Simon Ward

Simon Anthony Fox Ward (19 October 1941  20 July 2012)[1] was an English stage and film actor. He was known chiefly for his performance as Winston Churchill in the 1972 film Young Winston. He played many other screen roles, including those of Sir Monty Everard in Judge John Deed and Bishop Gardiner in The Tudors.

Simon Ward
Born(1941-10-19)19 October 1941
Died20 July 2012(2012-07-20) (aged 70)
London, England
Resting placeHighgate Cemetery, Highgate, London
Years active1964–2010
Alexandra Malcolm (m. 1964)
RelativesMichael McIntyre (son-in-law)

Early life

Simon Ward was born in Beckenham, Kent, the son of Winifred and Leonard Fox Ward, a car dealer.[2][3] From an early age he wanted to be an actor. He received his formal education 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. After the Royal Academy, he worked in repertory in Northampton, Birmingham and Oxford and occasionally in London's West End.


His big break in theatre came in 1967 when he played Dennis in Joe Orton's Loot,[2] which led to a number of small film and television roles. All of Ward's major film roles were in the 1970s.

His first film appearance was probably an uncredited role as one of the sociopathic students in Lindsay Anderson's If.... (1968).[2] He was primarily a stage actor when selected to played the title role in Young Winston in 1971. This was the role which brought him to national prominence and Ward starred in several high-profile films during the mid-to-late 1970s.

In 1973 he played the Duke of Buckingham in Richard Lester's The Three Musketeers and in 1974 appeared in its sequel The Four Musketeers. 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 Captain Hoffman, a fictional Nazi functionary, in Hitler: The Last Ten Days (1973). Later film roles included Zor-El in Supergirl (1984).

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.

Ward made few films after the 1970s, although he did have a major role in the Ralph Fiennes version of Wuthering Heights (1992), alongside his daughter Sophie Ward.

In 1987 he sustained a serious head injury in a street attack, the circumstances of which were obscure.[4] He believed the attack, which left him with a broken skull that needed brain surgery, caused the chronic blood disorder, polycythaemia that affected his career.[1]

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[4] and in 2007–10 as Bishop Stephen Gardiner in The Tudors.[4]

In 2010, Ward appeared in the title role in the British tour of Alan Bennett's play The Madness of George III.


Having been afflicted with ill health in his later years, Ward died at the age of 70 on 20 July 2012 at Taunton in the county of Somerset. His body was buried in Highgate Cemetery in London.[5][1] A memorial service was held in his memory at St Paul's Church, Covent Garden, London in July 2013.[6]

Personal life

Ward married Alexandra Malcolm in 1964 whom he met whilst they were students at RADA. They had three daughters, Sophie, Claudia and Kitty.[7]



1969 I Start CountingConductor
Frankenstein Must Be DestroyedKarl Holst
1971Quest for LoveJeremy
1972Young WinstonWinston Churchill
1973 Hitler: The Last Ten DaysCaptain Hoffman
The Three MusketeersDuke of Buckingham
Bram Stoker's DraculaArthurTV movie
1974The Four MusketeersDuke of Buckingham
1975 All Creatures Great and SmallJames HerriotTV movie
Deadly StrangersStephen Slade
Children of RageYaakov
Valley ForgeMajor AndreTV movie
1976Aces HighLt. Crawford
1977 Die StandarteHerbert Menis
Holocaust 2000Angel Caine
1978The Four FeathersWilliam TrenchTV movie
1979 DominiqueTony Calvert
Zulu DawnLt. Vereker
The Last GiraffeJock Leslie-MelvilleTV movie
La SabinaPhilip
1980The Rear ColumnWardTV movie
1981The Monster ClubGeorge(segment "Shadmock Story")
1985 The Corsican BrothersChateau-RenaudTV movie
Leave All FairJohn Jeune (Young John)
1992 Double X: The Name of the GameEdward Ross
Emily Brontë's Wuthering HeightsMr Linton
1995NightshadePeter Brady
2000Atrapa-laDougTV movie


1964 FestivalStephen1 episode
Theatre 625Dick JervisEpisode: "Carried by Storm"
1965Thursday TheatreTom CherryEpisode: "The Flowering Cherry"
1965-1966The World of WoosterEustace2 episodes
1966Thirteen Against FateAlain MalouEpisode: "The Son"
1966-1968The Wednesday PlayDonald Clenham / John Hardie2 episodes
1967-1968JackanoryStoryteller6 episodes
1970 The MisfitTed Allenby-Johnson2 episodes
The Black TulipCornelius Van BearleTV mini-series, 6 episodes
Roads to FreedomPhilippe3 episodes
1972 No ExitMark GrayEpisode: "A Man's Fair Share of Days"
Cinema: A DocumentaryHimself
1973 ABC Afterschool SpecialsVarious roles
Orson Welles Great MysteriesStephen BarrowEpisode: "The Leather Funnel"
1975BBC2 PlayhouseSaundersEpisode: "The Breakthrough"
1976Call My BluffHimself
1980The Rear ColumnHerbert WardTV movie
1981DiamondsBernard de Haan13 episodes
1982An Inspector CallsGerald CroftTV mini-series, 3 episodes
1984 Allô BéatriceArchibaldEpisode: Agnes et ses papas
Supergirl: The Making of the MovieHimself
1988A Taste for DeathStephen Lampart5 episodes
1989Around the World in 80 DaysFlanniganTV mini-series, 3 episodes
1992LovejoyEdward Brooksby2 episodes
1994KurtulusWinston ChurchillTV mini-series
1995Ruth Rendell MysteriesWill Harvey2 episodes
1999Real Women IISamuelson
2003-2007Judge John DeedSir Monty Everard20 episodes
2005Family AffairsMr. Lee3 episodes
2006HeartbeatMaxwell HamiltonEpisode: "Kith and Kin"
2009-2010The TudorsBishop Gardiner17 episodes, (final appearance)


  1. "Actor Simon Ward dies aged 70 after long illness". The Daily Telegraph. 22 July 2012. Retrieved 22 July 2012.
  2. Hayward, Anthony (23 July 2012). "Simon Ward obituary". The Guardian.
  3. "Simon Ward Biography (1941-)".
  4. "The Tudors actor Simon Ward dies after long illness". BBC News. 22 July 2012. Retrieved 22 July 2012.
  5. Entry for Simon Ward in Findagrave website (2019).
  6. 'Memorial for the actor Simon Ward', 'Daily Mail', 9 July 2013.
  7. "Michael McIntyre speaks of his devastation at the death of his dad". Daily Mirror. 24 April 2011.

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