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Woodward did most of his work for television but he made three very good feature films and he’s top of the line in all of them: The Wicker Man, Mister Johnson, and Breaker Morant. There aren’t many actors who could get as much as he did out of a slight shift of inflection or tiny change of expression. I think especially of a bit towards the end of Breaker Morant, when Woodward is offered a chance to escape and ‘see the world.’ He says ‘I’ve seen it’ and with the smallest of emphases he tells you that he’s had enough of what he’s seen and he’s ready to leave it.

Nice singing voice, too. R.I.P.

Woodward was born in Croydon, the only child of a factory worker, and educated at Kingston College. He made his stage debut, aged five, in a talent contest. He wanted to become a journalist, but settled for working briefly in a sanitary engineer's office. At age 16, he gained a place at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, and in 1946 made his professional debut with the Croydon Repertory Company.

Following wide experience touring England and Scotland, and a tour of India and Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) in Shakespeare and Shaw, Woodward arrived in London in 1955 with Where There's a Will at the Garrick. There followed small parts in the musical, A Girl Called Jo (Piccadilly) and Doctor in the House (Victoria Palace).


Later in the shoot Woodward was presented with a horse, a species with which he was unfamiliar. He did at least one horse scene in a very horsey movie sitting on apple boxes with reins in his hand, shot from below to hide the boxes.

''He looked down at me while we were doing that,'' said Fitz-Gerald, ''… and his eyes twinkled and he said, 'Lewis, dear boy, I don't have to know how to ride a horse, I just have to look as if I can'.''

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