Peter Woodthorpe

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Peter Woodthorpe
Peter Woodthorpe.jpg
Born (1931-09-25)25 September 1931
York, England
Died 12 August 2004(2004-08-12) (aged 72)
Banbury, Oxfordshire, England
Occupation Actor
Years active 1956–2000

Peter Woodthorpe (25 September 1931 – 12 August 2004)[1] was an English film, television and voice actor who supplied the voice of Gollum in the 1978 Bakshi version of The Lord of the Rings and BBC's 1981 radio serial. He also provided the voice of Pigsy in the cult series Monkey and was Max the pathologist in early episodes of Inspector Morse.

In the summer of 1955 he played Estragon in the first British production of Waiting for Godot. He had then just finished his second year reading Biochemistry[2] at Magdalene College, Cambridge, and expected to return after a run of a few weeks. When the play was successful, faced with the choice of dropping out either from Cambridge or from the play, he chose to stay with the play and his acting career. In 1960, he played Aston in the first production of Harold Pinter's The Caretaker at the Arts Theatre, in London, prior to transferring to the West End's Duchess Theatre on 30 May 1960. He also starred as Oxford in the Broadway musical Darling of the Day .

Before going up to Cambridge he was educated at Archbishop Holgate's Grammar School and served as a national serviceman in the Royal Navy, training at the Joint Services School for Linguists as a Russian interpreter.

In 1964 and 1965 he made three films for cinematographer-turned-director Freddie Francis: The Evil of Frankenstein (1964), Hysteria (1965) and The Skull (1965), the first two for Hammer Films and the last for Amicus Productions. His characters in these films were all sleazy, corrupt and manipulative types (a hypnotist, a nudie photographer and a corrupt landlord).

In 1974, he played writer Honoré de Balzac in the BBC series Notorious Woman.

One of Woodthorpe's best remembered roles was the guest role of Reg Trotter, father of Del Boy, in the 1983 Christmas special, "Thicker than Water", an episode of the BBC sitcom Only Fools and Horses. In 1984, he and Lennard Pearce (who starred on the programme as Grandad Trotter, Reg's father, and appeared alongside him in that episode) were seen together again in the Minder episode "The Balance of Power".

Since 1994, he recorded the voices of Toad, Great White Stag and Whistler in an BBC Young Collection audiotape version of the Animals of Farthing Wood. He died at the age of 72 on 12th August 2004 in Banbury, Oxfordshire due to body attacks. [3]

Selected filmography

References

  1. ^ "Peter Woodthorpe | BFI". Ftvdb.bfi.org.uk. Retrieved 2016-11-19. 
  2. ^ Beckett: Waiting for Godot, David Bradby, Cambridge University Press, 2001, pg 74
  3. ^ [1]

External links

  • Peter Woodthorpe on IMDb
  • Obituary in The Guardian
  • Obituary in The Independent
  • Obituary in The New York Times
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