Monday, November 16, 2009

Tough But Not Immortal

There’s some very sad news coming out of Britain this morning. To quote from The Daily Mail’s lengthy obituary:
Veteran actor Edward Woodward, who was best known for his roles in The Wicker Man and The Equalizer, died today.

The 79-year-old had been suffering from various illnesses, including pneumonia, and passed away at the Royal Cornwall hospital in Truro, his agent said.

Janet Glass released a statement praising his ‘brave spirit and wonderful humour’.

It said: ‘Universally loved and admired through his unforgettable roles in classic productions such as Breaker Morant, The Wicker Man, Callan, The Equalizer and many more, he was equally fine and courageous in real life, never losing his brave spirit and wonderful humour throughout his illness. ...’
Although he started out as a Shakespearean actor, the success of Callan (the 1967-1972 series in which he played a professional killer employed by a mysterious British government intelligence service) helped to typecast him as a smooth but hard-nosed operator. The Equalizer sent him up that same alley. Again according to The Daily Mail, “one magazine poll voted him ‘the male TV star more women would like to cuddle than any other’, and he was labelled a sex symbol for his portrayal [in The Equalizer] of the ice cool, but charming ex-CIA agent Robert McCall--a vigilante who operates his own one-man security service.” Woodward exploited that image again in the short-lived, action-oriented UK crime drama CI5: The New Professionals (1999), playing the head of a fictional intelligence agency, with a team that included the lovely Lexa Doig.

More recently, Woodward had joined the cast of the long-running British soap opera EastEnders.

READ MORE:Edward Woodward, 79: British Leading Man Personified ‘the Actor’s Life,’” by Adam Bernstein (The Washington Post); “What Do You Call a Man with Three Planks of Wood on His Head?” by Charlie Williams (The Charlie Williams Blog); “The Horn Section Salutes: Edward Woodward (1930-2009),” by Hal Horn (The Horn Section); “R.I.P., Edward Woodward,” by Tanner (Double O Section).


Ed Gorman said...

A fine fine who made The Equalizer even more interesting and unique than the creators had hoped for. The first two seasons were exceptional television.

le0pard13 said...

Besides his most excellent work in THE WICKER MAN and the TV series, The Equalizer, I shall always remember Edward Woodard's fondly for his Breaker Morant, his ghost of Christmas Present from the '84 A Christmas Carol TV movie (opposite George C. Scott), and his Tom Weaver in the recent Hot Fuzz. He was one of the most watchable actors - I'd stop and view whatever he did. May he rest in peace.

surrey said...

Edward has died .............RIP.........

Joe said...

After knowing Woodward's work from TV and movies, I was fascinated to read this summer in The Letters of Noel Coward about his leading role in High Spirits, the musical version of Coward's play Blithe Spirit and how much Coward loved his performance and singing in the lead.

A truly talented performer