British actor John Wood dies at 81

John Wood Wood played Lord Merlin in Love In A Cold Climate

British actor John Wood - who won a Tony award in 1976 and appeared in numerous films and TV dramas - has died at the age of 81.

Wood, who was made a CBE in 2007 for services to drama, won the Tony for his role in a Broadway production of Tom Stoppard's Travesties.

The Derbyshire-born star died peacefully in his sleep on Saturday, his agent said.

He appeared in films such The Madness of King George and Shadowlands.

A statement from his agent said: "John was a distinguished classical actor, who was much loved and respected by his colleagues, and will be greatly missed."

Wood most recently appeared in the TV series Lewis in 2007.

His other TV credits include Goodnight Mr Chips, Foyle's War, Love in a Cold Climate and Kavanagh QC.

He completed a stint at the Royal Shakespeare Company and prior to that at London's Old Vic, where he appeared alongside Richard Burton.

The performer received two other Tony nominations during his career, one for Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead in 1968 and another for Sherlock Holmes.

Wood was nominated for an Olivier Award in 1997 for the role of AE Housman in Stoppard's The Invention of Love.

He is survived by his wife and four children.

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