Edward Woodward, the British actor who starred as a police officer investigating a young girl’s disappearance in the cult classic The Wicker Man, has died earlier today of pneumonia at a hospital in Cornwall, England. He was 79.
Woodward came to his Wicker Man role following a six year run playing a world weary spy on the British television series Callan. Before that, he spent much of his early career working in stage productions of everything from Shakespeare to Noel Coward and making guest star appearances on numerous British series. His other major film appearance was in the 1980 drama Breaker Morant as the titular Australian soldier being court-martialed by the British in the midst of the Boer War. But his biggest role would come not in Britain but on the American television series The Equalizer, which ran for four season in the late 1980s. Between these high points he continued to appear in television series on both sides of the Atlantic and in such films as The Appointment (1981), King David (1985) and Hot Fuzz (2007).