Simon Ward

Simon Ward
Born (1941-10-19)19 October 1941
Beckenham, Kent, England, UK
Died 20 July 2012(2012-07-20) (aged 70)
London, England, U.K.
Resting place Highgate Cemetery, Highgate, London
Occupation Actor
Years active 1964–2010
Spouse(s) Alexandra Ward
(1964 2012; his death, 3 daughters)
Children Sophie, Claudia and Kitty
Relatives Michael McIntyre (son-in-law)

Simon Anthony Fox Ward (19 October 1941  20 July 2012)[1] was an English stage and film actor. He was known for his performance as the young Winston Churchill in the 1972 film Young Winston and for his roles as Sir Monty Everard in Judge John Deed and as Bishop Gardiner in The Tudors.

Early life

Simon Ward was born in Beckenham, Kent,[2] the son of Winifred and Leonard Fox Ward,[3] a car dealer. From an early age he wanted to be an actor. He was educated at Alleyn's School, London, the home of the National Youth Theatre, which he joined at age 13 and stayed with for eight years. Trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, he made his professional stage debut with the Northampton Repertory in 1963 and his London theatrical debut one year later in The 4th of June. At RADA he met Alexandra Ward and they were married in 1964. After the Royal Academy, he worked in repertory in Northampton, Birmingham and Oxford and occasionally in London's West End.

Big break

His big break in theatre came in 1967 when he played in Joe Orton's Loot, which led to a number of small film and television roles. All of Ward's major film roles were in the 1970s.

Persistent rumours suggest his first film appearance was an uncredited role as one of the sociopathic students in Lindsay Anderson's If.... (1968). Although this has never been verified, his participation in the film is still listed in his IMDb's actor's credits.[4]

In 1971, he played the title role of Winston Churchill in Young Winston. This was the role which brought him to national prominence and Ward starred in several high-profile films during the mid-to-late 1970s.

The following year he played the Duke of Buckingham in Richard Lester's The Three Musketeers (1973) and The Four Musketeers (1974), and also in 1974 he played author-veterinarian James Herriot in the successful film adaptation of All Creatures Great and Small. He played one of the lead roles (Lt. Crawford) in the 1976 World War I film Aces High, then starred as Lt. William Vereker in the 1979 film Zulu Dawn. He was also seen as a fictional Nazi functionary (the sympathetic one, with whom the audience is supposed to identify) in Hitler: The Last Ten Days (1973). Later film roles included Zor-El in Supergirl (1984).

Later career and death

In 1986, Ward starred in the title role of Ross, the first West End revival of Terence Rattigan's play since its original run in 1960. It toured the UK and, after a run at the Royal Alexandra Theatre, Toronto, opened at The Old Vic, featuring Marc Sinden as Dickinson, with David Langton, Roland Curram, Bruce Montague and Ernest Clark in supporting roles.

Simon Ward made few films after the 1970s, although he did have a major role in the Ralph Fiennes version of Wuthering Heights, made in 1992, alongside his daughter Sophie Ward.

In 1987 Ward suffered a serious head injury in a street attack that was never solved.[5]

In 1995, at very short notice, he took over Stephen Fry's role in the play Cell Mates, after Fry walked out of the play near the start of its run.

In 2001–07, he appeared as Sir Monty Everard in the BBC television series Judge John Deed and in 2007–10 as Bishop Stephen Gardiner in The Tudors.

In 2010, Ward appeared in the title role in the British tour of Alan Bennett's play The Madness of George III.

Ward's third and youngest daughter, Kitty, is married to British stand-up comedian Michael McIntyre.[6]

It was announced on 22 July 2012 that Ward had died after a long illness. His agent stated that he had died "peacefully" on Friday 20 July with his family at his side.[5][7]



Year Title Role Ref.
1966 The Son Alain Malou
1969 I Start Counting Conductor
Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed Dr. Karl Holst
1971 Quest for Love Jeremy
1972 Young Winston Winston Churchill [2]
1973 Hitler: The Last Ten Days Captain Hoffman [2]
The Three Musketeers Duke of Buckingham [2]
Bram Stoker's Dracula Arthur
1974 The Four Musketeers Duke of Buckingham [2]
1975 All Creatures Great and Small James Herriot
Deadly Strangers Stephen Slade [2]
Children of Rage Yaakov
Valley Forge Major Andre
1976 Aces High Lt. Crawford
1977 Die Standarte Herbert Menis
Holocaust 2000 Angel Caine
1978 The Four Feathers William Trench
1979 Dominique Tony Calvert
Zulu Dawn Lt. Vereker [2]
The Last Giraffe Jock Leslie-Melville
La Sabina Philip
1980 The Rear Column Ward
1981 The Monster Club George
1983 Manpower Narrator
1984 Supergirl Zor-El [2]
The Corsican Brothers Chateau-Renaud
1985 Leave All Fair John Jeune (Young John)
1986 L'étincelle Mike
1992 Double X: The Name of the Game Edward Ross
Wuthering Heights Mr. Linton [2]
2000 Atrapa-la Doug


Year Title Role Notes
1964 Festival Stephen 1 episode
Theatre 625 Dick Jervis Episode: Carried by Storm
1965 Thursday Theatre Tom Cherry Episode: The Flowering Cherry
1965-66 The World of Wooster Eustace 2 episodes
1966 Thirteen Against Fate Alain Malou Episode: The Son
1966-68 The Wednesday Play Donald Clenham / John Hardie 2 episodes
1967-68 Jackanory Storyteller 6 episodes
1970 The Misfit Ted Allenby-Johnson 2 episodes
The Black Tulip Cornelius Van Bearle TV mini-series, 6 episodes
Roads to Freedom Philippe 3 episodes
1972 No Exit Mark Gray Episode: A Man's Fair Share of Days
Cinema: A Documentary Himself
1973 ABC Afterschool Specials Various roles
Great Mysteries Stephen Barrow Episode: The Leather Funnel
1975 BBC2 Playhouse Saunders Episode: The Breakthrough
1976 Call My Bluff Himself
1980 The Rear Column Herbert Ward TV movie
1981 Diamonds Bernard de Haan 13 episodes
1982 An Inspector Calls Gerald Croft TV mini-series, 3 episodes
1984 Allô Béatrice Archibald Episode: Agnes et ses papas
Supergirl: The Making of the Movie Himself
1988 A Taste for Death Stephen Lampart 5 episodes
1989 Around the World in 80 Days Flannigan TV mini-series, 3 episodes
1992 Lovejoy Edward Brooksby 2 episodes
1994 Kurtulus Winston Churchill TV mini-series
1995 Ruth Rendell Mysteries Will Harvey 2 episodes
1996 Challenge Narrator
1999 Real Women II Samuelson
2003-07 Judge John Deed Sir Monty Everard 20 episodes
2005 Family Affairs Mr. Lee 3 episodes
2006 Heartbeat Maxwell Hamilton Episode: Kith and Kin
2009-10 The Tudors Bishop Gardiner 17 episodes


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