HIS STORY Charlie Waite, 65, photographer
I had a horrible time being bullied at boarding school. There was no provision for feeble little boys who erred towards the arts. But when I was in my early 20s and met David, it was a friendship made in heaven. He just approached me as another guy and didn't make any assumptions about me. It was the early 1970s and we were fresh new actors both cast in a play where we appeared completely naked, covered in body paint. We thought we were at the heart of everything.
I knew I had him as a friend when I said I was getting a reel-to-reel tape recorder. I think he thought: "This guy is cool!" It had an echo effect. We liked to think of ourselves as rather good guitarists. He would come to my flat in South Kensington and we would record ourselves playing
I have great respect for David as an actor. He pioneered The Elephant Man on stage at the
What maintains our friendship is that it was built when we were kids. There was no trying to impress each other. We weren't contaminated by the competitive world and all the horrors that go with it. We were just a couple of dudes going into early adulthood, struggling to figure out what the hell was going on.
When my mother died he was the biggest shoulder to cry on. He's just so dependable. It's a wonderful thing when a guy loves another guy. As well as your wife or girlfriend, you need someone in your life who is utterly dependable. And he's that man.
HIS STORY David Schofield, 64, actor
I had turned up for rehearsals for a play. Also in the cast was this very tall chap, Charlie. We could not have been at further ends of the social spectrum. I'm a working-class boy from
In 1974 I'd returned from an international tour and had nowhere to live and no work. I received a postcard from Charlie telling me to book a flight to
What drew me to Charlie was his extraordinarily gentle nature and his spirituality. He used to go to an ashram in
Many people go to therapy for this kind of friendship. I can say anything and know he won't judge me. In our 40 years of friendship, we have never had a cross word. And that's because of him - I'm a volatile, crotchety old bugger. I know he'd never turn his back on me and I hope he feels the same way about me. ¦
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