Edward Woodward, star of The Wicker Man, Callan, Hot Fuzz and the classic TV show, The Equalizer, has died. He was 79.
His agent, Janet Glass, has confirmed that Woodward passed away, surrounded by his family, at the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro, following a long illness. He was surrounded by his family.
The Croydon-born star, affectionately nicknamed Ewah Woowah, was perhaps most famous for his iconic TV roles – he played ace secret agent Callan in the British series of the same name from 1967 to 1972, and then the titular The Equalizer, aka Robert McCall, in the wildly successful US TV show in the mid-80s. He also did a stint on EastEnders earlier in the year, a stint which marked his last on-screen appearance.
But his film career was equally storied, with standouts including Breaker Morant (famous for his defiant cry of “Shoot straight, you bastards! Don’t make a mess of it!”), Champions and Hot Fuzz, in which he played the seemingly jocular Tom Weaver.
But it is for his role as the strait-laced, puritanical copper, Sgt. Tom Howie, in Robin Hardy’s classic horror, The Wicker Man that Woodward will be best remembered; his cries of terror at the end are, quite simply, indelibly haunting.
Edgar Wright has written an excellent and moving blog about Woodward, which you can read here.
Woodward is survived by his wife, Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em star, Michele Dotrice, and four children.