Simon MacCorkindale
British actor, director and producer
Simon MacCorkindale
Simon Charles Pendered MacCorkindale was a British actor, film director, writer and producer. MacCorkindale spent much of his childhood moving around due to his father's commission with the Royal Air Force. Poor eyesight prevented him from following a similar career in the RAF, so he instead planned to become a theatre director. Training at the Theatre of Arts in London, MacCorkindale started work as an actor, making his West End debut in 1974.
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Did you know?: The Manimal returns!
The Express Tribune Blogs - over 4 years
After the big screen comeback of “The Smurfs”, a Belgian comic and television franchise, in 2011; brace yourself for the return of “Manimal”! Sony Pictures Animation has picked up the movie rights to Manimal, a short-lived 1983 NBC series, and is developing the project as a feature film. For all those who are not aware of the existence of “Manimal”, it is for good reason. The series that ran from September 30 to December 17, 1983 was slaughtered by critics and was cancelled after just eight episodes. The plot of the show revolved around a wealthy doctor, Jonathan Chase, played by Simon MacCorkindale. Chase had the ability to transform into animals (mostly a hawk or a black panther) to fight crimes alongside the police. Sadly for the producer of the show Glen A Larson, one of the most prolific TV producers of the ‘80s, “Manimal” debuted to abysmal ratings and even worse reviews. Here’s hoping for something better! Published in The Express Tribu ...
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The Express Tribune Blogs article
Seminal spy novel inspires German meal - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Google News - over 5 years
20) sees the DVD release of the 1978 film version of "The Riddle of the Sands," starring Michael York as Carruthers and Simon MacCorkindale as Davies. With the exception of the odd reference here and there to "taking tea" and eating a cooked breakfast
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Google News article
Susan George plans a dramatic comeback -
Google News - over 5 years
Photo: Stephen Lock By Tim Walker Almost a year after the death of her husband Simon MacCorkindale from cancer, Susan George is ready to make a dramatic return to the film business. “An American producer asked what it would take to bring me back to the
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Google News article
Who's in cahoots with whom? - Daily News Egypt
Google News - over 5 years
In the movie, a ménage à tois and voracity unveils nine suspects in a series of murders, most prominently the shooting of Linnet Ridgeway (Lois Chiles), jilted lover of the cad Simon Doyle (Simon MacCorkindale) apparently by Jacqueline de Bellefort
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Google News article
Simon MacCorkindale, 58, British Actor With Dashing Style
NYTimes - over 6 years
Simon MacCorkindale, the dashing British actor who turned heads in the star-studded 1978 film ''Death on the Nile'' and went on to play villains and charming Englishmen on numerous television shows in Britain and the United States, died on Thursday in London. He was 58. The cause was cancer, the BBC reported. With a dramatic brow, boyish good
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NYTimes article
FILM REVIEW; A Life as Topsy-Turvy As the Streets of Bombay
NYTimes - almost 17 years
Gustad Noble (Roshan Seth), the hero of Sturla Gunnarsson's ''Such a Long Journey,'' is, his surname notwithstanding, a timid, confused, decidedly ordinary man. He's a sort of Parsee Willy Loman, putting in his time as a bank clerk, quarreling with his eldest son, Sohrab (Vrajesh Hirjee), and daydreaming, in sepia tones over a moody swing
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NYTimes article
HOME ENTERTAINMENT/VIDEO: FAST FORWARD; 'Temptation' Eases Through The Back Door
NYTimes - almost 28 years
LEAD: It's not often that a distributor downplays its own release of a major film, but next month MCA Home Video, in what amounts to a secret operation, will issue Martin Scorsese's explosively controversial ''Last Temptation of Christ'' without so much as an announcement, let alone advertising and promotion. It's not often that a distributor
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NYTimes article
Review/Film; Doomed Passion Of Abelard And Heloise
NYTimes - almost 28 years
LEAD: The true story of the 12th-century lovers Abelard and Heloise has everything a grand, passionate film could want - sex, religion, intellect, violence and elaborate costumes. The love affair between the philosopher and teacher Pierre Abelard and his beautiful, gifted student defied not only the convention of chastity for teachers, but also
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NYTimes article
HOME VIDEO; Isn't It Romantic?
