EXPIRED: 11/17/09 – Edward Woodward, 79, wasn’t afraid to dismiss Nicholas Cage’s acting abilities, nor was he afraid to be sexier than Tom Selleck. He was a man who claimed to have more television work than “any actor living” in 1987 and with over 2,000 (possibly 3,000) television productions, this British actor might have been right.
When Nicolas Cage reprised Woodward’s 1973 classic role of the cop in the film “The Wicker Man,” Woodward was not impressed: “I didn’t watch it…. If it was a run-of-the-mill movie then fine. But ‘The Wicker Man’ was very special and has claimed a cult following.”
Woodward was familiar with cult followings: from 1985 to 1989 he held the lead role in the incredibly popular “The Equalizer.” He played Robert McCall, a retired spy who put himself at the service of clients who had “exhausted all conventional means of law enforcement.” With a sleek Jaguar, Savile Row suits, and priceless one-liners like “Please do not do anything you will never live to regret,” it’s no wonder the show brought Woodward five Emmy Award nominations, a 1987 Golden Globe award, and the coveted moniker “Sexiest Man in America” during the show’s run.
While the show made Woodward a household name in America, he had long been a fixture on British media.
Under his belt: several acclaimed British TV productions, from Evelyn Waugh’s Trilogy “Sword of Honour” in the 1960s to “Common as Muck” in the 90’s and “East Enders” just this year. In addition to work with the Royal Shakespeare Company, he was also a gifted singer, recording albums of poetry, audio books and music, such as “Love is the Key” in 1977 and “The Jewel that was Ours” in 1994.
His last film appearances include “Hot Fuzz” in 2007 and “Congregation of Ghosts,” now in post-production.
His true love, however, was TV. He once said, “I love television. To me, it’s the most exciting medium… for information, education and, above all, entertainment. And after all, that’s what an actor’s life is all about: getting work and entertaining people.”
And he certainly did both.