Birmingham actor Terence Rigby dies
Terence Rigby, the Birmingham-born actor whose roles ranged from Crossroads to James Bond blockbusters, has died aged 71.
One of the best known faces on British TV screens, Rigby had been suffering from lung cancer. He died at his London home on Sunday night.
The star’s film credits included Mona Lisa Smile in 2003, Bond movie Tomorrow Never Dies (1997), The Dogs of War (1980), Get Carter (1971), and Scandal in 1989.
On TV, Rigby was best known for his role as Pc Snow in the 1960s and 70s TV series Softly, Softly: Task Force.
And in the late 1980s he was Tommy "Bomber" Lancaster in Crossroads, whose character was arguably best known for renaming the hotel King’s Oak Country Hotel.
More recently, he appeared on the small screen in Our Friends in the North, Midsomer Murders, Holby City, Heartbeat and Doctors.
TV credits from the 1970s include Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, and in the 1980s The Beiderbecke Affair.
He also played Dr Watson in the BBC’s 1982 adaptation of the Hound of the Baskervilles, opposite Tom Baker as Sherlock Holmes.
Rigby appeared in several National Theatre productions, including No Man’s Land, directed by Harold Pinter, which featured John Gielgud and Ralph Richardson.
Catherine Sparks, Rigby’s sister, said on behalf of the actor’s family: "We are so proud of Terry and are going to miss him terribly.
"He was true to his art and respected by all the industry - he was the actor’s actor."
The actor’s spokesman Peter Charlesworth said: "He will be sorely missed. There are not so many like him anymore.
"He was a very powerful character actor, able to play villains and nice roles with ease. He was particularly good at playing Pinter roles, which were very difficult."
He trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in the late 1950s, his interest in theatre sparked when he was in the boy scouts and then at grammar school in Birmingham, and then later in the Royal Air Force.
After leaving the RAF, he trained to be a quantity surveyor and worked as a labourer and in a factory while continuing acting in amateur drama.
After a two-year stint - 1958-60 - at RADA in London, where his contemporaries included John Thaw, he landed a role at the Birmingham Rep in Anthony and Cleopatra.
In the theatre, Rigby appeared in The Cherry Orchard and Waiting for Godot at the National Theatre.
He appeared in Royal Shakespeare Company productions of Pinter’s The Homecoming and 1977 play State of Revolution, in which he was cast as Stalin.
Rigby was also cast in several theatre productions in the US.
His last work there was in February this year in the Oscar Wilde play A Woman of No Importance.
The actor had been living in London and New York since February.