparnasse”, broadcast on radio in March. He was back at the Globe Theatre in mid-June playing the part of the waiter “Anselmo” in Ivor Novello’s play “Proscenium” in which he gave “a clever foreign character sketch” [The Stage, June 22nd 1933].

Andrea and Kathleen had first appeared in Surrey’s Electoral Registers in October 1932. They were living at that time at Shalford Park Cottage in Shalford. It was probably in this year that they had moved from Liverpool to southern England. By this time Kathleen must have been seriously ill. In the summer of 1933 she died aged just 38 [Hambledon 2a 211, 1933 (Q3)] from throat cancer, having previously undergone radical surgery. Her only child Basil Andrea was just seven years old.

Not long after losing his wife Andrea appeared in the play “Up In The Air” which opened at the West End’s Royalty Theatre on November 15th. He played the part of “Papa Robelot” whose character was “made racy of the soil by Andrea Malandrinos, a typical Boniface of the French provinces” [The Stage, November 23rd 1933].

Productions featuring Andrea in 1934 included “Holiday in Europe”, “Wonder Bar”, “One Night in Venice” and “The Show Goes Over”, all in the form of radio broadcasts. The cast for “Wonder Bar” included two other Effingham-connected actors, Gwen Farrar and Norah Blaney. He also took parts in several films, including “Say It With Flowers”, “My Song for You”, “The Admiral’s Secret”, “Late Extra” and “The Man Who Knew Too Much”. The next year saw a mix of radio and film work, but Andrea also was back on the stages of the West End. On May 20th 1935 he played the role of “Gomez” in “Double Error” and was well reviewed:

“… excellent character performances, foreign and Scots, came from Andrea Malandrinos, as the impresario Gomez, and from …”
[The Daily Mirror, March 6th 1931]

and on October 16th he took the role of “Jacques” at The Playhouse in the production of “A Butterfly on the Wheel”.

We do not know how much income Andrea was receiving from this stream of small-part engagements. His son, now aged ten, was attending a private school, Stoke Park Preparatory School housed in the mansion of Stoke Park, and there must have been significant fees to pay. By October 1935 Andrea had moved out of Shalford Park Cottage and was now living in the village’s inn The Seahorse, possibly to obtain a lower level of rent. Electoral Registers indicate that Andrea remained at this inn until at least 1938.

1936 seems to have been a particularly busy year for him as he appeared in at least four different London theatres. The first of these occasions was at The Garrick where he played the role of “Riccio” in “Page From a Diary”:

“… and good work is done by Andrea Malandrinos (as a major domo) …”
[The Stage, January 23rd 1936]

From “Page From a Diary” : The Tatler, January 29th 1936
under Licence from the Mary Evans Picture Library
© Illustrated London News Ltd. / Mary Evans

From “St Helena” : The Tatler, April 8th 1936
under Licence from the Mary Evans Picture Library
© Illustrated London News Ltd. / Mary Evans

Just two months later he was on the stage at Daly’s Theatre, now in the role of “Cipriani” in a play, involving twelve different scenes, about Napoleon’s incarceration on St Helena:

“Praise must also go to the very natural maitre d’hotel of Andrea Malandrinos …”  [The Stage, March 26th 1936]

In this same year Andrea played the role of restaurant head waiter Giuseppe in the British-made film “The Amazing Quest of Ernest Bliss” starring Cary Grant.
The clip below covers the small part in which Andrea appears and provides a good example of his command of Italian.

Short clip from “The Amazing Quest of Ernest Bliss”
showing Andrea’s part in full; the film is in the public domain

He appeared in at least fourteen other films released during 1936. On August, back on the stage, he played as a hotel proprietor in the play “Zero” staged at the Embassy Theatre in Swiss Cottage and then in December he was at The King’s Theatre in Hammersmith in the play “Muted Strings”.

It may have been at about this time that the photograph opposite was taken, showing Andrea with his son Basil Andrea (junior) who here looks about 10-12 years of age. Andrea seems to have been doing some gardening.
The location is unknown.

In 1937 he appears to have had just one stage role, in the play “Think of a Number”, presented at Brighton’s Theatre Royal  in May and at London’s Comedy Theatre in December. He acted in at least twelve films during this year besides seven or more dramas broadcast on radio.

