RIP Edward Woodward

The well known and highly respected actor Edward Woodward OBE has died near his home in Padstow. He was 79 years old. Born in 1930, Woodward is probably best known to film lovers for his role of Sergeant Neil Howie in the classic 1973 horror film The Wicker Man. The film’s climatic scenes, with Woodward’s terrified screams drowned out by Christopher Lee’s sinister pagan brethren, are rightly hailed as a cinematic classic. One of his most recent roles was as Tom Weaver in Hot Fuzz, Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright’s 2004 follow-up to Shaun of the Dead.

Also a talented singer, Woodward appeared in over thirty films over the course of his fifty-year career. He was also a well known face to TV viewers, starring in successful spy dramas such as Callan and US hit The Equalizer, a role which won him a Golden Globe award in 1987. He has also recently appeared in The Bill and EastEnders.

Woodward was born in Croydon, South London, in 1930.  Initially torn between a career as an actor and the possibility of playing football professionally, his work studying at RADA eventually won out and Woodward took to the boards. He debuted on the London stage in 1955, appearing in R.F. Delderfield’s Where There’s a Will. The film adaptation of the same play would later provide him with his first role in cinema. He received an OBE for his services to drama in 1978, and is survived by his second wife, the actress Michele Dotrice.

About The Author