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Paul Scofield

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Oscar-winning actor Scofield dies

 

Paul Scofield, one of Britain's greatest Shakespearian actors and an Academy Award winner, has died at the age of 86, his agent has said.

 

Scofield won the Oscar for best actor in 1967 for A Man for All Seasons, and was also nominated in 1995 for best supporting actor for Quiz Show.

 

"He was a great friend and a great man," actress Dame Judi Dench said.

 

The actor died peacefully on Wednesday in a hospital near his Sussex home, his agent Rosalind Chatto said.

 

"He had leukaemia and had not been well for some time," she said.

 

The British-born actor started his stage career in 1940.

 

Lear landmark

 

In 2004, Scofield's portrayal of King Lear in 1962 was voted the greatest performance in a Shakespeare play by a panel of Royal Shakespeare Company actors, including Sir Ian McKellen, Ian Richardson and Sir Antony Sher.

 

"Of the 10 greatest moments in the theatre, eight are Scofield's," the actor Richard Burton once said.

 

Scofield won his Oscar in 1967 for playing Sir Thomas More in the film of the life of the 16th Century Lord Chancellor.

 

Scofield's other film roles included playing King Lear in the 1972 film version of Shakespeare's play and the French King in Kenneth Branagh's Henry V in 1989.

 

His TV work included the BBC's £4m adaptation of Dickens' Martin Chuzzlewit in 1994 and he was also a familiar voice in radio dramas.

 

Honours

 

Scofield was appointed a CBE in 1956 but he was thought to have rejected attempts to give him a knighthood.

 

"If you want a title, what's wrong with Mr?" he once said. "If you have always been that, then why lose your title? But it's not political. I have a CBE, which I accepted very gratefully."

 

But in the New Year's Honours for 2001, he was made a Companion of Honour.

 

People are made a Companion of Honour for work of national importance and there are only 65 members at any one time.

 

Scofield leaves his widow, the actress Joy Parker, a son and a daughter.

 

RIP

 

I enjoyed Quiz Show

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