Has anyone got any real information on Tony Essex, in particular when and how he died. I can't find anything relevant on google. I had understood that the Follyfoot movie wasn't made because he had died. However, according to imdb, he was executive producer of Luke's Kingdom in 1976. If this is true, then why was Follyfoot abandoned I wonder, when it was so popular?
Well this is a question I CAN answer. We'd been in Australia finishing the post-production work on "Luke's Kingdom", and returned at the beginning of May 1975 to live in a temporary rented flat in London while Dad decided what to do next. Unusually he had been offered a fabulous job as Head of Documentaries at the BBC - this was the first time ANYONE who had "absconded" from the Beeb to commercial TV had ever been invited back. But he'd also been offered a very unusual job in India, working for the government to strengthen their TV structures and programming. He was very stressed (which was not like him) because either of these jobs would have been very exciting and challenging, but each would involve very different lifestyles.
I believe it was because of the stress of having to decide, that led to his fatal heart-attack on 16th May 1975. He was only 49. There was a good obituary on May 17th in the Times, a memorial service on June 11th in Leeds, and a retrospective at the National Film Theatre later in the year.
Hope that helps.