Edward Woodward Poster


Jump to: Overview (4)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Family (4)  | Trade Mark (2)  | Trivia (30)

Overview (4)

Born in Croydon, Surrey, England, UK
Died in Truro, Cornwall, England, UK  (pneumonia)
Birth NameEdward Albert Arthur Woodward
Height 5' 9" (1.75 m)

Mini Bio (1)

British actor Edward Woodward made a highly successful transition into Hollywood TV stardom in the mid 1980s thanks to a popular dramatic series. Possessing a magnetic, yet coldly handsome demeanor in the same mold as Christopher Plummer, he was born Edward Albert Arthur Woodward on June 1, 1930, in London and received his early education at various schools before becoming a student at Commercial College.

Trained in acting at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA), Woodward made his stage debut in a 1946 production of "A Kiss for Cinderella," and gained valuable experience in repertory companies throughout England and Scotland. He took his first London curtain call portraying "Ralph Stokes" in 1954 with "Where There's a Will," and subsequently made his movie debut recreating his stage part in the film version of Where There's a Will (1955). The actor continued grandly on stage in such Shakespearean productions as "Hamlet" (Laertes)," "Romeo and Juliet" (Mercutio), "Pericles" (Thaliard), "Much Ado About Nothing" (Claudio), and "Measure for Measure" (Lucio), but scored a major success portraying Percy in "Rattle of a Simple Man" in 1961, making his Broadway debut in the play two years later. Woodward would make fine use of his mastery of the spoken word by putting out a host of audio books.

A gifted singer who produced over a dozen musical recordings, Edward displayed his excellent singing pipes on Broadway as Charles Condomine in "High Spirits" (1963), the musical adaptation of Noël Coward's "Blithe Spirit," that also starred Tammy Grimes, Louise Troy and the legendary Beatrice Lillie. He also went on to win the Variety Award ("Best Performance in a Musical") for his lead role of Sydney Carton in a musical version of the Dickens classic "Two Cities." Other non-musical stage work would include the comedy "The Best Laid Plans," an acclaimed title role in "Cyrano de Bergerac," as well as noble appearances in "The White Devil," "Babes in the Wood" (as Robin Hood), "The Wolf," "The Male of the Species," "The Beggar's Opera" (as Macheath), "Private Lives" and "The Dead Secret."

Although in movies from 1955, it was TV that earned him his initial star in England. Feature film roles in such acclaimed period costumers as Becket (1964) and Young Winston (1972) were overshadowed by his more successful work on the smaller screen, especially his weary spy in the popular series Callan (1967). A brilliant performance in the film The Wicker Man (1973) and in a few others led to international stardom as court-martialed Lt. Harry Morant in the classic Aussie-made historical drama Breaker Morant (1980) directed by Bruce Beresford.

Woodward was finally granted some attention in the States at age 55, earning his own popular series, the noirish espionage series The Equalizer (1985). Served up best in crime, historical and political intrigue, he has been completely at home playing no-nonsense authoritarians and brooding loner types. Following the series' cancellation, he returned to British TV with the mystery In Suspicious Circumstances (1991), but was never far away from the US shores. Maturing roles in advancing years included a wide range of characters -- everything from Merlin to the Ghost of Christmas Present in mini-movie formats.

Woodward continued to work here and abroad up until his death. Later feature films included a top-billed role in the horror film The Appointment (1982); a top brass role in the action thriller The Final Option (1982); a featured role in the horse-racing biopic Champions (1984); as King Saul in the biblical story King David (1985); another Bruce Beresford directed film with Mister Johnson (1990); the ghost of a murderer in the black comedy Deadly Advice (1994); the 18th century patriarch of The House of Angelo (1997), which he produced and also featured his three children; a lord in the action adventure The Abduction Club (2002); a featured part in the comedy action Hot Fuzz (2007) and, his last, a reverend in the drama A Congregation of Ghosts (2009). TV appearances included recurring/regular roles in the British series: Nice Work (1980), Five Days (2007) and EastEnders (1985); plus the American series Over My Dead Body (1990) and the Canadian series La Femme Nikita (1997).

