He had a long and successful career directing films along with many hard-hitting documentaries including Death In The Morning about fox hunting presented by Alan Whicker, for which he was awarded the first of four BAFTA Awards.
In 1975 he directed the brilliant film A Naked Civil Servant starring John Hurt as the flamboyant Quentin Crisp, for which Jack was awarded the BAFTA Desmond Davis Award For Contribution To Television.
He was a long-time collaborator with the actor John Thaw, directing both Kavannagh QC and Inspector Morse. In 1998, Jack directed Goodnight Mister Tom for ITV. It starred John Thaw as Tom Oakley, the grumpy old man whose solitary life is disrupted by the arrival of a nine-year-old evacuee during World War 2. The much loved and repeated television drama was named the ‘Most Popular TV Programme of 1998’ at the BAFTA Awards. Jack Gold personally oversaw ITV’s tribute documentary following John Thaw’s death.
Michelle writes of Jack:
“Jack Gold was not only a marvelous director but a lovely man. I remember my first meeting with him. It was during the filming of Goodnight Mister Tom. I arrived on my own feeling rather lost among so many busy people but he made me feel so welcome. Rain kept interrupting the filming and I found myself huddled under various massive umbrellas with actors and technicians and him. He was keen I should see the rushes and that I met people involved in the making of the film including the dialect coach.
He introduced me to John Thaw and talked with warmth about Nick Robinson, the little boy who was playing William. Even though he was a very experienced director he was like a young man who was constantly learning. The atmosphere in the company was relaxed and creative and I put that down to him. I remember during one of these breaks he asked me if I had heard of the composer Carl Davis. Well, of course I had. He then proceeded to tell me that it was he who would be writing the music for Goodnight Mister Tom.
I stood there stunned and touched that he wanted me to know that he cared so much about the film. Whenever I see certain scenes from it, it takes me back to that day.
A gifted and wonderful man. My heart goes out to his family.”
Here are some links to some of the many Tributes to Jack Gold: