First viewed : Uncertain
This documentary series on Hollywood's finest movie stars written and narrated by affable Film... host Barry Norman was first broadcast in 1977. There were four series in total usually comprising five 50 minute profiles of individual idols although one of the programmes in the third series was about Hollywood itself and there were only four programmes in the final series in 1983. The main qualification for featuring in the series appeared to be being dead* - fairly recently in the case of Charlie Chaplin and Joan Crawford - which allowed surviving associates to talk more frankly about their foibles. As many of the subjects succumbed to personal demons and died before their time the series had an inescapably melancholic tone.
I wasn't terribly interested in old films so this was of more interest to my sister and mother than me but I saw some of it. The first one I remember was on Judy Garland ( above ) which was part of the second series broadcast in August 1978.
Norman's last series was in 1983. I didn't see any of Jonathan Ross's subsequent series ( 1999 - 2006 ).
* Zeppo Marx was still alive at the time the programme on the Marx Brothers was broadcast but as you'd expect didn't feature much in the script.