SMCFP On This Day: The Riddle of the Sands

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Film: The Riddle of the Sands
First Aired: 16th March 1979
Character: Arthur Davies

Description: In the early years of the 20th Century, two British yachtsmen (Michael York and Simon MacCorkindale) stumble upon a German plot to invade the east coast of England in a flotilla of specially designed barges. They set out to thwart this terrible scheme, but must outwit not only the cream of the German Navy, but the feared Kaiser Wilhelm himself.

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The Times – Obituary – 16th October 2010

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Simon MacCorkindale

Simon MacCorkindale

Urbane British leading man who co-starred in Death on the Nile and was a stalwart of the long-running medical drama Casualty

Simon MacCorkindale was a classically handsome, rugged and urbane English leading man who had recurring roles in the glossy US soap opera Falcon Crest (1984-86) and more recently in the long-running British medical drama series Casualty (2002-08). He appeared in more than 200 episodes.

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Guardian – 16th October 2010

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Simon MacCorkindale

Suave actor known for his roles in Falcon Crest and Casualty

In common with his contemporaries Jeremy Irons, Michael York and Hugh Grant, the actor Simon MacCorkindale, who has died of cancer aged 58, on screen projected the very English persona of an ex-public schoolboy. But unlike them, MacCorkindale never made it big in films. Nevertheless, his “posh” accent, his suave demeanour and patrician good looks made him a natural for roles in television soap operas, from the opulent mansions of Falcon Crest (1984-1986), to the hospital corridors of Casualty (2002-2008). In the latter, he played the autocratic clinical consultant Harry Harper, who ran Holby City hospital’s emergency department. A doctor of the old school, he sweeps through the wards, advising, cajoling, admonishing and seducing colleagues and patients alike.

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Daily Telegraph – Obituary – 16th October 2010

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Simon MacCorkindale

Actor who specialised in handsome, roguish charmers and was once hailed as the new Errol Flynn

SIMON MacCORKINDALE, the actor, who died on October 14 aged 58, built a 30-year stage and television career playing handsome, often roguish, charmers – most recently the consultant Harry Harper in the popular BBC hospital drama Casualty.

Early in his career, his talent for playing stiff-upper-lipped romantic leads won him flattering accolades such as “Boy’s Own Brit”. He was acclaimed as a new Errol Flynn or David Niven, whose “flawless looks, perfect features, perfect hair, perfect skin” were admired by one breathless female critic in The Sunday Telegraph

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Sound Of Music Programme – Aug 2008 – Feb 2009

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Simon MacCorkindale as Captain Von Trapp in The Sound of MusicCAPTAIN GEORG VON TRAPP

Theatre includes: as director, Sleuth (Texas and California), A Doll’s House (Dramalogue Award as Best Director, Matrix, Hollywood) and The Merchant of Venice (The Globe, Hollywood); as actor, Gayden Chronicles (Los Angeles), Macbeth (Ludlow Festival), Relatively Speaking (Questors and Oakington), Dark Lady of the Sonnets (NT), French Without Tears (Thorndike, Leatherhead), B-B-Que (Soho Polytechnic), Pygmalion (Albery), The Happiest Days of Your Life (Oakington), Potsdam Quartet (Yvonne Arnaud, Guildford), Back to Methuselah (Shaw Festival), Bequest to the Nation, The Front Page, Getting On and Journey’s End (Belgrade, Coventry) and, most recently, The Unexpected Guest and Sleuth (national tours).

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The Journal – 30th June 2008

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Interview – Simon MacCorkindale

Thanks to Sylvia for this article

IT has more twists than a 1960s dance festival and – if done properly – a jaw-dropping surprise. Sleuth, which opens at Theatre Royal in Newcastle tonight, is a cat and mouse thriller which continually wrong-foots audiences – if they haven’t seen it before, of course.

Simon MacCorkindale, who stars in Anthony Schaffer’s award-winning play alongside former Dynasty actor Michael Praed, reckons there are still plenty of Sleuth novices around.

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Birmingham Post – 2nd April 2008

From CAT scans to cat and mouse

Casualty star Simon MacCorkindale tells Alison Jones why he has packed away his stethoscope and returned to the stage.