NYTimes - over 29 years
LEAD: SHADES OF LOVE: ROMANCE VIDEO NOVELS SHADES OF LOVE: ROMANCE VIDEO NOVELS ''Lilac Dream,'' starring Dack Rambo and Susan Almgren (in photo above, left); ''Sincerely Violet,'' starring Simon MacCorkindale and Patricia Phillips (above, second from left); ''The Rose Cafe,'' starring Parker Stevenson and Linda Smith (above, second from right);
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NYTimes article
NYTimes - over 29 years
LEAD: THE VIDEOTAPES - BLACK plastic cassettes with pretty pictures on the cover - hardly look like a revolution in the making. But the ''Shades of Love'' series, four romance stories that were released last month by Karl-Lorimar Home Video, are breaking some fundamental rules of the video-cassette business. THE VIDEOTAPES - BLACK plastic cassettes
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NYTimes article
NYTimes - over 32 years
In recent years a number of actresses who found their movie roles dwindling have revitalized their careers on television. Joan Collins is probably the prime example of a faded movie queen turned television superstar, but many other actresses, such as Lee Remick and Ann-Margret, have also found expanded opportunities on the small screen. Yvette
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NYTimes article
NYTimes - about 33 years
''THE RIDDLE OF THE SANDS'' is not a camel movie, in spite of its title. In fact, much of it takes place on water. This is a film version of Erskine Childers' popular and prophetic 1903 novel, which told the fanciful story of how a couple of adventurous English yachtsmen stumbled upon a German fleet off the northwest coast of Germany, and thereby
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NYTimes article
NYTimes - over 33 years
''Jaws 3-D'' is a movie with unusual timing, since its real star - you know who that is - doesn't appear until an hour into the story. By that time he (who is this time a she) has worked up quite an appetite, and proceeds to eat some tourists and employees at Sea World, in Florida. That park is the second biggest star of this movie, which is no
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NYTimes article
NYTimes - over 35 years
TONIGHT'S ''Live From the Met'' presentation on WNET-TV at 8 o'clock is not live. This performance of Verdi's ''La Traviata'' was taped at a Metropolitan Opera matinee on March 28, a fact carefully noted several times during the broadcast by Peter Allen, the always capable and considerate announcer. Purist proponents of live ''event'' television
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NYTimes article
NYTimes - over 35 years
Take a thick slice of turbulent history, put it into the hands of the queen of American soap opera, and the result is bound to be like ''The Manions of America,'' the six-hour mini-series that ABC-TV will broadcast this Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at 9 P.M. Designed as the equivalent of ''Roots'' for Irish-Americans, the story was devised by
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NYTimes article
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Simon MacCorkindale
  • 2010
    Age 58
    After small parts in the films 13 Hrs and A Closed Book, he returned to TV as Sir David Bryant in the 2010 series of New Tricks, in what proved to be his final TV appearance.
    More Details Hide Details MacCorkindale produced, directed and wrote a number of film, television and theatre productions throughout his career. In the 1980s, he directed three performances of the play Sleuth, starring Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Howard Keel and James Whitmore, and a Los Angeles production of The Merchant of Venice, and starred in the one-man show The Importance of Being Oscar at the Globe Playhouse in 1981.
  • 2009
    Age 57
    In November 2009, he publicly revealed that the disease was terminal, and he died on 14 October 2010 at a clinic in London.
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  • 2007
    Age 55
    MacCorkindale continued to act during his treatment, returning to film his final series of Casualty in late 2007; he did not disclose his illness to his colleagues, and found it surreal when scripts required his character to inform patients that they had cancer or another incurable disease.
    More Details Hide Details MacCorkindale spent much of his fortune on private cancer treatment in the United States, with limited success.
  • 2006
    Age 54
    MacCorkindale was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2006, and underwent an operation to remove a section of his bowel during a two-week break from filming Casualty.
    More Details Hide Details Although the cancer was excised and MacCorkindale went into remission following the surgery, one year later doctors discovered that the cancer had metastasised to his lungs.
  • 2002
    Age 50
    MacCorkindale also co-produced the third season of Relic Hunter in 2002.
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  • 2000
    Age 48
    He served as co-executive producer for the 2000 syndicated TV series Queen of Swords, and as co-producer for the 2002 series Adventure Inc..
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  • 1996
    Age 44
    MacCorkindale then wrote the screenplay for a biographical film of the missing peer Lord Lucan, which he also planned to produce and act in, although financial problems resulted in the cancellation of the project in 1996.
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  • 1995
    Age 43
    Working in partnership with Chris Bryant, MacCorkindale wrote and directed the TV film The House That Mary Bought in 1995, and with Paul Stephens co-produced the 1998 film Such a Long Journey, for which he was nominated for the Genie Award for Best Motion Picture.
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  • 1988
    Age 36
    He subsequently directed, wrote and produced a number of projects for Amy International, including the 1988 film Stealing Heaven (concerning the medieval French philosopher Abelard and his passion for Heloise), and the 1989 film Djavolji Raj (That Summer of White Roses), which stars George and features romantic theme music composed by MacCorkindale.
