I was surprised to hear today the news that actor Edward Woodward has died aged seventy nine. Along with thousands of others, I sat glued to my TV screen in the late sixties and early seventies watching the series “Callan”. A consummate professional, Woodward played a different yet no less compelling character again on the big screen, taking the title role in the movie “Breaker Morant”. For me though, one of his finest roles was that of the Scottish policeman in “The Wicker Man” – the final sequence where villagers set the giant wicker structure on fire with Woodward inside will stay with me forever.
Married to actress Michele Dotrice (perhaps best known for her role as Frank Spencer’s long-suffering wife in the BBC sitcom “Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em”, Woodward was a respected and accomplished classical actor also, trained at RADA and having performed on Broadway and at the National Theatre. But my all-time favourite had to be US TV series “The Equaliser”, which in the autumn of his career gave Woodward the fortune which seemed to have eluded him previously.
I am genuinely saddened by this news – Edward Woodward was an actor of talent and depth and we have few enough of those nowadays.