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Simon MacCorkindale (1952 -- 2010)

Simon MacCorkindale was born in Cambridge in February 1952. Originally intending to follow his father as an RAF Pilot, he actually chose an alternative career in acting due to deteriorating eyesight. He started drama classes after his education and went into a career in repertory theatre, appearing in Pygmalion with Alec McCowen and Diana Rigg in 1974.

Death on the Nile (1978), starring Peter Ustinov as Poirot, was Simon's major breakthrough film. He played the charming shipboard suspect, alongside Mia Farrow, on stunning locations in Egypt, and took a similar role in The Riddle of the Sands (1979). In the 1980s Hollywood fell for his patrician good looks and he was cast in soap operas such as Falcon Crest and Manimal.

Back in the UK, Simon directed and acted in various stage productions. He joined the cast of BBC TV's Casualty in 2002 as the consultant Harry Harper, whom he played for six years, departing when first diagnosed with bowel cancer. He returned to the West End for Andrew Lloyd Webber's popular production of The Sound of Music until its run ended in February 2009.

Simon MacCorkindale died of cancer at the age of 58 on 14 October 2010, with his wife, the actress Susan George, at his side.