Stage and screen star Simon Ward has died after a lengthy illness. He was 70.
He joined the National Youth Theatre at the age of 13 and became a respected thespian in his late 20s after attending the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London.
He gained acclaim for his portrayal of Winston Churchill in director Richard Attenborough's epic "Young Winston" in 1972 and he portrayed the Duke of Buckingham in "The Three Musketeers" a year later.
His run of success continued in 1974 when he was cast as veterinarian James Herriot in the film adaptation of "All Creatures Great and Small."
The '70s ended with two iconic roles -- as William Trench in TV movie "The Four Feathers" (1978) and as Lt. Vereker in star-studded classic "Zulu Dawn" (1979).
He returned to the theater in his later years and enjoyed a string of West End successes, but he was back on TV at the end of his career, starring in hit series "The Tudors," "Judge John Deed" (as Sir Monty Everard) and "Family Affairs" (as Mr. Lee).
Ward's eldest daughter is actress Sophie Ward.
I recall him playing Churchill as a young man and was not aware about the background of "Winnie''. Ward played him brilliantly and I learned a bit of history as well and it surely helped, because I became a history teacher who watched alot of biopics that gave me background on many famous people.
Gods speed Simon.
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