Simon Ward
Simon Anthony Fox Ward

(1941-10-16)16 October 1941
Beckenham, Kent, England
Died20 July 2012(2012-07-20) (aged 70)
Taunton, Somerset, England
Resting placeHighgate Cemetery, Highgate, London
Years active1964–2012
Alexandra Malcolm
(m. 1964)
Children3, including Sophie and Kitti
RelativesMichael McIntyre (son-in-law)

Simon Anthony Fox Ward (16 October 1941 – 20 July 2012) was a British stage and film actor. He was known chiefly for his performance as Winston Churchill in the 1972 film Young Winston. He played many other screen roles, including those of Sir Monty Everard in Judge John Deed and Bishop Gardiner in The Tudors.

Early life and education

Simon Ward was born on 16 October 1941[1][2][3] in Beckenham, Kent, the son of Winifred and Leonard Fox Ward, a car dealer.[2][4]

From an early age he wanted to be an actor. He received his formal education at Alleyn's School, London, the home of the National Youth Theatre, which he joined at age 13[clarification needed] and stayed with for eight years. He then trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.[citation needed]


Ward made his professional stage debut with the Northampton Repertory in 1963, and his London theatrical debut one year later in The 4th of June. He worked in repertory in Northampton, Birmingham and Oxford and occasionally in London's West End.[citation needed]

His big break in theatre came in 1966 when he played Dennis in Joe Orton's Loot,[2] which led to a number of small film and television roles. All of Ward's major film roles were in the 1970s.[citation needed]

His first film appearance was probably an uncredited role as one of the sociopathic students in Lindsay Anderson's If.... (1968).[2] He was primarily a stage actor when selected to play the title role in Young Winston in 1971, the role which brought him to national prominence. The in-demand Ward starred in several high-profile films during the remainder of the 1970s.[citation needed]

In 1973 he played the Duke of Buckingham in Richard Lester's The Three Musketeers and in 1974 appeared in its sequel The Four Musketeers. Also in 1974 he played author-veterinarian James Herriot in the successful film adaptation of All Creatures Great and Small. He played one of the lead roles (Lt. Crawford) in the 1976 World War I film Aces High, then starred as Lt. William Vereker in the 1979 film Zulu Dawn. He was also seen as Captain Hoffmann, a fictional Nazi functionary, in Hitler: The Last Ten Days (1973). Later film roles included Zor-El in Supergirl (1984).[2]

In 1986, Ward starred in the title role of Ross, the first West End revival of Terence Rattigan's play since its original run in 1960. It toured the UK and, after a run at the Royal Alexandra Theatre, Toronto, opened at The Old Vic, featuring Marc Sinden as Dickinson, with David Langton, Roland Curram, Bruce Montague and Ernest Clark in supporting roles.[citation needed]

Ward made few films after the 1970s, although he did have a major role in the Ralph Fiennes version of Wuthering Heights (1992), alongside his daughter Sophie Ward.[citation needed]

In 1987 he sustained a serious head injury in a street attack, the circumstances of which were obscure.[5] He believed the attack, which left him with a broken skull that needed brain surgery, caused the chronic blood disorder, polycythaemia that affected his career.[6]

In 1995, at very short notice, he took over Stephen Fry's role in the play Cell Mates, after Fry walked out of the play near the start of its run.[citation needed]

In 2001–07, he appeared as Sir Monty Everard in the BBC television series Judge John Deed[5] and in 2007–10 as Bishop Stephen Gardiner in The Tudors.[2][5]

In 2010, Ward appeared in the title role in the British tour of Alan Bennett's play The Madness of George III.[citation needed]


Grave of Simon Ward in Highgate Cemetery

Having been afflicted with ill health in his later years, Ward died at the age of 70 on 20 July 2012 in Taunton, Somerset.[1] His body was buried on the East Side of Highgate Cemetery in London.[6]

A memorial service was held in his memory at St Paul's Church, Covent Garden, London, on 9 July 2013.[1]

Personal life

In 1964, Ward married Alexandra Malcolm, whom he met while they were students at RADA. They had three daughters: Sophie, Claudia and Kitty.[7]



