Simon Ward

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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 Cremated, Ashes scattered into the English Channel
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[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

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]



Title Year Role
Festival 1964
Theatre 625 1964 Dick Jervis
Thursday Theatre 1965 Tom Cherry
The World of Wooster 1966 Eustace
Thirteen Against Fate 1966 Alain Malou
The Wednesday Play 1966-1968 Donald Clenham / John Hardie
Jackanory 1967-1968 Storyteller
The Misfit 1970 Ted Allenby-Johnson
The Black Tulip 1970 Cornelius Van Bearle
Roads to Freedom 1970 Philippe
No Exit 1972 Mark Gray
Cinema: A Documentary 1972 Himself
ABC Afterschool Specials 1973 Various Characters
Great Mysteries 1973 Stephen Barrow
BBC2 Playhouse 1975
Call My Bluff 1976 Himself
The Rear Column 1980 Herbert Ward
Diamonds 1981 Bernard de Haan
An Inspector Calls 1982 Gerald Croft
Allô Béatrice 1984 Archibald
Supergirl: The Making of the Movie 1984 Himself
A Taste for Death 1988 Stephen Lampart
Around the World in 80 Days 1989 Flannigan
Lovejoy 1992 Edward Brooksby
Kurtulus 1994 Winston Churchill
Ruth Rendell Mysteries 1995 Will Harvey
Challenge 1996 Narrator
Real Women II 1999 Samuelson
Family Affairs 2005 Mr. Lee
Heartbeat 2006 Maxwell Hamilton
Judge John Deed 2003-2007 Sir Monty Everard
The Tudors 2009-2010 Bishop Gardiner


Title Year Role
The Son 1966 Alain Malou
if.... 1968 Schoolboy (uncredited)
I Start Counting 1969 Conductor
Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed 1969 Dr. Karl Holst
Quest for Love 1971 Jeremy
Young Winston 1972 Winston Churchill
Hitler: The Last Ten Days 1973 Captain Hoffman
The Three Musketeers 1973 Duke of Buckingham
Bram Stoker's Dracula (1973 film) 1973 Arthur
The Four Musketeers 1974 Duke of Buckingham
All Creatures Great and Small 1975 James Herriot
Children of Rage 1975 Yaacov
Valley Forge 1975 Major Andre
Aces High 1976 Lt. Crawford
Deadly Strangers 1976 Stephen Slade
Die Standarte (de) 1977 Herbert Menis
Holocaust 2000 1977 Angel Caine
The Four Feathers 1978 William Trench
Dominique 1979 Tony Calvert
Zulu Dawn 1979 Lt. Vereker
The Last Giraffe 1979 Jock Leslie-Melville
La Sabina 1979 Philip
The Rear Column 1980 Ward
The Monster Club 1981 George
Manpower 1983 Narrator
Supergirl 1984 Zor-El
The Corsican Brothers 1984 Chateau-Renaud
Leave All Fair 1985 John Jeune (Young John)
L'étincelle 1986 Mike
Double X: The Name of the Game 1992 Edward Ross
Wuthering Heights 1992 Mr. Linton
Atrapa-la 2000 Doug


  1. ^ "Actor Simon Ward dies aged 70 after long illness". The Telegraph. 2012-07-22. Retrieved 2012-07-22. 
  2. ^ Hayward, Anthony (23 July 2012). "Simon Ward obituary". The Guardian. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ IMDb
  5. ^ a b "The Tudors actor Simon Ward dies after long illness". BBC News. 2012-07-22. Retrieved 2012-07-22.  Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "bbcdeath" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  6. ^ The Mirror
  7. ^ "Simon Ward dies aged 70 after long illness". 23 July 2012. 

External links[edit]