KENNETH RICHMOND, the muscleman seen banging a gong at the start of J ARTHUR RANK movies, has died at the age of 80.
The Brit landed the role in the 1950s after winning bronze as a wrestler at the Melbourne Olympic Games in 1952 - following a spell in prison for refusing to fight in the Second World War.
In addition to his most famous movie performance, Richmond also appeared as an extra in a number of films.
Close friend Chris Sanders says of Richmond, who died last week (ends4AUG06), "He was an extraordinary man. He was rollerblading until a car crash five years ago."
Richmond also revealed to Saunders the famous Rank gong was actually made of papier mache. He adds, "Kenneth said if you had actually hit it you would have gone straight through."