The Importantance of Being Oscar – 26th July 1981

Simon MacCorkindale

Since his award-winning performances in the films Death on the Nile and The Riddle of the Sands, 29-year-old Simon MacCorkindale has spent much time commuting between the United Kingdom and the U.S.A.  In fact for his Festival engagement today he has flown in especially from Los Angeles, where he is currently filming in Sword and Sorcerer. The visit marks a brief but welcome return home for the Ely-born actor, whose father, former RAF Group Captain Peter MacCorkindale, is now a social services administrator for Pye and Philips of Cambridge.  In his career, Simon continues to enjoy the nomadic existence that was a feature of his childhood.  Death on the Nile was filmed in Egypt; The Riddle of the Sands took him to Holland and Germany; Capo Blanco, in which he co-stars with Charles Bronson, was made in Mexico, and he has recently completed four months location work in Dublin, starring as Lieutenant David Clement of the Royal Hussars in The Manions of America, made for EMI-TV by ABC.  This sweeping saga spanning two parallel love stories during the 20 years from 1847 will be screened as a six-hour mini-series.

Since his first international television appearance as Lucius the Centurion in Zeffirelli’s Jesus of Nazareth, made in Morocco and Tunisia, he has been seen co-starring with John Mills in Thames TV’s Quatermass and in the Hammer House of Horror thriller A Visit from the Grave.  In Los Angeles recently he has made guest star appearances in American television series including Fantasy Island, played leading roles in the stage drama The Gayden Chronicles and a mini-movie An Outpost of Progress, and won rave reviews for his virtuoso performance in The Importance of Being Oscar.  This year he has also made his American directing debut with a highly successful production of The Merchant of Venice.

Simon first performed the Micheal MacLiammoir one-man show at the 1977 Cambridge Festival.  Last year he gave a special performance of it at the Ludlow Festival while he was playing Macbeth, with Gayle Hunnicutt as Lady Macbeth, at Ludlow Castle.

“I really love working at full stretch,” he says.  “Even if that’s a sure formula for a short life, let it be merry, rewarding and fulfilling, with every single day counting.

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