Veteran stage, TV and film actor Simon Ward has passed away after a long illness at the age of 70. Born in Beckenham in 1941 Ward, the son of a car dealer, trained as an actor with the National Youth Theatre and RADA before making his stage debut in 1963. In 1967 he appeared on stage on Joe Orton’s Loot and in the 1970s he became a familiar face on TV and in feature films.
Simon Ward joined the ranks of the Hammer Studios alumni when he appeared as Karl in Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed in 1969 but in 1972 he finally became well-known in the UK for his portrayal of Winston Churchill in Young Winston (a role he returned to in 1994 in the TV feature Kurtulus). He played the Duke of Buckingham Richard Lester‘s lively adaptation of The Three Musketeers (as well as its sequel The Four Musketeers) and he battled the undead in a 1974 version of Dracula. Simon worked consistently in feature films throughout the 1970s and 1980s in titles as diverse as Aces High, The Monster Club and Supergirl. On TV he appeared in reliable series such as The Ruth Rendell Mysteries, Family Affairs and a recurring role as Sir Monty Everard in BBC1’s Judge John Deed from 2003 - 2007. More recently he appeared as Bishop Gardiner in the lavish costume drama The Tudors.
More recently Simon returned to the stage appearing in 2010 in Alan Bennett’s The Madness of King George. The well-respected actor, who died on 20th July, is survived by his wife Alexandra and his three daughters including the actress Sophie Ward and Kitty (who is married to TV comedian Michael McIntyre). His family were at his side as he passed away.
Starburst offers its condolences to Simon’s family.