It is always a challenge following in the footsteps of an actor who has become irrevocably associated with a part.

Particularly if that actor casts as long a shadow as the late Sir Laurence Olivier.

In the recent film remake of the thriller Sleuth, director Kenneth Branagh rather cleverly got round the problem by having Michael Caine swop roles.

In the 1972 Joseph L Mankiewicz version, Caine played Milo Tindle, the upstart young lover of Olivier’s wife who is unwillingly drawn into an elaborate battle of wits.

In 2007 it was Caine’s turn to play the vengeful, cuckolded husband (Andrew Wyke), with Jude Law repeating another Caine role after already starring in Alfie.

For the stage production currently doing the regional rounds, comparisons to Larry are avoided by the fact that Andrew, played by Simon MacCorkindale, has effectively been aged down and Milo, played by Michael Praed, aged up.

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Woking News – 6th March 2008

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Busy playing mind games in Shaffer’s Sleuth

A DARK psychological thriller featuring top television stars will be on stage at the town’s theatre this week.

Sleuth, one of the greatest ever stage thrillers, is being performed at the New Victoria Theatre in Woking until Saturday.

The play, written by Anthony Shaffer, promises to baffle even the most proficient sleuth so budding Miss Marples and Poirots should grab their magnifying glasses and book their seats.

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Sleuth Programme – Jan-July 2008

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Simon MacCorkindaleSIMON MacCORKINDALE

Andrew Wyke

Simon MacCorkindale is perhaps best recognized over the last few years as Harry Harper, Consultant in Emergency Medicine, in the BBC’s most popular and enduring drama series Casualty. Following his starring role in the successful 2007 tour of Agatha Christie’s Unexpected Guest, he now returns to the stage in Sleuth.

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The Unexpected Guest Flyer – Jan-Apr 07

Simon MacCorkindale The Unexpected GuestThe Unexpected Guest

Agatha Christie

Following widespread critical acclaim for their star-studded production of The Hollow, the second production from The Agatha Christie Theatre Company promises to be another “beautifully staged and executed murder-mystery… a killer production of classic Christie class” (The Argus).

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The Unexpected Guest Programme – Jan-Apr 07

Simon MacCorkindaleSimon MacCorkindale

Michael Starkwedder

Simon MacCorkindale is perhaps best recognised as Harry Harper, Consultant in Emergency Medicine, in the BBC’s most popular and enduring drama series Casualty.

A childhood love for drama led to a place at Studio ’68 of Theatre Arts in London aged 19. On completing the course, he toured in regional rep before his West End debut in the highly acclaimed Pygmalion. He worked extensively on British TV, and in 1976 appeared in the renowned I, Claudius and in Zeffirelli’s opulent Jesus of Nazareth.

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Simon MacCorkindale Fan Page

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Simon MacCorkindale

This site is dedicated to actor, director and producer Simon MacCorkindale

Simon MacCorkindale is well known for his roles as Jonathan Chase in Manimal, Greg Reardon in Falcon Crest, Peter Sinclair in Counterstrike and Harry Harper from BBC’s BAFTA Award winning Casualty.

His work in film includes Simon Doyle in Death On The Nile, Arthur Davies in The Riddle Of The Sands, Philip FitzRoyce in Jaws 3D

Simon was seen on stage as Michael Starkwedder in The Unexpected Guest, Andrew Wyke in Sleuth and Captain Von Trapp in The Sound of Music in his musical debut

The aim of this site has always been to build a large and extensive online resource of Simon MacCorkindale’s work for his fans

Some of the things this site has:

  • Media Gallery: Thousands of screen caps covering Simon’s career early days in the 70’s until his last performance, hundreds of video clips covering most of Simon’s career and hundreds of scans from various sources e.g. magazines, photo’s, cast cards, newspapers, theater programes.
  • Articles: Interviews about or with Simon spanning over 40 years
  • Forum/Community: Which brings together Simon fans from across the globe and spanning a huge age range, some members were part of Simon’s fan club in the 1980′s. Members of the forum have access to a few more images and audio files than non members
  • Shop: A list of available DVD’s, videos and more to buy from various sources.
  • If you still cannot find what you are looking for, drop us a message and we will try to help

The Simon MacCorkindale Fan Page and Community* was started April 17th 2006 and became Semi-Official in September 2008

This site is updated as time allows, I have a lot more still to add so keep checking back

* Simon and Susan keeps calling this site his ‘Fan Club’ though I prefer the term ‘Fan Site’ to differentiate from the original Fan Club.

