Friday, 7 April 2017

RIP Tim Pigott-Smith

Veteran British actor of stage and screen Tim Pigott-Smith has sadly died at the age of 70.

In a career that stretched back to the early 1970s, Tim Pigott-Smith lent his talents to both high art and populist entertainment. He's perhaps best remembered for his award-winning lead role as Ronald Merrick in Granada's sumptuous 1984 adaptation of The Jewel in the Crown, but he also took the central role in the early 90s police drama series The Chief before handing over the reins to Martin Shaw after three series in 1993. A fondness for crime drama clearly remained however, and he graced the screen as DCI Frank Vickers in The Vice, the corrupt DCI Harry Hutchison in a series of BBC's HolbyBlue and a role in 2013's The Great Train Robbery, along with guest spots in The Inspector Lynley Mysteries, Foyle's War, Midsomer Murders, Silent Witness, Lewis, and The Suspicions of Mr Whicher

Other TV credits include Wodehouse in Exile, The Hour, Toast of London, North and South (two adaptations in fact; 1975's as Frederick Hale and 2004 as Frederick's father) The Private Life of Samuel Pepys, Eroica, Spooks, The Bullion Boys, Winston Churchill: The Wilderness Years, The Glittering Prizes Danger UXB and Henry IV, Part I. He starred in films such as Bloody Sunday, Quantum of Solace, Johnny English, Red 2,  Alice in Wonderland, The Four Feathers, Gangs of New York, Alexander, V for Vendetta, Dead Man's Folly, Escape to Victory, Clash of the Titans, Richard's Things and Aces High. 

Pigott-Smith was also a renowned stage actor and respected Shakespearean and performer of Greek tragedy. In recent years he received critical acclaim for his performance as the post-accession Charles, Prince of Wales in the King Charles III, Mike Bartlett's celebrated blank verse play. In 2014 he was nominated for an Olivier Award for the role, and followed this up in 2015 with a Tony nomination when the play was transferred to Broadway. He was set to appear in a TV production of the play too. He died today, ahead of a touring production of Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman, a production already beset by tragedy when his wife Pamela Miles, who was also set to appear, had to pull out following a fracture earlier this week.


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