A similar pattern of work was undertaken in the following year, with over a dozen films and a few radio broadcasts together with a performance in October at the Richmond Theatre of “Behind the Schemes”. Such reviews as there were during 1938 made only fleeting references to Andrea.

The photograph to the left shows him in the 1938 film “Crackerjack”.

During 1939 Andrea did very little film work and most of his activity was on the stage, although he also featured in two works broadcast on radio.

Andrea with his son Basil c1935-37
© Malandrinos family
(click to enlarge)

In January he acted in Beatrix Thomson’s play “Sons of Adam” at His Majesty’s Theatre and in “The Last Barricade” at Belfast’s Opera House. In June he obtained this review for his part in “The Bridge of Sighs” at St Martin’s Theatre:

“An excellent humorous little sketch of a Latin Grocer, with six bambinos to feed, is provided by Andrea Malandrinos.” [The Stage, June 22nd 1939]

In September he was at the Wimbledon Theatre acting in “French Without Tears” and in November he had a part in “The Snare of the Fowler” at the Palace Court in Bournemouth. At the close of 1939 he appeared in “May Day” at the Richmond Theatre:

“Andrea Malandrinos manages to convey the atmosphere of elusive political intrigue …” [The Stage, December 14th 1939]

By this time he had moved to Effingham, where he would live for the rest of his life.

Coming to Effingham

Andrea has not been found in the Electoral Registers for 1939, which applied to the year starting in mid-October 1939. He was registered as residing in Shallford in the preceding year. It is, however, certain that by mid-September 1939 he was living in Effingham, for he was shown there with his son at Grove House in the 1939 National Register. His occupation was entered as “Actor (Travelling)”. Also present at that address was his unmarried sister Aspasia having occupation “Assistant Stage Manager”.

Some residents who had been children at this time remembered that there was a pet monkey in Andrea’s household, one claiming that it belonged to Aspasia and was to be seen occasionally around the village perched on Andrea’s or Basil’s shoulder. Another resident recalled the following episode, which had occurred when as a young girl she was sent to buy some bacon and, on arriving at the shop, saw that Basil was also there, with the monkey:

“Mrs Bridger’s was a grocery shop … and the bacon was all laid out in front of you. One time when I went to get the grocery my mother asked why didn’t I bring any rashers and I said I wouldn’t do because Mr Malandrinos’ monkey had spent a penny all over it and I didn’t fancy it! So she was quite relieved I think.”

Grove House had been purchased in the 1920s by another Greek, Anthony Nicholas Diamantidi. Previously the house had been known for decades as The Villa and it was Diamantidi who changed its name. He and Andrea were known to be close friends and may have known each other before either came to Effingham. During the 1930s Diamantidi made several attempts to sell the property, whilst he was also much engaged in other property developments and investments in the area. We do not yet know whether by 1939 he had managed to sell it. This issue has a bearing upon where Andrea was living. During the main years of the War there was no electoral registration, but in the later 1940s and the 1950s, at least, Andrea was shown in the registers to be living at Grove House Cottage which is remembered by at least one resident to have been a “little lodge” adjoining Grove House. There is some fairly good evidence that this was the building highlighted green in the map below.

Probable location (marked in green) of Grove House Cottage

Grove House (western side) in the 1930s (click to enlarge)

Wartime

Local newspaper reports establish that very soon after War was declared Grove House was used, possibly through requisitioning, “to accommodate cases of minor infectious ailments and awkward or dirty families” [Surrey Advertiser and County Times, November 4th 1939]. How such use might have affected Andrea’s occupancy of the adjoining cottage we do not know. Diamantidi had caused several other houses to be built in the village and may have made one of these available to Andrea.

During the first few years of the War most of Andrea’s work was in films. He appeared in at least nine released during 1940-43. In 1943, however, he played at The Old Vic in “Blow Your Own Trumpet”, a new comedy written by Peter Ustinov and produced by Michael Redgrave, being mentioned in the Press as follows:

“A Liverpool man who had the distinction of appearing in one of the first British “talkies” is at the Playhouse this week in the Old Vic production of “Blow Your OwnTrumpet. He is Mr. Andrea Malandrinos, whose father was Consul-General for Greece here for many years. Although he had some experience of the cotton market and shipping as a young man, Mr. Malandrinos’s heart was in the stage.” [Liverpool Daily Post, July 26th 1939]

“Mr Andrea Malandrinos is delightfully human as the restaurant owner Lorenzo …” [Liverpool Daily Post, August 3rd 1939]

It seems that the last two years of the War offered fewer opportunities, with Andrea appearing in just a few films, these including “Champagne Charlie” in 1944 in which he played “Gatti” whilst Tommy Trinder took the lead role. The cast also included Stanley Holloway who, after the War, would officiate at one of Effingham’s village fetes, possibly through his acquaintance with Andrea.