Want to know a little bit more about how the site started and what sources we use?  See our site history, bibliography and thanks

Thanks to Susan for the new header image, photograph © – TV Zone – 1999

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In the short-lived 1983 series Manimal, college professor Jonathan Chase used his ability to transform into animals to assist law enforcement.

This site looks like it’s no longer online, so here is the full article.

SIMON MACCORKINDALE was the perfect choice to play the wealthy, cultured Chase. “I thought the concept for Manimal was excellent,” says MacCorkindale. “I also appreciated the fact Chase was a very cerebral individual and that Glen Larson [series creator and producer] had decided to make the show very stylish by having my character be an Englishman who wore expensive suits and drove around in a Rolls Royce. All this was quite unusual for television at that time, so we really were exploring new ground.

“Back in the early Eighties the only other English actor on American television was Pierce Brosnan in Remington Steele. Then I got Manimal and a year or two later there was a massive influx of English actors hired for night-time Soap Operas, but Pierce and I started that whole trend. So that, of course, was very much an exciting part of getting the job on Manimal because I knew I had found a foothold in an area that was pretty much virgin territory for Englishmen.

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Simpy Simon – Biography

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Simon MacCorkindale

Written by Simon himself during his early career

Simon MacCorkindale, the talented British actor/producer/director, who made his international film debut as the murderer in DEATH ON THE NILE and who was seen as a regular on CBS’s FALCON CREST, says that probably more mayhem has happened to him on movie and TV screens than any other actor of the younger set.

“In DEATH ON THE NILE, I was shot twice; in THE RIDDLE OF THE SANDS, my hand was smashed; in QUATERMASS, I was beaten up and then shot; in CABO BLANCO, I caught a bullet in the shoulder and almost bled to death. In THE GAYDEN CHRONICLES, I was hanged; in MACBETH, I was beheaded; in I CLAUDIUS, I was drowned; while in AN OUTPOST OF PROGRESS, I hanged myself after comitting murder. For THE SWORD & THE SORCERER, I was hung in chains and tortured; while in THE MANIONS OF AMERICA, I was wounded in the leg (off stage) and then shot in the shoulder in a duel. In OBSESSIVE LOVE, I put my fist through a glass cabinet; in FALCON’S GOLD (ROBBERS OF THE SACRED MOUNTAIN), I get beaten up, chased, beaten up again, and finished up hanging from the skid of a helicopter; and in JAWS 3D, I was unceremoniously devoured by a 35-foot shark.”

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Agent’s Biography – July 1998

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JULY 1998

Internationally recognised as an award-winning actor, director, producer and screenwriter, Simon MacCorkindale personifies the suave, sophisticated British leading man, a role he very much brought to life in the USA Cable/ALLIANCE/TFl France co-production series COUNTERSTRIKE (66 episodes), in which he starred as ex-Scotland Yard inspector Peter Sinclair in front of the cameras, and acted as executive production consultant behind them.

Read more… – SFX – February 1996

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This site looks like it’s no longer online, so here is the full article.

Picture this: a glossy American series where a hunky British actor fights crime, the twist being that he has a unique way of getting out of trouble – he can turn into any animal he chooses (usually a black panther) by looking constipated. Sound like a winner, doesn’t it? Yes, if you thought we were scraping the barrel with our retrospective on Blue Thunder: The Series in SFX, has Jon Abbott got a treat for you…

Created by Glen A Larson, master of gimmick TV, Manimal was a short- lived blend of fantasy series and crime show – just one of a large number of such shows that came and went in the late ’70s and early ’80s. It starred British actor Simon MacCorkindale, reasonably well known in the UK for assorted TV series (most interestingly as scientist Joe Kapp in the 1979 Quatermass serial), films (such as Death on the Nile and the 1978 adaptation of Erskine Childers’ The Riddle of the Sands), and being married to actress Susan George. MacCorkindale’s career, though promising at one point, never really took off, and choices like Manimal ought begin to explain why…

Read more… – TV Daily – August 1985

Simon MacCorkindale:
He Makes Love For Money

This site looks like it’s no longer online, so here is the full article.