    More Details Hide Details MacCorkindale and George purchased the rights to each project because they wished to "make the pictures that we just totally and literally believe in", regardless of their commercial success.
  • 1986
    Age 34
    After his departure from Falcon Crest, MacCorkindale returned to the UK in 1986 to form a production company.
    More Details Hide Details The following year, he established Amy International Artists, based at Shepperton Studios, with his wife Susan George, and also Apollo Films International.
    He rejected a contract extension after appearing in 59 episodes and left the series in 1986 because he "felt that the work I was doing was fun and lucrative but not as stretching as I felt I wanted or needed.
    More Details Hide Details I also was finding fault with much of the work, not only Falcon Crest, but everything. I was actually ready to quit acting and try producing so I could put myself on the line." MacCorkindale appeared in the films Caboblanco (1980) and The Sword and the Sorcerer (1982, as Prince Mikah), and starred as Philip FitzRoyce in the third part of the Jaws film series, Jaws 3-D (1983). In the mid-1980s, MacCorkindale was considered for the role of James Bond as a possible successor to actors Sean Connery and Roger Moore, but was not cast. Jaws 3-D proved to be his last major film role. In the 1990s, MacCorkindale returned to acting after a hiatus in which he had focused on production work. He appeared in a number of projects in Canada, which he felt "could be at the crossroads of international production." From 1990 to 1993, MacCorkindale played former Scotland Yard inspector Peter Sinclair in the Toronto-filmed USA Network series Counterstrike, alongside Christopher Plummer. He was offered the part by producer Robert Lantos, who wanted to work with MacCorkindale while for his part the actor wished to return to acting after three years running Amy International. With production complete on several episodes, feeling that the show was "too plot-driven rather than character-driven", MacCorkindale thereafter became a writer for the series. He was appointed an executive production consultant that ensured that he "could make quicker on-set judgments on behalf of the production."
  • 1984
    Age 32
    In 1984, he was cast as Angela Channing's (Jane Wyman) lawyer Greg Reardon in the soap opera Falcon Crest, without requiring an audition.
    More Details Hide Details MacCorkindale asked for the character, originally an American named Brad, to be rewritten as English, and also directed one episode.
    He married actress Susan George in 1984 and died of colorectal cancer in 2010.
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  • 1983
    Age 31
    He was eventually cast in the adventure series Manimal for NBC in 1983, in which he played the lead character Professor Jonathan Chase, an Englishman who assists police in the fight against crime with his ability to transform into animals.
    More Details Hide Details The role impressed MacCorkindale, who considered Chase to be a "very cerebral individual". He also "found himself in the first wave of UK stars to make it big in America," along with Joan Collins in Dynasty, which led to a further influx of British actors finding work in the US. Filming on Manimal would often run for as long as 14 to 16 hours per day, and MacCorkindale would sometimes be required to work at weekends to be made up with the prosthetics necessary for Manimals transformation sequences. The low ratings that resulted in the cancellation of Manimal after one season and eight episodes was in part due to NBC broadcasting the series at the same time as Dallas on CBS, Manimal losing out to the more popular "soap". Budget cuts also contributed to the series' cancellation as it was the network's most expensive series. Manimal has since acquired a global cult following.
  • 1980
    Age 28
    Following the success of Death on the Nile, MacCorkindale moved to the United States in 1980.
    More Details Hide Details Although warned that it would limit his chance of finding work, MacCorkindale refused to adopt an American accent when auditioning, believing that his British diction would help fill a "niche". However, for two years he failed at the audition stage for all major parts on account of his nationality. The American Broadcasting Company (ABC) told MacCorkindale that he was not an "eight o'clock actor", which he took to mean that "at that time of night they didn't want viewers watching someone who sounded intellectual or who had an accent that was alien to their ears and, therefore, hard work when it came to listening." During this time he appeared in single-episode roles in series such as Dynasty, Fantasy Island, Hart to Hart, Matt Houston and The Dukes of Hazzard, as well as playing David Clement, an aristocrat, in the mini-series Manions of America.
  • 1978
    Age 26
    He was cast as Simon Doyle in the 1978 film adaptation of Agatha Christie's Death on the Nile at the age of 25.
