Old photo collection shows stars in years gone-by

Gerald Bryce and a companion, from his photo collection
Gerald Bryce and a companion, from his photo collection
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He counted stars such as Jayne Mansfield and Joan Hickson among his friends.

In his younger years, living in Blackpool, actor, entertainer and producer Gerald Bryce, took many roles in musical theatre.
It was through this he came to the attention of ITV and Granada.
In the 1960s, he was an entertainer on cruise ships and used his chance to travel around the Mediterranean, meeting the stars of the day – including Grace Fields at her home in Capri.
Born in July 1930, in Withington, Manchester, Mr Bryce had a reputation among friends as being a joker and according to a good friend and fellow entertainer, he was a “real ladies man”.
After his death from cancer in 2015, at the age of 85, his friend David Willits unearthed hundreds of photographs from Mr Bryce’s collection over the years – pictures of his younger years in Blackpool and of the many celebrities and stars he met and called friends over the years.
He performed in a multitude of TV plays, such as Shadow Squad and Armchair Theatre, many of which were performed live and later went on to work alongside Des O’Connor at Butlins, in Pwllheli, North Wales, where he tutored holiday-makers in tennis and ballroom dancing.
He also worked alongside Little and Large, Harry Worth and Ronnie Barker over the course of his acting career – appearing in the The Two Ronnies, Bread, Mansfield Park and Tales of the Unexpected.
His most famous advert was for a CD player and was a spoof of the famous Torvill and Dean Bolero ice skating routine.
The ad featured a smart middle-aged man returning from work, removing his tie, hanging up his coat and then whisking his wife around the polished parquet flooring in an extravagant version of the Torvill and Dean routine, accompanied by the Bolero music.
He later moved to Bournemouth, but kept all his photo albums from his decades in entertainment.
Among the pictures found, are some of what it is believed to be a young Owen Oyston – businessman and former Blackpool FC owner.
Actress Kim Novak features, in a picture which looks like it was taken on Blackpool Tower, looking out over the resort.

Picture of Gerald Bryce's friends, including thought to be a young Owen Oyston, from Gerald's photo collection

Picture of Gerald Bryce's friends, including thought to be a young Owen Oyston, from Gerald's photo collection

Gerald Bryce and friends

Gerald Bryce and friends

Gerald Bryce (Back row) and his friends.

Gerald Bryce (Back row) and his friends.

Gerald Bryce touches down on the tarmac on a photo from his collection

Gerald Bryce touches down on the tarmac on a photo from his collection

This picture from Gerald Bryce's collection appears to feature a young Owen Oyston and female companion

This picture from Gerald Bryce's collection appears to feature a young Owen Oyston and female companion

On board the ABC TV van - photo from Gerald Bryce's collection

On board the ABC TV van - photo from Gerald Bryce's collection

Gerald Bryce with a companion

Gerald Bryce with a companion

Picture taken by Gerald Bryce

Picture taken by Gerald Bryce

Actress Kim Novak, in Blackpool, at the Tower

Actress Kim Novak, in Blackpool, at the Tower