Colditz actor Edward Hardwicke dies aged 78

image captionEdward Hardwicke started his acting career aged 10

British actor Edward Hardwicke, known for playing a character based on real-life war hero Pat Reid in the BBC 1970s drama Colditz, has died aged 78.

The star also played Dr Watson in Granada TV's adaptation of Sherlock Holmes, opposite Jeremy Brett.

Hardwicke, whose film credits included Love Actually and Elizabeth, began his career aged 10, appearing in the 1943 movie A Guy Named Joe.

Other TV credits included Holocaust and My Old Man.

Born in London, Hardwicke, the son of actors Sir Cedric Hardwicke and Helena Pickard, served in the RAF and trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.

Replacing David Burke, Hardwicke appeared as Watson in 11 hour-long episodes of The Return of Sherlock Holmes from 1986-88, as well as the later series from 1991.

He also played the role in the West End show, The Secret of Sherlock Holmes in 1989.

The Day of the Jackal (1973), The Black Windmill (1974); Richard Loncraine's 1995 version of Richard III and Shadowlands (1993) were among his other film appearances.

In 2005, Hardwicke acted in Roman Polanski's Oliver Twist.

His final TV role was in the series Shameless.