Actor Simon Ward dies after illness

Basildon Recorder: Simon Ward with wife Alexandra (left) and daughter Sophie at the October 1979 premiere of Zulu Dawn Simon Ward with wife Alexandra (left) and daughter Sophie at the October 1979 premiere of Zulu Dawn

Actor Simon Ward has died, aged 70, after a long illness.

The star of stage and screen had his wife Alexandra and three daughters at his side when he died "peacefully" in hospital on Friday, said his management agency.

Ward had appeared as Sir Monty in BBC legal drama Judge John Deed and as Bishop Gardiner in The Tudors. He also had roles on the big screen in Zulu Dawn and Young Winston.

The statement from Shepherd Management said: "The son of a car salesman from Beckenham, Kent, Ward wanted to be an actor from an early age and joined the National Youth Theatre at the age of 13 and stayed there for eight years.

"Ward went on to train at RADA and became one of the most respected and admired actors of his generation.

"His big break in the theatre came in 1967 when he played the lead in Joe Orton's play Loot which led to television and film work.

"In 1972 he played the title role of Winston Churchill in Young Winston. This role brought him international prominence and Ward starred in many high-profile films throughout the 70s and 80s."

Some of Ward's other film roles were in The Three Musketeers, All Creatures Great and Small, Supergirl and Hitler: The Last Ten Days.

In more recent years, Ward had "worked tirelessly" in the theatre, touring the country with The Madness of George III and An Ideal Husband.

Ward leaves his wife and daughters Sophie, Claudia and Kitty.

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