79-year-old actor Edward Woodward – best known to genre fans for starring in the 1973 cult film THE WICKER MAN – died from pneumonia today at his home in Cornwall. He played a variety of roles in his career, earning good notices for a role in BREAKER MORANT (1980). Fame in the U.S came with hislead role in THE EQUALIZER, which launched in 1985 and ran for four seasons. But horror fans will always remember him as the ill-fated Seargent Howie, the puritanical policeman in THE WICKER MAN, who comes to a remote Scottish isle looking for a missing girl, only to learn that the local pagans, led by Lord Summerisle (Christopher Lee) have lured him there as a human sacrifice.
Woodward’s other genre credits include INCENSE FOR THE DAMNED (1970), GULLIVER’S TRAVELS (a 1996 TV movie), and an appearance in an episode of DARK REALM (a 2000 television series). In 1984, he gave some gusto to his role as the Ghost of Christmas Present in A CHRISTMAS CAROL, starring George C. Scott as Scrooge. And he showed up in the splatter-comedy HOT FUZZ, which like WICKER MAN was about homicidal happenings in a remote British commuity.
His last credit was A CONGREGATION OF GHOSTS, which is in post-production. Based on a true story, the fanciful dramatization casts Woodward as Reverend Densham, a man who returns to haunt his church yard after being spurned by his congregation during his life.