Not too long ago, the prestigious Los Angeles Times published a long story about the new stars of tomorrow. They were all under 25, some under 20, and while the young men might make some young girls’ hearts go pittypat, women who are looking for real MEN won’t find the answer in these heartthrobs.

So let us consider British Simon MacCorkindale, who can and probably does raise blood pressure in all women. He’s tallЧsix feet. He’s slim, about 165 pounds. He has fashionably coiffed hair, not too long, not too short. It’s sort of brownish blond. Perhaps a bit sunbleached because he plays a lot of tennis. And this writer’s notes read “Honorable blue eyes.” It was a first impression obviously.

What ARE honorable blue eyes? That’s opposed to shifty. Here is a man you can trust. A stalwart soul who’s wondrously attractiveЧthe English accent just adds to his charm. And a wicked sense of humor goes with the package.

For those who haven’t been paying attention this year, Simon plays Greg Reardon, the attorney on CBS’ “Falcon Crest.” To date this season, he has dallied with Ana Alicia, who plays Melissa; with Sarah Douglas, who’s Pamela and with Laura Johnson, as Terry. The latter two women, he confides, are leaving the show at the end of this season. Out in the real world, Simon is married to actress-producer Susan George.

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Soap Opera Digest – 26 February 1985

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Simon MacCorkindale as Greg Reardon in Falcon CrestSimon MacCorkindale

Not Just Another Pretty Face

“I’m here,” says Simon MacCorkindale, “to offer something different.” He says this standing against the backdrop of Los Angeles, the twinkling lights of the city spread below him like so many Christmas trees, A slight, self-deprecating smile humbles the theatricality of the moment. “There are only a few English actors who can capture an American accent and pull it off. Peter Ustinov is one, I’m another. But if I used an American accent, I’d be just another American actor. So, I’m holding onto the English accent. At least for now.” It should serve him in good stead. As Boston-bred, English-educated lawyer-on-the-rise, Greg Reardon, Simon is currently appearing as one of the newest and more continental additions to the wicked wine country of “Falcon Crest.”

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The Importance Of Being Oscar Programme – 1985

Simon MacCorkindaleSimon MacCorkindale

SIMON MacCORKINDALE, the British actor/ director, rose to international prominence for his portrayal of Simon Doyle, the smoothly avaricious young murderer in the star-studded DEATH ON THE NILE and is currently seen regularly as lawyer Greg Reardon on the CBS series FALCON CREST. Long an established leading actor on the British stage and television, MacCorkindale made his professional stage debut at the Belgrade Theatre in Coventry, England as Captain Blackwood in A BEQUEST TO THE NATION. In 1974 he made his London West End debut in the highly acclaimed production of PYGMALION.

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Woman’s Own – 17 March 1984

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Why They Won’t Let Us Marry

They’re regarded in Hollywood as the perfect couple. She’s Susan George,recently voted the sexiest woman in the world. He’s Simon MacCorkindale, star actor, and just as dishy. They’re both very much in love, they both want to marry. So what’s the problem? Shirley Flack reports

Simon MacCorkindale
(Mainly a Susan George article)

The love affair between Susan George and Simon MacCorkindale began just a year ago this month. They’re a handsome couple she, with a face for the 1980s and he, tall, blond and very, very British. Their affair seems made to match.

It’s based on a friendship of many years, of seeing each other through crises which, coincidentally, happened almost together. It seems fate set them on some predetermined path. And made sure they’d meet at the crossroads.

Read more… – Manimal Annual – 1984

SIMON MACCORKINDALE alias Jonathan Chase

This site looks like it’s no longer online, so here is the full article.    

Merely transforming into a wide variety of animals from a black leopard to a high flying hawk should pose no problem to British star Simon MacCorkindale, who stars as Jonathan Chase in the 20th Century- Fox Television series, “Manimal”.

