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Faith Dies of Heart Attack During Love Tour, Age 62

By • West End
Pop, screen and stage star Adam Faith died at the weekend. After appearing on stage Friday night at Stoke-on-Trent's Regent Theatre in a touring production of Love and Marriage, Faith suffered a massive heart attack. He died in hospital at 2.30am on Saturday morning. The actor, who'd experienced cardiac problems for a number of years, was 62.

Born in Acton, west London, on 23 June 1940, Faith was impossible to pin down. Having made and lost several fortunes and fallen in and out of fashion, he continually reinvented himself - making a name as pop star, record producer, entrepreneur, financial advisor and actor, across television, film and stage - over a career that spanned five decades.

After appearing in the 1950s rock 'n' roll TV programme 6.5 Special, Faith's renaissance career was properly launched in 1959 with his first pop hit, "What Do You Want", which brought him teen idol status and stayed at No 1 in the charts for 19 weeks. Other hits - including "Poor Me" and "Somebody Else's Baby" - followed.

After a successful appearance in the 1966 TV play Cat in the Night, Faith decided to go into rep. He took drama lessons and, by 1968, was performing opposite Dame Sybil Thorndike in Night Must Fall, soon succeeded by a tour of Keith Waterhouse's Billy Liar in 1969. Meanwhile, his television career blossomed with the title role in LWT's Budgie, which he later recreated in musical form on stage.

Several films followed, notably 1974's Stardust with David Essex and Foxes with Jodie Foster in 1980, as well as numerous stage roles such as City Sugar, Down an Alley Full of Cats and Alan Parker's revival of Bill Naughton's 1963 play Alfie.

In the 1990s, Faith returned to the small screen, opposite Zoe Wanamaker, in the BBC series Love Hurts, and then to the theatre and Alfie (this time directing as well as starring), on a UK tour that culminated with seasons in the West End and Los Angeles. That same decade, Faith also relaunched himself as a financial investment advisor, writing a weekly advice column for the Mail on Sunday and later founding the Money TV channel, which folded and left him bankrupt last year.

After an absence of nearly seven years, Faith decided to go back on stage this year, to star as a serial philander in a revival of Donald Churchill's comedy, Love and Marriage, which opened a three-month tour on 21 January 2003.

Commenting on Faith's death at the weekend, Love and Marriage company manager Neville Granger said: "We're in absolute shock. He seemed a bit tired when I saw him. The last thing he said to me was 'see you tomorrow'." Producer Danny Moar promised that the show would go on, with Faith's understudy, Kevin O'Donahoe, taking over this week at the Theatre Royal, Brighton.

- by Terri Paddock


To read our recent 20 Questions interview with Adam Faith, conducted at the start of his last tour, click here. To comment and read others' tributes, please visit the Whatsonstage.com Discussion Forum.


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