Robin Askwith, star of the 'Confessions Of' films
If you’re a fan of bawdy seventies nookie comedies (who isn't), Robin Askwith’s face should be familiar to you. At the very least, you’ll certainly recognise his bum.
For Mr Askwith is the star of the infamously bawdy 1970’s pantheon of celluloid history – the Confessions of… films. Despite being described as, “The most tragic episode in British cinema” by The Guardian, these so-called ‘sex comedies’ effectively saved the dwindling British film industry and at their height grossed more than James Bond films.
Robin played Timmy Lea, a lovable scamp whose raging libido got him into a variety of hot water be it as a Window Cleaner (1974), Pop Performer (1975), Driving Instructor (1976) or at a Holiday Camp (1977). According to Askwith, when he was filming Driving Instructor, "George Lucas was in the next studio making Star Wars."
Born in Southport, Lancashire in 1950, a teenage Askwith overcame polio and being expelled from school for allegedly robbing a post office to land a breakthrough role in Lindsay Anderson’s seminal movie If ((1968).
Before long, Robin had carved a niche for himself as one of the most popular actors of the Seventies and he was honoured with an Evening Standard British Film Award for Most Promising Newcomer in 1976. The Confessions of… films were so popular in fact, Askwith had a minor UK hit single entitled…you guessed it…Confessions.
Greg Smith, the producer of the Confessions films perhaps summed up Askwith’s appeal best by stating, “he has an inherent innocence so that whether he is performing in love scenes or whipping a girl’s top off, no-one can take offence.” Well, quite.
Since the mid-1980’s, Robin has concentrated his career on stage productions ("I made my money by writing, directing, producing and starring in stage shows of Confessions which I toured round the world") and pantomimes - he appeared in Aladdin, alongside Claire Sweeney, at the New Wimbledon Theatre in 2005 – and still makes the occasional appearance on TV (such as in the BBC drama, Doctors in 2004) and in movies (U-571 alongside Matthew McConaughey in 2000). In 1999, he published his autobiography entitled...you guessed it...Confessions of Robin Askwith.
Robin recently played The Childcatcher in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at The Sunderland Empire. In an interview published at the time, he claimed to have been approached by Quentin Tarantino for a possible new movie project. "He’s very good at pinpointing cults and he knows everything about me. I’ve been asked to go to LA to do an experimental project, with me in a time machine." Watch this space...
When not acting, Askwith spends most of his time on the island of Gozo, near Malta, where he whiles away the hours racing yachts, swimming and helping at a local animal sanctuary. Sounds lovely. Here's what he looks like now