Twin brothers Ronald “Ronnie” Kray and Reginald “Reggie” Kray were English gangsters who were the foremost perpetrators of organised crime in the East End of London during the 1950s and 1960s. Ronald, commonly called Ron or Ronnie, most likely suffered from paranoid schizophrenia.
The twins were always inseparable growing up. Reggie was possessive of his twin and would not share his brother with anyone else.They would often fight each other, but would never allow a third party to come between them. Like many identical twins, they seemed “different” to the other tough little kids in the neighborhood. Growing up during the Second World War period, the twins were basically reared by a household of women.
Their father was on the run from the law, having refused to join up for military service. So Ronnie and Reggie’s formative years were strongly influenced by their beloved mother Violet, her two sisters, and their grandmother. Violet’s love gave the twins a sense of almost superhuman invincibility. She accepted everything they did, destroying their ability to judge right from wrong.
They were arrested on 9 May 1968 and convicted in 1969 by the efforts of a squad of detectives led by Detective Superintendent Leonard “Nipper” Read, and were both sentenced to life imprisonment. Ronnie remained in Broadmoor Hospital until his death on 17 March 1995. Reggie was released from prison on compassionate grounds in August 2000, eight weeks before his death from cancer.
In his will, Reggie had asked to be buried in the same grave as Ronnie because he said that way he would be back where he belonged - with his brother.Kate Kray, who had married Ronnie in prison in 1989, remembered Reggie attending her husband’s funeral. “Reggie died the day Ron died,” she said.
“The saddest thing I ever saw in my whole life was the moment Reg said goodbye to Ron. He was weeping uncontrollably. He was destroyed.”
EXCLUSIVE: Tom Hardy in talks for thriller about notorious UK gangsters, from LA Confidential screenwriter Brian Helgeland; Working Title producing.
Working Title is the new home of a thriller about the Kray twins, written by Oscar-winning writer Brian Helgeland (LA Confidential), who will also direct.
Tom Hardy is in talks to star as both brothers in Legend (working title), which will chart the tortured and unique relationship between gangsters Ronald and Reginald Kray, the identical twin brothers infamous for their criminal exploits in London during the 1950s and 1960s.
According to sources close to the British actor, the project is one of several The Dark Knight Rises star is considering. Currently in development, the production is aiming to shoot in the UK later this year.
Working Title, whose recent features include Rush, About Time and Berlin title The Two Faces of January, is developing and producing the project.
The script takes in associates, rivals - such as notorious gangster Jack “the Hat” McVitie, who was murdered by Reginald in 1967 - politician Lord Boothby, and the brothers’ nemesis in the police force, DS Leonard “Nipper” Read, who made it his life’s ambition to put the Krays behind bars.
Helgeland spoke about the project at a Writer’s Guild of America event in LA in October last year, revealing that he would be concentrating on the life of Reggie Kray (older by 10 minutes) as he sought to control the psychotic tendencies of his younger twin.
According to LA Wave, the writer-director spent time researching the project in London where he met Krays associate Freddie Foreman.
Reggie and Ronnie, as they were better known as they were better known, were portrayed by Spandau Ballet’s Martin and Gary Kemp in the 1990 feature The Krays.
The brothers’ gang, The Firm, was involved in armed robberies, arson, protection rackets, assaults, and several murders.
As West End nightclub owners, they also mixed with prominent entertainers including Diana Dors, Frank Sinatra and Judy Garland, and with politicians.
They were arrested on 9 May 1968 and were both sentenced to life imprisonment. Ronnie remained in Broadmoor Hospital until his death on 17 March 1995, but Reggie was released from prison on compassionate grounds in August 2000, eight weeks before his death from cancer.
Hardy’s upcoming roles include the lead roles in Warner Bros’ reboot Mad Max: Fury Road and Soviet thriller Child 44, as well as the title role in Elton John biopic Rocketman, which is due to shoot later this year.
LA Confidential writer and co-producer Helgeland most recently wrote and directed 42, the biopic of baseball legend Jackie Robinson.
Tom Hardy on Friday June 13 filming scenes for ‘Legend’ in East London. Hardy is playing the Kray twins. The Kray Twins were Ronald “Ronnie” Kray (24 October 1933 – 17 March 1995) and Reginald “Reggie” Kray (24 October 1933 – 1 October 2000) English gangsters who were the foremost perpetrators of organised crime in the East End of London during the 1950s and 1960s.