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Woodward (by Bernstein)

Adam Bernstein

British actor Edward Woodward died today, and I felt too great an urge to see how many eagle-eyed readers might notice the implied Woodward-Bernstein joke, given by surname.

More than that, Woodward, who was 79, enjoyed a varied and successful career. In addition to his best-known role, that of the urbane security specialist-for-hire on CBS's "The Equalizer," Woodward appeared in Shakespeare productions opposite Michael Redgrave and showed skill as a musical comedy actor directed by Noel Coward.

British television made him a star with the spy series "Callan," which ran from 1967 to 1973. He attracted a cult following for a starring role in the eerie thriller "The Wicker Man" (1973) and was damned good in "Breaker Morant" (1980) as a scapegoated Australian soldier who is court-martialed by the British during the Boer War.

Woodward was apparently a gifted singer, as can be heard in this scene from "Breaker Morant."

Woodward, who came from a humble background, was in mid-1930s before he attained a degree of financial security in his chosen profession. He took "The Equalizer" because it was too great an opportunity to refuse, even if he called the show's premise silly.

"Because of it," he noted with a laugh, "when I was 58, I was voted Sexiest Man in America -- ahead of Tom Selleck."

By Adam Bernstein  |  November 16, 2009; 3:56 PM ET
Categories:  Adam Bernstein  
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He was brilliant in "Breaker Morant". I wish he'd had a bigger career in films and on TV, but apparently he preferred the stage.

Posted by: Blurgle | November 17, 2009 7:08 AM | Report abuse

Doesn't the (London) Telegraph deserve a hat tip?

Posted by: JamesFStrother1 | November 18, 2009 1:40 AM | Report abuse

He was a brilliant actor. None of the obits I've read mentioned his portrayal of the Ghost of Christmas Present in A Christmas Carol (the version that starred George C. Scott as Scrooge)

Posted by: mensa58 | November 18, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse

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