Casualty star dies in wife's arms
Actor Simon MacCorkindale was praised today for his "stoic" battle against cancer after he died in the arms of his wife, actress Susan George.
The 58-year-old had a wide-ranging career including six years as Dr Harry Harper in hit BBC medical drama Casualty.
He died at about 10.30pm on Thursday in a private hospital in Harley Street, London.
Ms George said he died peacefully in her arms and added: "No one could have fought this disease any harder than he did since being diagnosed four years ago.
"He fought it with such strength, courage and belief.
"To me, he was simply the best of everything, and I loved him with all my heart. He will live on in me forever."
John Yorke, controller of BBC drama production, said: "As the star and male lead of Casualty for over six years we owe Simon a massive debt.
"Not only was he a fabulously iconic consultant, he was also an inspirational team leader. "Simon had an extraordinary career encompassing - amongst many other things - matinee idol, Hollywood lead, film and theatre director, film producer and horse breeder. That amazing energy and appetite for life remained with him to the end."
MacCorkindale had intended to follow his father into the RAF, but his deteriorating eyesight forced him to choose an alternative career in acting.
He went on to appear in TV mini-series such as I, Claudius and Jesus of Nazareth.
His first major film role was in Agatha Christie's Death on the Nile in 1978.
He moved to the US in 1980, and found that his good looks were in demand, from soap operas, such as Falcon Crest, to dramas, including Manimal.
He returned to the UK in 1986 and directed, wrote and produced a number of projects.
Divorced during his early career from actress Fiona Fullerton, he subsequently married Ms George, a former child actor who went on to star in some of the best known films of the 1970s, including Straw Dogs.