A memorial for Edward Woodward, who died aged 79, will be held in London at The Theatre Royal Haymarket, on Thursday, March 25th. He passed away on November 16, 2009.
Edward became a popular television star in "Callan" and "The Equalizer" and enjoyed cult success with the film The Wicker Man. For many years, he was part of the "Teddington set" - those who worked for the BBC, ABC and Thames TV studios in west London in their heyday - and so found it comparatively easy to get parts which were financially rewarding but not too stretching.
He will be remembered by many as Callan, a seedy, disillusioned spy and hitman - one critic called him a lower-class James Bond - created originally by James Mitchell for a one-off Armchair Theatre programme in 1967. The show was then developed as a series which ran until 1972 and earned Woodward a Bafta award. In 1974 came a Callan feature film.
He played Robert McCall in The Equalizer (1985-89), shooting and killing villains of the oppressed. This series with an ex-CIA man as the hero won him a Golden Globe.
Woodward was born in Croydon, then in Surrey, and as a child was bombed out of his home three times during the second world war.
Woodward went to Elmwood school in Wallington, Surrey, then attended at Kingston commercial college at the age of 14 with the ambition of becoming a journalisT. Woodward went to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art at 16 and appeared on stage at Castle theatre, Farnham, in 1946.
His London debut was in "Where There's a Will", at the Garrick in 1955. In the 1950s, he also played Stratford, as Mercutio in "Romeo and Juliet", and Laertes in "Hamlet", then enjoying a popular success in "Rattle of a Simple Man", opposite Sheila Hancock, at the Garrick in London in 1962. He went to Broadway with the play the following year and also appeared on Broadway in High Spirits (1964) and The Best Laid Plans (1966).
On the big screen, Woodward will perhaps be best remembered for his role in the cult horror film The Wicker Man (1973), directed by Robin Hardy. A 2006 remake starred Nicolas Cage in Woodward's role.
He is survived by Michele Dotrice and their daughter, as well as three children of his first marriage.