Every so often I am forwarded a letter from a reader to try and help them out remembering a film. The other day Joe, who apparently reads my column in the Harrow Times, wrote asking if I could identify a movie he fondly remembered. He had approached the British Film Institute but they could not help. However, he could not recall the title, the cast, when it was made or whether it was black and white or colour. Joe did recall the plot. Now considering how many films have been made this was a task. Luckily I recognised the plot as it was a movie made at the old MGM Studio in Borehamwood that starred Clark Gable, Lana Turner and Victor Mature called Betrayed. It was shot in 1954 and marked the end of Gable's long career at MGM . The villain was played by a star once labelled 'the hunk' due to his physique, named Victor Mature. In real life he admitted he was nothing like his screen image. On one film the director asked him to wrestle with a lion. Victor naturally replied: "Are you mad? Get a stunt double!" The director assured him the lion was old and toothless but he still replied "I do not want to be sucked to death either!"

In the 1960s, as his career came to a halt, Victor applied for membership of an exclusive Hollywood golf club but the secretary responded saying they did not admit actors. Victor sent a great reply, saying: "Have you not seen my films? I am no actor."

However, I was recently stumped by an email from a lady in Texas - yes this column is in hyperspace - asking if I could tell her in which Old Mother Riley movie her late English grandmother appeared in as an extra! Alas I was unable to help.

Over many years I have been invited to many memorial services for film stars. I think it started with the likes of Laurence Olivier and Anna Neagle in the 1980s and I think the last were John Mills and Philip Madoc.

On odd occasions I have attended the actual funerals and this week I recall two such occasions. The first was Trevor Howard, whom I had the pleasure to know and who lived in Arkley and died in the Bushey Hospital in 1988. He was a great character and a fine actor, although sadly liked a bit too much to drink. His funeral was held at a local crematorium and I recall there were few names that attended. After the ceremony we filed past his coffin to the sounds of his favourite jazz music. His lovely actress wife Helen Cherry asked me to organise a memorial service at the actors church in Covent Garden. I started planning but then Helen changed her mind saying that Trevor would have been appalled at the idea. He had apparently attended such an event for David Niven and thought it was just for others to 'grandstand' . That is why Trevor never had a memorial service and alas the lovely Helen is also no longer with us. The funeral wake was held at the then Gate pub at Arkley, which was Trevor's local. It is now a popular restaurant.

The second occasion was the funeral of 1950s star Anthony Steel, who some of you may remember from films such as Albert RN, The Malta Story, The Wooden Horse, Where No Vultures Fly and the Elstree-made Master Of Ballantrae, which co-starred Errol Flynn. Alas, Anthony was his own worst enemy. He made the mistake of marrying the late Anita Ekberg, whose stardom rested on her physical assets and eventually died in poverty in 2015. Anthony hit the bottle and gained a bad reputation of being aloof with film crews and fellow actors, resulting in him being nicknamed as 'the wooden dish' due to his good looks but limited acting skills. By the 1980s he was reduced to living off the state pension in a one-bedroom flat for the homeless as he became an alcoholic recluse. At the end of his life he was allowed to reside in the actors' old folks home named Denvillle Hall, which was a nice ending. I attended his funeral, which went unnoticed by the media in 2001. The few of us who gathered included veteran character actor Maurice Denham, who was accompanied by a nurse from Denville Hall. Showbiz is not what the public often imagine and tends not to take prisoners.

Until next time, remember spring is just around the corner, I hope!