British actor Edward Woodward dies aged 79

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The Independent Online

British actor Edward Woodward, famous for film and TV roles including "The Wicker Man," Australian feature "Breaker Morant" and US series "The Equalizer," died in hospital Monday aged 79, his agent said.

Woodward had been suffering from various illnesses, including pneumonia, Janet Glass said in a statement.

"Universally loved and admired through his unforgettable roles ...he was equally fine and courageous in real life, never losing his brave spirit and wonderful humour throughout his illness," she said.

"He was further sustained by the love of his wife, Michele, children, Tim, Peter, Sarah and Emily, his grandchildren and numerous friends. His passing will leave a huge gap in many lives."

Born in Croydon, south London in 1930, Woodward started out as a Shakespearian stage actor.

He played the title role of David Callan in the 1967-1972 British television spy series and then opposite Christopher Lee and Britt Ekland as Scottish police sergeant Neil Howie in the cult 1973 thriller film "The Wicker Man".

Woodward won the 1986 Golden Globe best actor award for his portrayal of former secret agent Robert McCall in the 1980s US television series "The Equalizer".

He also played the title role in the 1980 Australian biographical film set in the Boer War, "Breaker Morant".

His last appearance on film was as Tom Weaver in the British action comedy movie "Hot Fuzz".