Tim Pigott-Smith RIP

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One of the best mini-series villains of all time was Major Ronald Merrick, played with sneering desperation by Tim Pigott-Smith in the 1984 hit, The Jewel in the Crown.

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His major, furiously driven by the knowledge that he would never measure up in the super-stratified society of the English upper-crusties in India during World War II, still had that one indelible moment of pure, aching vulnerability when Daphne Manners gently turned down his proposal of marriage. He was doomed, and he knew it. (Especially when compared to the suave heartthrob, Charles Dance.)

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Pigott-Smith was an incredibly versatile actor, and starred in 2015 as King Charles III on Broadway in the eponymous play that brought him even more acclaim in this country. He still had the aura of youthfulness, as Glenn O’Brien did (my obit yesterday), so it was a shock to see that he died suddenly at the age of 70.

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There is something about that age, I guess. (Alan Rickman nearly made it. I still miss him terribly.)

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