“In recent pictures and series I’ve been shot and killed, had my hand bashed, was caught by a bullet in the shoulder, hanged, beheaded, drowned, hung in chains, tortured, and in “Jaws 3D”, I was devoured by a 35-ft. shark,” the handsome leading man confided.

MacCorkindale, who came to the United States in 1981, is a native of Cambridge, England, who made his professional stage debut at the Belgrade Theatre in Coventry, England, in “A Bequest to the Nation”. His first international television assignment was in Franco Zeffirelli’s Jesus of Nazareth ” in which he played Lucius, the centurion who was strongly featured in the last hour of the six-hours epic. Curiously enough, he also played Lucius, the son of Emperor Augustus, in “I Claudius”.

Among his roles on British TV have been Sir Thomas Walsingham in “Will Shakespeare”, Romeo in “Romeo and Juliet”, the callous vet in “Baby”, poet Siegfried Sassoon in “Out of Battle”, the naive Oxford graduate in Elinor Glyn’s “Three Weeks”, along with appearances in “Just William ” and Dr. Dady in the series set in a woman’s prison, “Within These Walls”.

What he considers the major break of his career was his being cast as Simon Doyle, the smooth, avaricious young murderer in “Death on the Nile”. He was presented to the Queen at the Royal Premiere in London, by which time he had completed a role in marked contrast, the tough sailor hero in Erskine Guilders classic spy story, “The Riddle of the Sands”.

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Film Review – January 1984

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Simon MacCorkindale as Philip FitzRoyce in Jaws 3LIFE’S FAR FROM SIMPLE FOR SIMON

IAIN F. McASH interviews SIMON MacCORKINDALE, a star of ‘JAWS 3-D’, who hasn’t stopped working since he went to Hollywood three years ago

Husky British actor Simon MacCorkindale denies he has any affinity for sharks, yet admits that the voracious creatures have loomed large in his flourishing career these past twelve months.

He stars in Jaws 3-D which opens in Britain in time for Christmas, and he has the name part in a new American tv series called “Manimal” as a crime-busting professor with the advantage of being able to catch the bad guys by transforming himself at will into a panther, snake, bird – or even a shark!

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Simon Says – Issue 3 – Part 5 of 5

Spotlight on Simon – Part III

LP: Tell us about your movie Riddle of The Sands.

SM: Yes, it’s a film I made in 1977 with Michael York and Jenny Agutter.


LP: Tell us about that character

SM: He’s one of my favourite characters, a guycalled Arthur Davies.  He’s from a book, a classic novel written in 1901 by an Irishman called Erskine Childers.  The story basically is about Arthur, who goes sailing around the Friesian Islands just off the north coast of Germany, and while he is there he comes upon some strange goings on and discovers that there is a plot to invade England by the Kaiser, which flat bottom boats coming over to the east coast.  He calls his friend from the foreign office who is a guy called Carouthers, played by Michael York, and between us we go about finding out what is going on and we actually manage to stop it.

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Simon Says – Issue 3 – Part 4 of 5

Bloopers and Giggles

There have been several times during Simon’s career when, while making a movie or TV show, there have been out-takes (bloopers) or occasions in which Simon and the other actors burst into uncontrollable laughter.  Simon has consented to share a few with us.  If you enjoy reading about these, please encourage him to tell us more.

The first is a blooper, the second an uncontrollable giggle.  Both are from Riddle of The Sands.

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Simon Says – Issue 2 – Part 6 of 9

Riddle – Still a Riddle

RIDDLE OF THE SANDS, a movie Simon filmed a few years ago with Micheal York and Jenny Agutter, was slated for a January ’83 release in the United States.  Due to perplexing delays in editing and other procedures, RIDDLE is still on the shelf, in spite of the fact that there are fans anxiously waiting to see it.  Once these problems are ironed out, Simon will be asked to do some promotional work for the film.  We can only hope, for his sake, that promotions for RIDDLE, MANIMAL and JAWS don’t all hit at the same time. (Eeny, Meeny, Miney, Mo!)

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