Why Tom Conti feels at home with Jews
ACTOR TOM Conti welcomed almost 80 supporters of Jewish Care’s Outlook committee into his Hampstead home for what he jokingly described as “the first charity bris. I have so many Jewish friends and go to Friday night dinners, so I thought I’d become one of you.”
During a question-and-answer session, the stage and screen star revealed that his interest in Jews began in childhood. “I grew up in an area between Paisley and Glasgow at a time when Jewish families were coming out of Europe and I remember hearing horrendous stories. My parents were in business and I had a nanny. If the nanny wasn’t well, I would stay with a neighbour and we had several Jewish families nearby.
“The Jewish homes were warm and comfortable and people asked what you wanted as soon as you arrived. It was like my home — my father was Italian.”
Conti also recalled his first theatrical break and explained how he mastered lines: “It’s a mystery, a strange thing the learning process. The more you use it, the more it works.”
Outlook chair Mimi Lucas thanked the actor and his singer wife Kara Wil- son for “a wonderful evening” which raised £2,000 towards refurbishments at Kay Court in Hampstead. The care home’s reception area will be dedicated in memory of Jacqueline Donoff, a long-time committee member.
Outlook’s Mimi Lucas with Tom Conti and his wife Kara Wilson