Monday, 16 November 2009

Wicker Man star Edward Woodward dies

Sergeant Howie Rest In Peace. The man with the legendary name said to resemble a fart in the bath will cut capers no more. Edward Woodward, star of The Wicker Man and The Equalizer, has died in Cornwall aged 79.

Woodward did English neurosis better than most even though his best-known film role was the sexually repressed Scottish policeman, Sergeant Howie, in The Wicker Man (1973), starring opposite Christopher Lee and lusting guiltily after Britt Ekland.

You always felt there was a lot going on under the surface barely concealed by his trained tenor voice that was perfect for expressing strangulated non-expression. A RADA actor who carved out a respectable stage career, his stardom began with the 1960s TV detective series Callan. Among a string of film roles, he gave an acclaimed performance in the Australian movie Breaker Morant (1980), and in 2007 fan Simon Pegg cast him in Hot Fuzz.

He was a British actor who will be sorely missed.

All together now, "The Lord's my shepherd, I'll not want ... Sweet Jesus, it's getting hot in here ..."

Read an original analysis of The Wicker Man at Madam Miaow Says by guest poster Babeuf.


harpymarx said...

Very sad news, he was fantastic as Sgt Howie. I even started watching 'Enders recently after all these years just to see what character he was playing.

splinteredsunrise said...

He was a great Howie, bringing some real depth and humanity to what wasn't the most sympathetic of characters. And of course he moved down to Padstow, where they have some Wicker Man-type festivities.

Never saw him in the theatre, but from TV and films I can well imagine what a great stage actor he must have been.

Mick Hall said...

Sadly he was lusting after an imaginary bottom, as in the movie they used a body double to perform as Britt Ekland bum. Although she did not get a credit.

By the way the word verification for this post is 'gobjeck,' sorry little thinks amuse me theses days ;)

Madam Miaow said...

Ha! What kind of acting credit would that get you?

"I played Britt's arse, you know."

Harpy, I completely missed him in Eastenders. But then I've never seen an episode at all. Three of the opening timpani (god, I bet they're not that posh — it's probably a Linn or something else horribly 80s electronic) and I go flying for the remote control.

Splinty, huh, Padstow? You should see the May Day festivities in St Ives. I look remarkably like Lord Fairisle in his wig at the climax and I like to "cut capers" a la Chris Lee in the movie just to see if anyone recognises what I'm doing. Sadly, they never do.