Simon Ward, the actor who gained national acclaim for his portrayal of Churchill in Richard Attenborough’s epic 1972 film, Young Winston, has died after a long illness.
A statement released by his agent said he passed away peacefully with his wife, Alexandra, and his daughters at his bedside. He was 70.
Ward joined the National Youth Theatre at the age of 13, where he remained for eight years. After attending RADA, he worked in rep in Northampton, Birmingham and Oxford and occasionally the West End. His break in theatre came in 1967 when he played the lead in Joe Orton’s Loot, which led to television and film roles. The following year, he played the Duke of Buckingham in The Three Musketeers.
In 1974, he was cast as the vet, James Herriot, in the original film adaptation of All Creatures Great and Small. In more recent years, he returned to the theatre, touring with such plays as Alan Bennett’s The Madness of George III and Oscar Wilde’s An Ideal Husband.
A full obituary will appear in the print edition of The Stage.