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Date: 16/11/09


I suppose it's one of the inevitabilities of middle age that you find the familiar on-screen faces of your childhood and youth starting to drop off the twig through old age.

Photo of Edward Woodward

Edward Albert Arthur Woodward
b. 1 June 1930, d. 16 November 2009

Whether as the doubt-ridden spy Callan, or as the more urbane type of revenge-fantasy figure in The Equaliser, or as the fundamentalist detective sent to investigate strange goings on among the pagans in The Wicker Man, Woodward was always a credible performer.

This may not be entirely appropriate, but there's a story that when he was first introduced to Nol Coward, The Master said, "Dear boy, you really must change your name; it sounds like someone farting in the bath!"

Not remotely propos that, not many nowadays remember that he could also sing, in a not-at-all-offensive tenor, and released a number of LPs (remember those?), even scoring a (very) minor hit single in 1970 with a rendering of Jerome Kern and Dorothy Fields' The Way You Look Tonight. More interesting for historians of pop was the b-side, The Tide Will Turn For Rebecca, which was one of the earliest recordings of a song by Elton John and Bernie Turpin, a little while before they said hello to the yellow brick road. Click here for an excerpt.

And I suppose that wouldn't bring back their apples, either...