Actor Roger Lloyd Pack dies aged 69
The Only Fools and Horses star died on Wednesday night, his agent said
Roger Lloyd Pack, best known for his roles in television sitcoms Only Fools and Horses and The Vicar of Dibley, has died aged 69, his agent confirmed today.
The actor, who recently appeared in the Globe's acclaimed productions of Twelfth Night and Richard III, had been suffering from pancreatic cancer.
Born in London in 1944, he had acting in his blood as the son of Hammer horror star Charles Lloyd Pack. He studied at RADA before making his stage debut in rep in Northampton.
In a 2008 interview with WhatsOnStage, he said of his entry into the profession: "My dad was an actor. I was at a school called Bedales which had a lovely old theatre. The smell of the place, the atmosphere of the whole thing just really got me. I was brought up going to the theatres, I suppose it was familiar to me. I liked the applause, I liked the attention you got being on stage."
He rose to national consciousness thanks to his role as the ironically-monikered Trigger in Only Fools and Horses, which ran from 1981 to 2003.
His co-star David Jason said today: "Although he played the simple soul of Trigger in Only Fools and Horses, he was a very intelligent man and a very fine actor capable of many roles. I shall remember him with fondness and for all the good times we had together."
Lloyd Pack's many other TV credits included The Vicar of Dibley, in which he played farmer Owen Newitt, while on film he is perhaps best known for playing Barty Crouch in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
His theatre work took in companies including the National, Royal Shakespeare Company, Almeida, Royal Court and Donmar Warehouse. Notable productions he was involved in included Art, Dealer's Choice, The Caretaker and The Royal Hunt of the Sun.
Early on in his career he worked with directors Bill Gaskill and Max Stafford-Clark at Joint Stock, a period he described as "the most important career-changing event for me".
Roger Lloyd Pack married twice and is survived by his four children, including actress Emily Lloyd.
WhatsOnStage chief critic Michael Coveney writes:
Roger Lloyd Pack's qualities as a comic actor, well known to his huge television following, included stillness, deadpan delivery, a naturally lugubrious expression and an instant rapport with any audience. Interestingly, he wasn't a very funny pantomime dame in a Dick Whittington at the Barbican written by Mark Ravenhill, of all people.
This proved, I think, that he was a character actor rather than a comic personality, a crucial difference. But in those last stage appearances with Mark Rylance's company at Shakespeare's Globe, and later in the West End, he was a remarkably sweet and touching Aguecheek in Twelfth Night and a surprisingly steely Buckingham in Richard III.
That company, now on Broadway without him, will be shedding a few tears and raising a few glasses tonight. Roger was a deeply private man who found coping with his television fame as Trigger in Only Fools and Horses a bit tricky, especially as he engaged as a citizen with many political issues in his north London community. He loved cricket and football (when Spurs were playing).
He was married first to Sheila Bull (the mother of his actress daughter Emily Lloyd) and then the poet Jehane Markham, with whom he had three sons. He died of pancreatic cancer last night, but very people even knew he was ill.