[img]http://hits.guardian.co.uk/b/ss/guardiangu-feeds/1/H.20.3/58924?ns=guardian&pageName=Edward+Woodward%2C+star+of+The+Wicker+Man+and+Callan%2C+dies+aged+79%3AArticle%3A1305676&ch=Television+%26amp%3B+radio&c3=GU.co.uk&c4=Television+%28Culture%29%2CFilm%2CTheatre%2CCulture+section%2CUK+news&c6=Mark+Tran&c7=09-Nov-16&c8=1305676&c9=Article&c10=News&c11=Television+%26amp%3B+radio&c13=&c25=&c30=content&h2=GU%2FTelevision+%26amp%3B+radio%2FTelevision[/img]Actor had been suffering from pneumonia
Blog: the best clips featuring Edward Woodward
Edward Woodward, the versatile actor who starred in The Wicker Man and television dramas Callan and The Equalizer, has died at the age of 79.
He had been suffering from various illnesses, including pneumonia, and died in hospital, his agent said. Janet Glass issued 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."
Woodward began his career on the stage at the Castle theatre, Farnham, in 1946. After graduation from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, he worked extensively in repertory companies as a Shakespearean actor throughout England and Scotland, making his London debut in Where There's A Will in 1955. He also starred in the film adaptation that same year. His work in the West End included Romeo and Juliet and Hamlet, both in 1955, as well as Cyrano de Bergerac in 1971. Having established himself, he also worked on Broadway in New York and in Australia.
In 1967 he was cast as David Callan in the Armchair Theatre play A Magnum for Schneider, which became the long-running ITV hit show Callan from 1967 to 1972. He also starred in the 1974 film version. Woodward became well-known to TV audiences, playing a reluctant, world-weary professional killer working for a shadowy branch of the British government's intelligence services known as "the Section". Woodward demonstrated his ability to express controlled rage that occasionally erupts.
In 1974, Woodward played the memorable character of Sergeant Howie in the film classic The Wicker Man, who is eventually set alight by pagan worshippers on a remote Scottish island. The film was recently remade with Nicolas Cage. Another fine role came in 1980 when he played Harry Morant in the Australian film Breaker Morant.
Woodward found himself starring in a hit series in the 1980s, in the American TV series The Equalizer as a British former intelligence operative. The series ran from 1985 until 1989. After filming a few episodes of the third season, Woodward suffered a coronary. For several episodes, additional actors were brought in to reduce the workload on Woodward as he recovered.
During his career, Woodward appeared in more than 2,000 television productions. His vocal capability and acting skill enabled him to make a number of appearances when time allowed on the BBC's Victorian-era music hall programme, The Good Old Days.
Woodward was twice married, first to Venetia Mary Collett. They had two sons, both of whom became successful actors, as well as a Tony award-nominated actor daughter. His second marriage was to Michele Dotrice, daughter of his contemporary Roy Dotrice, in 1987. They have one daughter, Emily.
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Guardian: Edward Woodward, star of The Wicker Man and Callan, dies aged 79
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