Following the sad news of the death of character actor John Forgeham, comes news of another loss to the character actor world with the death of the great Tony Haygarth at 72 from Alzheimer's and vascular dementia.
Born in Liverpool, Tony started out his career - in between 'proper' jobs as a life guard in Torquay and a psychiatric nurse at Sefton General - as a performance poet in the burgeoning tradition that was then developing on Merseyside. Bitten by the performance bug he headed to London with friend Geoffrey Hughes (Coronation Street, Keeping up Appearances and The Royle Family) to make his name. It wasn't long before Haygarth had developed a very healthy career on the stage and the screen, both TV and film.
Film roles included Percy, Unman, Wittering and Zigo, 1979's Dracula, McVicar, Britannia Hospital, A Private Function, The Bride, Clockwise, The Dressmaker and Chicken Run, whilst on television his recurring and significant roles included performances in Scully (as 'Dracula', the caretaker nemesis to the teenage hero) Emmerdale, The Rotters Club, Our Friends in the North, Boys from the Blackstuff, Rosie, Making Out and The Borrowers, as well as the lead role in Nigel Kneale's 1981 sci fi sitcom Kinvig. Significant guest roles in TV shows such as Casualty, The Bill, The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Last of the Summer Wine, Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads, Shoestring, Bergerac, Lovejoy, Between The Lines, Sharpe, Hornblower, Inspector Morse Preston Front and I, Claudius.
He was a key figure in Bill Bryden's hard drinking Cottesloe company at the National in the '80s, he won a prestigious Equity Clarence Derwent award for his performance in Sam Shepard's Simpatico in the 90s and appeared in revivals of Twelve Angry Men (by Harold Pinter), Pygmalion and The Rise and Fall of Little Voice in the 00s.