    More Details Hide Details He became a friend of co-star Bette Davis, reflecting, "There was a feeling of being in awe of these people but I had a certain amount of pioneer courage, so I didn't let it get to me. But there were days when I thought, 'I'm about to do a scene with this cinema legend, am I up to it?' But people were very gracious. I was never the whipping boy because I was less experienced." The role boosted MacCorkindale public profile and he considered it to be his career break. He won the London Evening Standard Film Award for Most Promising Newcomer for this part. MacCorkindale went on to star as sailor Arthur Davies in The Riddle of the Sands (1979). MacCorkindale played astronomer Joe Kapp in Nigel Kneale's Quatermass TV serial (1979), starring alongside John Mills. He had previously starred in an episode of Kneale's series Beasts and enjoyed appearing in the role of Kapp, finding it a change from the typecast romantic roles that he had become accustomed to playing, while noting that it was "challenging" conveying the character's strong Jewish faith. Kneale later expressed disappointment with MacCorkindale's performance, commenting, "We had him in Beasts playing an idiot and he was very good at that".
  • 1977
    Age 25
    Following his divorce from Fullerton, MacCorkindale began a relationship with actress Susan George, whom he had first met in 1977; they married secretly in Fiji on 5 October 1984 and later held a second ceremony with family and friends in Berkshire, England.
    More Details Hide Details They had no children. With George, MacCorkindale lived on and managed an Arabian stud farm based in Exmoor.
  • 1976
    Age 24
    MacCorkindale was married twice. His first wife was actress Fiona Fullerton; the couple married in 1976 and divorced in 1982.
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  • 1974
    Age 22
    MacCorkindale's film debut came in 1974 with Juggernaut.
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    He made his West End theatre debut in a production of Pygmalion in 1974, appearing alongside Alec McCowen and Diana Rigg in the role of "Sarcastic Bystander".
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    Training at the Theatre of Arts in London, MacCorkindale started work as an actor, making his West End debut in 1974.
    More Details Hide Details He went on to appear in numerous roles in television, including the series I, Claudius and Jesus of Nazareth, before starring as Simon Doyle in the film Death on the Nile (1978). This proved to be a breakthrough role and allowed MacCorkindale to move to the United States, where he appeared in a variety of films and TV series including Quatermass (1979), The Riddle of the Sands (1979), The Sword and the Sorcerer (1982) and Jaws 3-D (1983). In 1983, MacCorkindale starred in the short-lived series Manimal as the lead character, Dr Jonathan Chase, before taking up the longer-running role of lawyer Greg Reardon in Falcon Crest. Throughout the late 1980s and 1990s he directed and produced many stage, TV and film productions through his company Amy International Artists, such as the film Stealing Heaven (1988). Moving to Canada, MacCorkindale starred as Peter Sinclair in the series Counterstrike for three years. He returned to the UK in 2002 and joined the cast of the BBC medical drama Casualty, appearing in the role of Harry Harper for six years until 2008.
  • 1973
    Age 21
    In 1973, the series Hawkeye, The Pathfinder had given MacCorkindale his first TV credit.
    More Details Hide Details He went on to appear in a number of other TV series, including Within These Walls, Sutherland's Law, I, Claudius (as Lucius Caesar) and Jesus of Nazareth.
    MacCorkindale started his acting career in theatre, touring the UK with a repertory theatre group. His first professional stage performance was in a 1973 run of A Bequest to the Nation at the Belgrade Theatre in Coventry.
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  • 1965
    Age 13
    MacCorkindale attended Haileybury and Imperial Service College in Hertfordshire from 1965 to 1970, where he was Head Boy and a member of the Air Training Corps.
    More Details Hide Details Originally intending to enlist in the RAF, he abandoned this plan at the age of 13 when his eyesight began to deteriorate. MacCorkindale considered joining the diplomatic corps to become an ambassador, but instead opted to become a stage director after developing an interest in theatre. MacCorkindale had been a fan of theatre since writing a play at the age of eight, joking that it was "unproduceable" because "it required an enormous cast and a considerable amount of rum drinking." Making his acting debut at the same age, he went on to appear on stage and work behind the scenes of numerous school and theatre group productions throughout his childhood. Persuading his parents that he would find a "sensible job" if a career as a director was not sustaining him financially by the age of 25, MacCorkindale decided not to study at university and instead attended the Studio 68 drama school at the Theatre of Arts in London. In his time at drama school, he took acting classes so that he "could better understand actors and, hopefully, be a more competent director." MacCorkindale opted to continue acting after graduating from the Theatre of Arts; he decided to amass more experience in the role to have better confidence as a director.
  • 1952
    Age 0
    MacCorkindale was born on 12 February 1952 in Ely, Cambridgeshire, England, to Scottish parents Gilliver Mary (née Pendered) and Peter Bernard MacCorkindale OBE, who died in September 2007.
    More Details Hide Details He had a brother, Duncan, while his father was an RAF Group Captain station commander. MacCorkindale spent some of his childhood in Edinburgh, where his father was stationed for a period, although Peter MacCorkindale's changing postings necessitated 17 moves to places across Europe. As a result, he became an "independent" child.
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