This is Spinal Tap’s Tony Hendra has died at 79

Last Updated on August 5, 2021

This is Spinal Tap, Tony Hendra

Tony Hendra, best known as bumbling band-manager Ian Faith in mockumentary classic This is Spinal Tap, died yesterday at the age of 79 after battling Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Tony Hendra started writing and performing comedy while attending Cambridge University and soon formed a comedy act with Nick Ullett. After traveling to the United States, the pair performed stand-up on the comedy circuit, even appearing on The Merv Griffin Show and The Ed Sullivan Show, but Hendra decided to pursue a career writing for television and broke up the act. After several years writing for Playboy After Dark and Music Scene, Hendra got himself into trouble when he wrote an open letter to the chairman of General Motors to scold him on the company's record on pollution. Unfortunately, his manager had just gotten him a major gig writing a special that was to be sponsored by Chevrolet. "I was flooded with supportive calls from Hollywood’s nascent left," Hendra wrote in Harpers in 2002, "and I was finished in network television."

He then began writing for National Lampoon and was soon made managing editor. He stuck with the magazine for nearly a decade, helping to build the brand with books, albums, films, and more. While at National Lampoon, Hendra produced, directed, and helped write National Lampoon's Lemmings, an Off Broadway rock parody that helped to launch the careers of Chevy Chase, John Belushi, and Christopher Guest, the latter of whom would go on to write and star in This is Spinal Tap over a decade later. In addition to Spinal Tap, Tony Hendra also appeared in Miami Vice, The Cosby Mysteries, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, and more.

Source: The New York Times

About the Author

9935 Articles Published

Based in Canada, Kevin Fraser has been a news editor with JoBlo since 2015. When not writing for the site, you can find him indulging in his passion for baking and adding to his increasingly large collection of movies that he can never find the time to watch.