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Edward Woodward’s career as an actor has spanned plays, musical theater, recordings, television series, and movies.
He joined the Royal Shakespeare Company, and played (among other roles) Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet;Laertes in Hamlet; Thaliard in Pericles; and Don Claudio in Much Ado About Nothing. He later starred in Rattle of a Simple Man in the West End and on Broadway, and was chosen by Noel Coward to star on Broadway in High Spirits, the musical adaptation of the play Blithe Spirit.
Mr. Woodward’s West End stage appearances over the years have also included Cyrano de Bergerac (in the title role) and The White Devil, both for the National Theatre under Laurence Olivier; [A Tale of] Two Cities (for which he won the Variety Club Award for Best Performance in a Musical); The Beggar’s Opera (as Macheath); Private Lives; Babes in the Wood (at the London Palladium); and Richard III (at the Ludlow Festival). More recently, he played the title role in Leonard Preston’s play Goodbye Gilbert Harding.
Of his television work, he is best-known for two enormously popular series in which he starred – Callan and The Equalizer. The U.K. espionage drama Callan ran for five years, earning him a BAFTA Award and spawning a follow-up film of the same name (directed by Don Sharp) and a telefilm sequel (Wet Job, directed by Shaun O’Riordan), both with Mr. Woodward reprising his role of David Callan. A decade later, the U.S. action drama The Equalizer, in which he played Robert McCall, ran for four years. He won a Golden Globe Award, and was a multiple Emmy Award nominee, for playing the latter character.
His other notable television work includes the documentary World War II (his narration of which earned him an Emmy Award); the series Common As Muck and The New Professionals; headlining three The Edward Woodward Hour specials; portraying F. Scott Fitzgerald in A Dream Divided; playing Sherlock Holmes in Hands of a Murderer (directed by Stuart Orme); playing Simon Legree in Uncle Tom’s Cabin (directed by Stan Lathan, and for which Mr. Woodward received a CableACE Award nomination); starring opposite Laurence Olivier in his production of Saturday, Sunday, Monday (directed by Alan Bridges); Clive Donner’s telefilms A Christmas Carol (1984) and Arthur the King (a.k.a. Merlin and the Sword); starring on Alfred Hitchcock Presents (for which he received an Emmy Award nomination); and, most recently, the miniseries Five Days (soon to air in the U.S.; directed by Otto Bathurst and Simon Curtis).
Of his film work, he is best-known for his lead roles in two classic movies – Bruce Beresford’s ‘Breaker’ Morant (which brought him an Australian Film Institute Award nomination) and Robin Hardy’s The Wicker Man (1973). His other notable films include Peter Glenville’s Becket; Richard Attenborough’s Young Winston; and Bruce Beresford’s Mister Johnson.
He has recorded twelve solo albums (three of which have gone gold), in addition to the ‘Breaker’ Morant soundtrack album (from which the single “Soldiers of the Queen” went onto the charts) and the Two Cities cast album.
Mr. Woodward has been honored with an OBE (Order of the British Empire).