Year Title Role Notes
1968 if.... Schoolboy Uncredited
1969 I Start Counting Conductor
Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed Karl Holst
1971 Quest for Love Jeremy
1972 Young Winston Winston Churchill
1973 Hitler: The Last Ten Days Hauptmann Hoffmann
The Three Musketeers Duke of Buckingham
1974 Bram Stoker's Dracula Arthur TV movie
The Four Musketeers Duke of Buckingham
1975 All Creatures Great and Small James Herriot TV movie
Deadly Strangers Stephen Slade
Children of Rage Yaakov
Valley Forge Major Andre TV movie
1976 Aces High Lt. Crawford
1977 The Standard Herbert Menis
Holocaust 2000 Angel Caine
1978 The Four Feathers William Trench TV movie
1979 Dominique Tony Calvert
Zulu Dawn Lt. Vereker
The Last Giraffe Jock Leslie-Melville TV movie
La Sabina Philip
1980 The Rear Column Ward TV movie
1981 The Monster Club George (segment "Shadmock Story")
1983 Manpower Narrator Short
1984 Supergirl Zor-El
1985 The Corsican Brothers Chateau-Renaud TV movie
Leave All Fair John Jeune (Young John)
1986 L'étincelle Mike
1992 Double X: The Name of the Game Edward Ross
Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights Mr Linton
1995 Nightshade Peter Brady
2000 Atrapa-la Doug TV movie


Year Title Role Notes
1964 Festival Stephen 1 episode
Theatre 625 Dick Jervis Episode: "Carried by Storm"
1965 Thursday Theatre Tom Cherry Episode: "The Flowering Cherry"
1965–1966 The World of Wooster Eustace 2 episodes
1966 Thirteen Against Fate Alain Malou Episode: "The Son"
1966–1968 The Wednesday Play Donald Clenham / John Hardie 2 episodes
1967–1968 Jackanory Storyteller 6 episodes
1970 The Misfit Ted Allenby-Johnson 2 episodes
The Black Tulip Cornelius Van Bearle TV mini-series, 6 episodes
Roads to Freedom Philippe 3 episodes
1972 No Exit Mark Gray Episode: "A Man's Fair Share of Days"
Cinema: A Documentary Himself
1973 ABC Afterschool Specials Various roles
Orson Welles Great Mysteries Stephen Barrow Episode: "The Leather Funnel"
1975 BBC2 Playhouse Saunders Episode: "The Breakthrough"
1976 Call My Bluff Himself
1980 The Rear Column Herbert Ward TV movie
1981 Diamonds Bernard de Haan 13 episodes
1982 An Inspector Calls Gerald Croft TV mini-series, 3 episodes
1984 Allô Béatrice Archibald Episode: Agnes et ses papas
Supergirl: The Making of the Movie Himself
1988 A Taste for Death Stephen Lampart 5 episodes
1989 Around the World in 80 Days Flannigan TV mini-series, 3 episodes
1992 Lovejoy Edward Brooksby 2 episodes
1994 Kurtulus Winston Churchill TV mini-series
1995 Ruth Rendell Mysteries Will Harvey 2 episodes
1996 Challenge Narrator
1999 Real Women II Samuelson
2003–2007 Judge John Deed Sir Monty Everard 20 episodes
2005 Family Affairs Mr. Lee 3 episodes
2006 Heartbeat Maxwell Hamilton Episode: "Kith and Kin"
2009–2010 The Tudors Bishop Gardiner 17 episodes, (final appearance)


  1. ^ a b c "Ward, Simon Anthony Fox (1941–2012)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/105356. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  2. ^ a b c d e f Hayward, Anthony (23 July 2012). "Simon Ward obituary". The Guardian.
  3. ^ Vallance, Tom (23 July 2012). "Simon Ward: Dashing actor who made his name playing the young Winston Churchill". The Independent. Retrieved 9 January 2022.
  4. ^ "Simon Ward Biography (1941-)".
  5. ^ a b c "The Tudors actor Simon Ward dies after long illness". BBC News. 22 July 2012. Retrieved 22 July 2012.
  6. ^ a b "Actor Simon Ward dies aged 70 after long illness". The Daily Telegraph. 22 July 2012. Retrieved 22 July 2012.
  7. ^ "Michael McIntyre speaks of his devastation at the death of his dad". Daily Mirror. 24 April 2011.