Tommy Trinder, Andrea and Stanley Holloway in “Champagne Charlie” : 1944
© Malandrinos family
(click to enlarge)

Post-War Work

Once the War was over Andrea’s engagements quickly resumed their pre-war pace. During the next twenty-five years he appeared in at least a hundred films and at least sixty television appearances, besides doing some significant stage work. The dramatisations of the early 1950s were frequently concerned with the portrayal of British wartime heroism, an example being the 1962 play “Albert R.N.” in which Andrea had a part. It was presented at the West End’s Saville Theatre in July and then at the King’s Theatre in Southsea in August:

Click to enlarge –>

“… and Mr. Andrea Malandrinos enjoys himself hugely as a grotesquely unwilling latecomer to the Nazi Party.” [The Tatler, August 13th 1952]

Andrea Malandrinos, one of London’s best character actors, gives a wholly realistic and most likeable performance.” [The Stage, August 7th 1952]

From “Albert R.N.” : The Tatler, August 13th 1952
under Licence from the Mary Evans Picture Library
© Illustrated London News Ltd. / Mary Evans

Andrea (at left) with John Barrie and Alan Lake in “The Saint” : 1962

In 1955 he acted in the top hit British film “The Cockleshell Heroes” and two years later in “The Prince and the Showgirl”, starring Laurence Olivier and Marilyn Monroe. He had a part in the Beatles’ 1965 film “Help!” and in 1967 acted with Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise in “The Magnificent Two”. In television he featured in several popular series such as “Z-Cars”, “The Avengers” and “The Saint”.

Click to enlarge –>

“The Cockleshell Heroes” : 1955
© Malandrinos family

We are fortunate, through the generosity of his family, in having had the opportunity of scanning many of Andrea’s own original prints, showing him “in action”. Below, the gallery on the left shows a sample of those which bear identification, whilst on the right is a sample of those which do not.

Gallery © Malandrinos family

Gallery © Malandrinos family

Memories

Little is known of Andrea’s life beyond his work. No evidence has been found that he involved himself in Effingham’s organizations or social life. He was possibly just too tired. One resident, who lived virtually next to Effingham Junction station, recalled that after a day’s work in London Andrea would typically catch the last train from Waterloo to the Junction where a taxi would be waiting to take him to his home in the village.

He did not live all of his post-war years at Grove House Cottage – his residence there seems to have ended around 1958-59. Diamantidi was still in Effingham in the Fifties, living at one of the properties he had built there, The Barn near The Street. It is possible that Andrea lived in that house for a time. Some of his photographs have address information on their reverses and among them are instances where his address is given as The Steps, further down The Street. However, his descendants know that he lived for a long time at the Effingham Golf Club, sometimes in the main building but at other times in a caravan he had in its grounds.

One resident also remembers that Andrea functioned as a local agent for Diamantidi and that the former’s son Basil operated a market garden on the land where subsequently Effingham’s shops in The Street were built.

Relatives have said that in 1970 Andrea took a fall when returning to his caravan, having slipped on some stairs. He was not found until two days later and was taken to hospital, but died there from hypothermia. He was aged about 82.

Retrospect

It is not known why Andrea had mostly been engaged for small parts when by all accounts he was a highly gifted actor amply capable of presenting a wide spectrum of fictional characters. Among the great numbers of reviews that refer to him not one has so far been discovered giving anything less than a positive assessment.

It may be that he preferred these highly concentrated but limited roles rather than the greater exposure and more numerous retakes typical of major roles. Or, it may be that he would like to have had more substantial parts but was sometimes denied them through being typecast as the supposedly accented, small-statured, subservient foreigner which he often played. Be that as it may, he was another of Effingham’s very fine and well-known actors.

The listing opposite, containing about 300 works in which he appeared, is by no means a complete account but is a sufficient testament to his diversity and the consistent engaging of his talents decade after decade.