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Staffordian who serenaded a galaxy of West End stars dies aged 88

By Kerry.Ashdown  |  Posted: January 17, 2014

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A STAFFORD barber’s son who became a celebrated London pianist to the stars has died.

Jimmy Hardwick originally trained as a hairdresser at his father’s Newport Road shop but his talent for tinkling the ivories took him to the capital, where he played for legends of the stage and screen including Rock Hudson, Dame Judi Dench, Jane Horrocks and Joanna Lumley.

He performed on the opening night of renowned Covent Garden restaurant Joe Allen and continued to play for diners, six nights a week, for more than 35 years.

Jimmy passed away after a short illness on Monday, aged 88.

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A tribute on the Joe Allen Restaurant said: “Throughout his colourful career every actor who has ever performed in London’s West End has been serenaded by Jimmy at one time or another and he adored them all.

“Jimmy was a true legend of the musical, theatrical and restaurant world and will be sadly missed.”

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