The Equalizer Edward Woodward has passed away at the age of 79, having lost his battle against illness in a hospital near his home in Cornwall, England. A statement from agent Janet Glass said: "He was equally fine and courageous in real life, never losing his brave spirit and wonderful humour throughout his illness." He is survived by his second wife, actress Michele Dotrice, and four children.
But while I lead off with the actor's famed television role, Woodward was more than a television star ... even if he once told The Associated Press that he's probably done "more television than any actor living. I've done over 2,000, could be 3,000 now, television productions," and earned a number of Emmy nominations and a Golden Globes win for The Equalizer. Woodward was the man who played Sergeant Howie in the original 1973 film The Wicker Man -- a performance that inspired director Robin Hardy to eulogize: "He was one of the greatest actors of his generation, without any question." Yet his success wasn't only relegated to past films. In recent years, he played CCTV head Tom Weaver in Simon Pegg's Hot Fuzz, and recently starred in the as yet unreleased drama A Congregation of Ghosts.
Edward Woodward, you will be missed.
For more, check out Hot Fuzz director Edgar Wright's blog post on Woodward. It's a fantastic read.