Edward Woodward: The Loss of a Legend

Edward Woodward, a legend of star and screen died today at the age of 79. He was a star of what can only be described as epic proportions and for me at least, will be most fondly remembered in the role of Sergeant Howie in the original production of “The Wicker Man” in 1973. Not to mention his role in Simon Peggs hilarious “Hot Fuzz”!

In 1987 he won a Golden Globe for “The Equalizer” a fantastic show I remember watching as a child where he played an ex-spy turned vigilante, cleaning the trash of New York’s streets. By the time 1990 swung round he had also won an Emmy for “Remembering World War II”.

In a career that began in 1946, at the tender age of 16 Woodward took part in a regional production of “A Kiss for Cinderella” and over the years went on to a role in the popular British soap “Eastenders”.

His most recent film appearances were in “Hot Fuzz” in 2007 and most recently in “Congregation of Ghosts” a twisted horror film based in England circa 1932 in which Woodward plays Reverend Frederick Densham a vicar spurned in life and death who comes back to haunt the site of his mistreatment. The film is currently in post-production and looks to me like it will be extremely entertaining.

“I think I’ve probably more television than any actor living,” Woodward said in a 1987 interview with The Associated Press. “I’ve done over 2,000, could be 3,000 now, television productions.”

“I suppose there is also the feeling that it is the largest medium by far for information, education and above all, entertainment,” he added. “And after all, that’s what an actor’s life is all about. Getting work and entertaining people.”

Woodward leaves behind his second wife, Michele Dotrice who is best known as Betty in “Some Mothers Do ‘ave ‘em” as well as their daughter, two sons and his daughter from his first marriage.

This is a sad day for the world of acting and the loss of a talent that has kept us entertained in countless roles over half a century. My heart and prayers go out to his family and friends. Edward Woodward may be gone, but he will never be forgotten.

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