Philip Madoc of Lloyd George and Dad's Army fame dies

Philip Madoc, 77, has died after a short illness

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Welsh actor Philip Madoc has died after a short illness, his agent says.

The 77-year-old had a long career on stage and screen, playing the title role in the BBC drama The Life and Times of David Lloyd George.

His agent Michael Hallett said he died on Monday morning in hospital in Hertfordshire surrounded by his family.

Born in Merthyr Tydfil, he appeared in many classic television shows including Dad's Army, Doctor Who, Porridge and the detective series A Mind to Kill.

His extensive radio work included the title role in the BBC Radio 3 adaptation of King Lear and more recently he starred in S4C's new series The Cockle Farmer.

He was also widely remembered for his part as a German U-Boat commander in the classic "Don't tell him, Pike" scene from the popular television sitcom Dad's Army.

Mr Hallett said: "He will be greatly missed by all."

He added that Madoc had had a short illness since January.

His children, son Rhys and daughter Lowri, and his grandchildren were with him along with other members of his family when he died.

BBC - Wales Arts Welsh actor Philip Madoc dies aged 77

In a statement the actor's family said: "He will be greatly missed by his son, daughter and grandchildren.

"Although he suffered from cancer, he was very well looked after by the staff at Michael Sobell Hospice in Northwood, for which the family are very grateful.

"He died peacefully in his sleep, at 9am this morning."

Start Quote

I've got some wonderful, wonderful memories of Philip”

End Quote Ruth Madoc

His former wife, actress Ruth Madoc, said she had known for some time that he was not well.

"I've known him since I was 17 and I married him at 19," she said. "We had two children and have five grandchildren.

'Rich legacy'

"I saw him on a regular basis and we had the family in common and a love of the business.

"I've got some wonderful, wonderful memories of Philip. He was such a talented actor and had that wonderful voice."

Rhodri Talfan Davies, director of BBC Cymru Wales, paid tribute to Madoc as "one of the foremost actors of his generation".

Mr Davies described Madoc as "a man of phenomenal talent who will be remembered by millions for his performance in the title role of The Life and Times of David Lloyd George".

"He leaves a rich legacy of work - in both drama and comedy - and will be much missed," he said.

Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney AM Huw Lewis tweeted: "Sad news about Merthyr's Philip Madoc who passed away today. A truly gifted actor who entertained the nation. He will be sorely missed."

Plaid Cymru Leader, Ieuan Wyn Jones, described Madoc as "a committed friend of Wales".

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How splendid to be remembered for something so serious and something so funny”

End Quote Wyn Calvin Entertainer

"Whenever I met him, he was always extremely enthusiastic about Wales' potential as a nation," he said.

Elaine Morgan, who wrote the screenplay for The Life and Times of David Lloyd George, paid tribute to him as "immensely versatile" with "a wonderful voice".

"When he found out there was going to be a series about David Lloyd-George he was hell-bent on getting the part," said Ms Morgan.

"He was successful, of course, and did a great job of it.

"He was just so professional. I think other people liked acting with him because he never tried to shine at the expense of those around him."

"He was always bemused at being remembered for the "don't tell him, Pike" scene from Dad's Army.

"He used to say there were hundreds of episodes of Dad's Army and he couldn't work out why people focused on that one."

Start Quote

Other people liked acting with him because he never tried to shine at the expense of those around him”

End Quote Elaine Morgan Screenwriter

Marilyn LeConte, who also worked with Madoc on The Life and Times of David Lloyd George, said he was "a fine actor, and a true gentleman".

"Although he will be probably be remembered for playing roles that required a certain gravitas, he was also happy to laugh at himself, was great fun to work with and popular with other actors," said Ms LeConte, who is senior lecturer in acting at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama.

'Fine voice'

Entertainer Wyn Calvin said he was a friend of Madoc's for 50 years.

"He was a great conversationalist and was an extremely knowledgeable man. He was well-read and spoke a number of languages fluently," he added.

"He had a fine voice which was splendidly representative of the Welsh tone.

"The two things people will remember him for will be playing Lloyd-George and 'Don't tell him, Pike' from Dad's Army.

"How splendid to be remembered for something so serious and something so funny."

