THE actor Simon MacCorkindale has died after a four-and-a-half-year battle with cancer.
The 58-year-old, who had a wide-ranging career including six years in the BBC medical drama Casualty as Dr Harry Harper, died on Thursday in the arms of his wife, the actress Susan George at a London clinic.
Miss George said: “To me, he was simply the best of everything, and I loved him with all my heart. He will live on in me forever.”
Born in Cambridge, MacCorkindale intended to follow his father into the RAF, but his deteriorating eyesight forced him to choose an alternative career.
He took drama classes and put in time on the repertory theatre stage, culminating in an appearance in a West End production of Pygmalion with Alec McCowen and Diana Rigg in 1974.
His first major film role was in Agatha Christie’s Death on the Nile (1978). He moved to America in 1980, and found that his good looks were in demand, from soap operas (Falcon Crest) to dramas (Manimal).
He returned to Britain in 1986 and directed, wrote and produced a number of projects.
Divorced during his early career from actress Fiona Fullerton, he subsequently married Miss George who went on to star in some of the best known films of the Seventies including Straw Dogs (1971).
John Yorke, the controller of BBC drama production, paid tribute to the actor: “One of the reasons so many people have loved working with him on Casualty is because of the tone he established on the shop floor – always welcoming, always disciplined, always quietly the leader.
“He will be missed massively by his many fans, and by everyone who worked with him.”