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Camden News - by SIMON WROE
Published: 29 May 2008
William Hall's widow Jean with the couple's children Juliette and Will on the day of the writer's funeral
William Hall’s widow Jean with the couple’s children Juliette and Will on the day of the writer’s funeral
Final farewell to screen critic who became the stars’ friend

Tributes to ‘marvellously uncynical’ colleague and an inspiration to many

FELLOW journalists, old friends and screen stars paid their last respects to New Journal film critic William Hall at his Highgate funeral yesterday (Wednesday).
More than 100 mourners packed the chapel of Highgate School, where he had spent fond early years as a pupil.
Actor Burt Kwouk, who plays Cato in the Pink Panther films, and members of the Critics’ Circle of which Mr Hall was a former president, were among friends from the Highgate writer’s 50-year career in film and Fleet Street who attended.
His widow, Jean, began the tributes by reading a poem he had sent to her in 1964. Then son Will played the organ as mourners sang The Battle Hymn of the Republic.
Daughter Juliette praised her father, saying: “Daddy taught me about storytelling, love and family, dignity and respect. It took me a long time to realise that cigars, long Fleet Street lunches and Frankie Laine were not standard practice among dads.”
She revealed how she had sung to her father in his final moments, adding: “It’s hard to imagine how life and my broken heart will ever be the same again.”
The film critic, who forged long-lasting friendships with stars such as John Wayne, Michael Caine and Elvis Presley, was described by son Will as “a mentor and inspiration to many”.
Afterwards, as friends gathered at a nearby pub, The Wrestlers, George Perry, the former president of the Critics’ Circle, said Mr Hall had been a “marvellously uncynical person” who brought cheer to all he met.
Donations will help pay for a bench and memorial plaque next to the Highgate pitch where Mr Hall played cricket as a boy.

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