Richard Carpenter, creator of the British series’ CATWEAZLE, THE GHOSTS OF MOTLEY HALL, DICK TURPIN, SMUGGLER, ADVENTURER and the iconic ROBIN OF SHERWOOD, died yesterday, Feb. 26, at his home in Hertfordshire, England. He was 82 years old. Cause of death was given as blood clot.
Anthony Horowitz, creator/writer of the FOYLE’S WAR television series and author of the best-selling Alex Ryder action thriller novels, last year told the British daily THE GUARDIAN that Carpenter had given him his start as a screenwriter in the third season of ROBIN OF SHERWOOD.
Horowitz said, “It was one of the biggest shows on television. It was as though an unknown writer was given six episodes of DOWNTON ABBEY, but Richard, who was known as Kip, just said, ‘Go for it!’ … I wrote five episodes … Richard Carpenter taught me how to get into a scene and how to get out of it. He was my starting point … I had the greatest time of my life working on the show.”
Born in Norfolk, England, Carpenter started in show business as an actor before turning to writing scripts. In addition to his original creations, he also did television adaptations of THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL, THE BORROWERS, BLACK BEAUTY, STANLEY’S DRAGON and I WAS A RAT, among other credits. However, the three seasons of ROBIN OF SHERWOOD are arguably Carpenter’s best-known work
Although ROBIN went out of production in 1985 and had its last set of first-run episodes broadcast in 1986, many of the cast and crew remain close in 2012 and there is still an active fandom. Carpenter appreciated this high degree of camaraderie among both his ROBIN colleagues and their admirers.
In an interview that is part of the making-of documentary on the ROBIN OF SHERWOOD DVDs (and now Blu-rays), Carpenter said, “If I was in any way responsible for people having a friendship that has lasted, then I’m very proud of that. I’m sort of as proud of that as I am of the series, because that’s even more important than a series, actually. It really is.”
Carpenter is survived by his wife Annabel Lee, children Harriet and Tom, and two grandsons.
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Article: In Memoriam: ROBIN OF SHERWOOD creator Richard Carpenter