Swinging Sixties film star David Hemmings dies at 62

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David Hemmings, the boyish actor who epitomised the Swinging Sixties but went on to become a television director before resurfacing in recent epics like Gladiator and Gangs of New York, died on Wednesday, aged 62.

Liz Nelson, his agent, said he had a heart attack while returning to his dressing room after filming in Romania.

Although best known for his parts in the Sixties classics Blow-Up and Barbarella, Hemmings also forged a career as a director for films and television. He directed many episodes of programmes such as Magnum PI, Airwolf, and Quantum Leap. He spent four years directing The A-Team, with George Peppard, which became a big success in the 1980s. "People thought I was dead. But I wasn't. I was just directing The A-Team," he once said.

Hemmings began his performing career as a boy soprano at the age of nine, and Benjamin Britten wrote a number of parts for him. After a stint at art school, he took up acting full-time.

Blow-Up, for which he will be best remembered, was his 48th film. He gained the part from his fellow Sixties star Terence Stamp, who had fallen out with the director. He played a trendy London fashion photographer who believes he may have unwittingly photographed a dead man during a fashion shoot in a park.

He went on to have major roles in other Sixties films, becoming a fixture of the Sixties scene, hanging out with the Beatles and seen regularly in the company of beautiful women.

In the 1970s he moved to Malibu, married the American actress Gayle Hunnicutt and began his career directing for American television.

In the mid-1990s he divorced and returned to England, settling in Wiltshire with his fourth wife, Lucy Williams, who was with him when he died.

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