GRIEF-STRICKEN Susan George has paid tribute to her late husband Simon MacCorkindale, vowing: “He will live on in me forever.”
She issued a moving statement after the Casualty actor died from cancer aged just 58 on Thursday.
He passed away peacefully in his wife’s arms at a Harley Street clinic.
She said: “No one could have fought this disease any harder than he did since being diagnosed four years ago.
“He fought it with such strength, courage and belief. To me, he was simply the best of everything and I loved him with all my heart.”
The couple had been married for 26 years, but had no children.
Publicist and long-time friend Max Clifford paid tribute to them, saying they “did everything they could” to try to beat his illness.
He said the funeral would be a small, private affair for friends and family.
MacCorkindale had been living with terminal lung cancer for four years.
He did not smoke, but the disease had spread after an operation for bowel cancer in 2006.
He kept his illness secret for the first three years and he continued playing Casualty consultant Harry Harper until 2008.
John Yorke, controller of BBC drama production, said: “It is a massive tribute to Simon that he bore his illness so stoically, never asking for sympathy or attention, and continuing to work for as long as he was able.”
The star, born in Cambridge, chose acting after his deteriorating eyesight ended dreams of following his father into the RAF.
His big film break came with a major role in the Agatha Christie adaptation Death On The Nile in 1978.
From there he had a lucrative career in US television drama.
He wed Susan George, star of controversial 1971 film Straw Dogs, in 1984.
They later returned to the UK, breeding Arabian horses in Exmoor.