Woodward married actress Venetia Barrett (nee Collett) in 1952 and had three children, all of whom went into acting: Tim Woodward, Peter Woodward and Sarah Woodward. After his tabloid divorce (after over 30 years) from his first wife, he quickly married lovely actress Michele Dotrice in 1987, the sister of former 1960s' Disney child star Karen Dotrice of Mary Poppins (1964) fame. He and Michele produced one child, Emily. The subject of This Is Your Life (1955) on two separate occasions, the actor survived two major heart attacks before dying of pneumonia at age 79 on November 16, 2009, in Cornwall, England.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Gary Brumburgh / gr-home@pacbell.net

Family (4)

Spouse Michele Dotrice (17 January 1987 - 16 November 2009)  (his death)  (1 child)
Venetia Barrett (30 July 1952 - 1 December 1986)  (divorced)  (3 children)
Children Tim Woodward
Peter Woodward
Sarah Woodward
Emily Woodward
Parents Edward Oliver Woodward
Violet Edith Woodward
Relatives Sam Woodward (grandparent)

Trade Mark (2)

Often played law enforcement or government officials who are suffering a crisis of conscience.
Rich smooth voice

Trivia (30)

He and fellow actress Michele Dotrice are the parents of yet another actress, Emily Woodward.
He was awarded the OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) in the 1978 Queen's New Year Honours List for his services to drama.
He cited the final scene in The Wicker Man (1973) as one of the greatest visual shots in cinema history.
An Associate Member of Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) in London, England.
Graduated from Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) in London, England.
Upon being introduced, Sir Noël Coward looked to the ceiling and said "Edward Woodward... Edward Woodward... sounds like a fart in the bath.".
He suffered two major heart attacks, firstly in 1987 and then in 1994. He finally quit smoking after undergoing triple bypass surgery in 1996.
He was offered a cameo in the remake of The Wicker Man (2006) but declined, even though he said he thought the script was very well written.
Had appeared with his son, Peter Woodward, in Crusade: The Long Road (1999).
He was the grandfather of Sam Woodward.
In February 2003, it was revealed that he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer.
His agent is Janet Glass.
Brother-in-law of Ned Nalle.
He was only seven years and one week younger than his father-in-law, fellow actor Roy Dotrice.
Had played conflicted British spy and assassin David Callan on four different series and films: Armchair Theatre (1956), Callan (1967), Callan (1974) and Wet Job (1981).
He is buried in Padstow, Cornwall, UK.
His capability as tenor enabled him to record twelve albums of romantic songs, as well as three albums of poetry and fourteen books to tape.
In 1993, Woodward appeared in the Welsh language drama, Tan ar y Comin. Versions were made in both English and Welsh, and Woodward appeared in both, being specially coached in the latter since he did not speak a word of the language.
Woodward suffered a massive heart attack in 1987 and another one in 1994. He underwent triple bypass surgery in 1996 and quit smoking.
Woodward was the subject of This Is Your Life on two occasions: in February 1971 when he was surprised by Eamonn Andrews in the bar of London's White House Hotel, and in February 1995, when Michael Aspel surprised him during a photoshoot at Syon House in West London.
Woodward was a wargamer and hosted a series of programmes for Tyne Tees Television in 1978 about the hobby with fellow enthusiast Peter Gilder, who built and owned the beautiful Gettysburg diorama used for one of the gaming scenes from the 1974 film Callan.
In 1967 Woodward played the eventual victim in an episode of The Saint TV series (The Persistent Patriots). The same year he was cast as David Callan in the ITV Armchair Theatre play A Magnum for Schneider, which later became the spy series Callan, one of his early television roles and one in which he demonstrated his ability to express controlled rage. His iconic performance assured the series success from 1967 to 1972, with a film appearing in 1974.
In 1990 Woodward was the narrator for the official FIFA film of the 1990 World Cup entitled 'Soccer Shoot-Out'.
His vocal ability and acting skill enabled him to make a number of appearances when time allowed on the BBC's Edwardian era music hall programme, The Good Old Days.
He was considered for the role of Dr. Armstrong in Lifeforce (1985).
Maintained a holiday villa on Cyprus to which he would often invite the cast and crew of Callan as his guests. When the Turkish Army invaded the island in 1974 he and his family were forced to flee and take refuge in one of Britain's sovereign military bases in the territory. Afterwards Woodward would make light of the incident commenting that the only injury he sustained was a sore wrist from signing so many autographs for starstruck soldiers.
He originally studied journalism at Kingston Commercial College.
Spent 5 years in the tv series Callan.
Lived at Twickenham by the river.

See also

Other Works |  Publicity Listings |  Official Sites

View agent, publicist, legal and company contact details on IMDbPro Pro Name Page Link

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed