Adieu, Equalizer

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Edward Woodward is dead at age 79 and I have three things to praise him for.

The first is ‘Breaker Morant,’ a film that isn’t even mentioned in the obits I’ve seen this morning, including one on the BBC site.  It’s about Aussies fighting for the Brits in the Boer War and becoming “scapegoats for the bloody empire,” if dialogue memory serves and, from that film, it usually does. Toward the end, Woodward, playing the title character, a poet and warrior, recites very on-point lines from Byron — and inspires co-star Bryan Brown, as Lt. Peter Handcock, to intone a limerick starting “There once was a man from Australia” that I remember even more vividly. A terrific courtroom drama to boot.

The second is ‘The Equalizer.’  He played an ex-spy who offered his services for free to people in various forms of need. It was a favorite of my buddy Rich Katz because it showed New York City the way it really was in the rundown mid to late 1980s.

The third is EastEnders.  You’ll see from the BBC story linked above that he played a character on that longrunning soap last year. I didn’t know that and only watch EastEnders through the time warp of PBS, which locally shows episodes that first aired about nine years ago.

Cheers for that, Edward, and look forward to seeing your work as Tommy Clifford if the show is still on here then.

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