Entertainment & Arts

Goodnight Mister Tom director Jack Gold dies

Jack Gold Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Jack Gold was known for his work with actors including John Thaw and John Hurt

British director Jack Gold, whose work included Goodnight Mister Tom and The Naked Civil Servant, has died aged 85.

A four-time Bafta winner, Gold began his career at the BBC and worked as editor on the Tonight news programme.

His films included thriller The Medusa Touch, starring Richard Burton, but he was best known for his acclaimed TV work spanning several decades.

He worked regularly with actor John Thaw, directing episodes of Inspector Morse and Kavanagh QC.

And it was the duo's work together on the made-for-TV film adaptation Goodnight Mr Tom that gave ITV one of its most popular hits.

The much-repeated film, set during World War Two, starred Thaw as the cantankerous Tom Oakley, whose cosy life is disrupted by the arrival of a nine-year-old evacuee. It was named most popular TV programme of 1998 at the Bafta Awards for that year.

Image caption Gold directed for both the big and small screens in the 1970s

Gold began working as an assistant studio manager for the BBC in 1954. After two years he transferred to the Tonight programme where he made his name and won his first Bafta for a special programme about fox hunting presented by Alan Whicker.

During the 1970s he alternated between film and TV projects. On the big screen he directed Peter O'Toole in Man Friday, Malcolm McDowell and Christopher Plummer in Aces High and Anthony Hopkins in The Tenth Man.

Thaw tribute

But his most acclaimed work of that period was on TV, with The Naked Civil Servant starring John Hurt as the flamboyant Quentin Crisp. It earned Gold another award from Bafta - this time the Desmond Davies Award for special contribution to TV.

Gold's long and successful working relationship with Thaw over several films and TV series - including the final episode of Inspector Morse - was reflected in his decision in 2002 to personally oversee ITV's tribute documentary to the actor following Thaw's death.

He is survived by his wife, actress Denyse Macpherson and their three children, seven grandchildren and a great-grandson.

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