Friday 24 February 2012

Theatre, film and television actor Peter Halliday dies...

The actor Peter Halliday, probably best known for his starring role in the BBC's sci-fi drama A for Andromeda in the 1960s, has died, aged 87.

Halliday was born near Llangollen, but his family moved to Welshpool, Powys, and he went on to spend much of the rest of his life there.

He enjoyed a career in theatre, film and TV spanning 60 years.

During that time he worked alongside many acting greats, including Richard Burton and Sir John Gielgud.

His funeral will be held in London on Tuesday and a memorial service is planned in Welshpool at a later date.

Halliday's career started when he joined the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in 1947 after serving in World War II.

His big break came three years later when he joined the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon, now known as the Royal Shakespeare Company.

It was run by Gielgud and Anthony Quayle, and included a myriad of eminent actors such as Burton, Sir Michael Redgrave and Sir Ralph Richardson.

In 2007, an exhibition about Halliday called An Actor's Life opened at Powysland Museum in Welshpool, where his son's partner Eva Bredsdorff is curator.

Speaking to BBC News at the time about the exhibition, Halliday said: "Richard (Burton) was extraordinarily talented and was great fun.

"He used to ask me to cover for him and would say: 'If anyone asks, I was out with you last night.'"

Halliday also counted James Bond star Sir Sean Connery as a friend, and knew him before his first Bond movie, Dr No, made him a huge global star.

"We were very close for four or five years, but we haven't seen each other lately," Halliday said in his BBC interview.

Halliday is probably best-known for his role as Dr John Fleming in A for Andromeda.

The BBC programme also starred Julie Christie, with whom Halliday shared an on-screen kiss. He was joined by Susan Hampshire for the follow up series, The Andromeda Breakthrough.

Halliday went on to appear in Dr Who, The Saint, The Avengers, Goodnight Sweetheart and Dalziel and Pascoe on TV.

He also featured in the Oscar-nominated movie Remains of the Day, which starred Sir Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson.

Ms Bredsdorff said: "Peter enjoyed being an actor and was lucky enough to be doing what he loved doing for most of his life.


"His career took him around the world and introduced him to interesting and famous people, some of whom became good friends."

In 1956, he married the actress Simone Lovell with whom he had three sons.

They later divorced, but remained good friends, Ms Bredsdorff added.

Speaking about the Powysland Museum exhibition in Welshpool, Halliday said: "It is excellent to be able to form a part of the history of my home town and look back at where I came from and what I have achieved."

He leaves three sons and five grandchildren.

Source: BBC

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