Legendary British screen icon Eward Woodward has died aged 79.

One of Britain's best actors and cultural icons has lost the battle with a combination of illnesses and passed away.

The contribution Edward Woodward made to British films and television cannot be understated. His theatre and on screen intensity rivaled that of Laurence Olivier and struck a chord with the public making him the much loved star that he was.

His passing must be remembered for his bravery and resilience in spirit coupled with his  sense of humour in the face of adversity and the support he had from his wife, children, grandchildren and friends who gave him constant support in his final days.

Edward's long acting  career spanned over fifty years both on and off the screen and is remembered not only in Britain but all around the world thanks to his universal appeal and the diversity of the roles he played.

His role as the Neil Howie in The Wicker Man is one of the great all time film performances which gave Edward and The Wicker man cult status with a huge following that remains to this day. Most fans of the Wicker Man regard the 1973 version with Edward as the definitive version and vastly superior to the 2006 remake.

On the small screen Edward's role as Callan launched him into the living rooms and hearts of the British public and his TV career was reignited with American TV series The Equalizer gaining recognition and fame stateside and recently took on a role closer to home in Eastenders.

He was also a well respected Shakespearean actor and performed in the West End and on Broadway bringing with him the intensity and warmth that he exuded, which took whatever part he played to new levels.

A bright  light has gone out and the world is poorer without him, but is richer and more colourful with his legacy.

Rest in Peace Edward Woodward.

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