Madoc studied Languages at the Universities of Wales and Vienna, initially working as an interpreter.

He acted in the West End and with the Royal Shakespeare Company, his notable stage roles including Iago in Othello, Anthony in Anthony & Cleopatra and First Voice in Dylan Thomas' Under Milk Wood.

He appeared in films such as The Spy Who Came In From The Cold, The Quiller Memorandum and Operation Daybreak.

Madoc received an honorary doctorate from the University of Glamorgan, and was a fellow of the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama.

Here are a selection of your tributes and memories of Philip Madoc.

The nation loses a great actor, i have lost a great friend and mentor. I was lucky enough to have worked with Philip in his last acting job. It was a privilege.

David Bickerstaff, London

Fantastic actor. Beautiful voice. A real heavyweight that has worked - and succeeded in - just about every kind of roll imaginable. He'll be missed.

James Graham, Llangollen

A superb actor in whatever format he chose to work in. As regards his comedy acting, his role in Dad's army as the German commander was faultless, we will all remember the famous "none of your soggy" chips line and Pike being on the list.

Jenny Gomm, High Wycombe

Philip Madoc was an actor who could play it straight very well and also not afraid of comedy roles. My fondest memory of Philip Madoc was when he played the German submarine commander in Dad's Army. The slip by Arthur Lowe (Capt. Mainwaring) on Pikes name always made me laugh out loud. It was a comedy classic.

Mike Watkins, Tamworth, Staffs

What a great hole his passing will leave. I have spent many hours listening to him and will miss the adventures he created in my mind.

Graham Robertson, London

He had an absolutely immortal role in one of the funniest Dads Army episodes ever, as the captured U-boat captain. He appeared though in many other series, often as the slippery, slightly dodgy character, which he did so well. I have recognised his face so many times in different programmes that I have on DVD. Sad to see him go. It will make me treasure these episodes even more.

Mark, Madrid, Spain

Sad to see the passing of a great Welsh Actor! He first made a deep impression on me as the fearsome Huron chief Magua in the BBC series 'The Last of the Mohicans' and he always had a powerful presence and a wonderful deep mellifluous voice that was his trademark. But my fondest memory is his delicious cameo as the German Submarine Captain being minded by the Home Guard in Dad's Army, his supercilious baiting of Capt Mainwaring and fluent German - he had lived in Germany. His evident relish in that role was what lifted it into comedy greatness!

Caroline Davies, Welshpool, Powys Wales

When the war is over we will deal with all of you. What's your name boy. Don't tell him Pike. What better way to remember a great actor. From menace to mirth.

Mike Cooper, Barnsley England

Philip Madoc was, without doubt, my favourite German U-Boat Captain! He was a member of the important group of British character actors that has enriched my life over the years. He will be sadly missed.

John, Nottingham

Philip Madoc took over from Richard Burton as greatest living Welshman in 1984. Who will fill the void now?

Matthew Harris, Launceston

Very sad news. I only met Philip a couple of times but he was a delight to work with. Very warm and approachable. Chatting in Welsh with the 'voice of Wales' was an honour and a joy.

James Tomlinson, Bradford on Avon

That is really sad, never met Mr.Madoc but I've always loved his work, especially in Gerry Anderson's UFO. He will be sadly missed...

Mark Farrell, Bishops Waltham

No mention so far of his radio work as Brother Cadfael, the perfect actor for the role. His Welsh lilt fitting Cadfaels background, and feelings perfectly.

Stephen Harris, Sittingbourne

As a fan of vintage television from the 60s and 70s , sad to hear of his passing. He had some memorable roles in programmes like 'The Avengers' and 'Doctor Who' and many others. At least we have DVDs to remember his great acting ability.

Anthony Garraway, Sunderland

For a short time in the mid 60s Philip Madoc taught English at Hatfield School, College Lane, Hatfield. One of a series of wonderful actors and dramatists who taught us for a year at a time. I had the honour to attend Philip Madoc's class - and his voice has stayed with me ever since - its ring, subtlety of modulation, gentle power. I will miss him as an actor - though his voice will stay with me always. Thank you Philip

Tim Myers, Zurich

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