Friday, January 17, 2014

Godspeed Roger Lloyd-Pack

Roger Lloyd-Pack, known for his roles in such shows as Only Fools and Horses and The Vicar of Dibley, died on 15 January 2014 from pancreatic cancer.

Roger Lloyd-Pack was born in Islington, London on 9 February 1944. His father was actor Charles Lloyd Pack, who appeared in several Hammer films (Dracula and Quatermass 2 among them) and TV shows from The Avengers to Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased). He attended a preparatory school called St. David's and then Bedales School in Hampshire. It was while he was at Bedales that he became interested in acting. He trained in acting at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA).

He made his television debut in 1965 in a bit part in The Avengers episode "The Town of No Return". In the Sixties he also appeared on the television programmes Virgin of the Secret Service, Crime Buster, and Roads to Freedom.. He made his film debut in an uncredited bit part in Secret Ceremony (1968). In the Sixties he also appeared in the films The Magus (1968), Hamlet (1969), The Go-Between (1970), and Figures in a Landscape (1970).

In the Seventies Roger Lloyd-Pack was a regular on the television shows Spyder's Web and Life of Shakespeare. He guest starred on such shows as Jason King, Special Branch, The Protectors, Crown Court, Dixon of Dock Green, and The Professionals. He appeared in such as films Fiddler on the Roof (1971), Fright (1971). The Man Who Couldn't Get Enough (1974), Meetings with Remarkable Men (1979), Cuba (1979), and Bloody Kids (1979).

It was in the Eighties that he was cast in the role of  Trigger on the long running show Only Fools and Horses. He played the role until its final series in 2003, appearing in nearly every episode.  He was a also regular on the TV shows Miracles Take Longer, Moving, and Byker Grove. He guest starred on such shows as Private Schulz, I Thought You'd Gone, Summer Season, Inspector Morse, Ten Great Writers of the Modern World, and Mr. Bean. He appeared in the films as Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984), The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover (1989), Meat (1990), and The Misadventures of Mr. Wilt (1990).

In the Nineties he was a regular on the shows The Vicar of Dibley, The Gravy Train Goes East and Health and Efficiency He appeared in television adaptations of The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling and Oliver Twist. He guest starred on such shows as Zorro, The Chief, Boon, and Lovejoy. He appeared in the films American Friends (1991), The Object of Beauty (1991), The Trial (1993), Princess Caraboo (1994), Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles (1994), The Young Poisoner's Handbook (1995), Van Gogh's Ear (1997), and Preaching to the Perverted (1997).

In the Naughts Mr. Lloyd-Pack was the star of The Old Guys and had a recurring role on The Bill. He guest starred on the shows Murder Rooms: Mysteries of the Real Sherlock Holmes, Born and Bred, Where the Heart Is, Doc Martin, Agatha Christie's Poirot, Doctor Who, The Catherine Tate Show, and Survivors. He appeared in such films as Vanity Fair (2004), Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005), The Living and the Dead (2006), The Good Men of Leicester (2010), and Made in Dagenham (2010).

In the Teens he had a recurring role on the TV show The Borgias. He guest starred on the TV shows Hustle and Inspector George Gently. He appeared in the films Rough & Ready I (2011), Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011), In Love with Alma Cogan (2011), and 47 Orchard Street (2012). He appeared as farmer Owen Newitt of The Vicar of Dibley one last time for Comic Relief last year.

Roger Lloyd-Pack was a remarkable actor. While he was quite good in dramas, I think it can safely be said that he had a special gift when it came to comedy. Both his timing and his delivery were impeccable. What is more, he did not simply play one type of character when it came to comedy. The three characters for which he is best known are very different from each other. Tom on The Old Guys was a relic of the Sixties who couldn't accept he had grown old. Owen Newitt on The Vicar of Dibley was a coarse, dirty, and at times barbaric farmer (it would be hard seeing Tom gassing badgers--Owen brags about it). Trigger on Only Fools and Horses was a dim witted road sweeper who was generally considered the village idiot. Mr Lloyd-Pack was great in all three roles, each of which was very different from the other.

Of course, he was also a great dramatic actor. He did impressive turns in guest appearances on such shows as Poirot, Inspector Morse, and Doctor Who (where he played the villain in the two part episode "Rise of the Cybermen"/"The Age of Steel"). He was also a veteran of the stage, who appeared in productions of Shakespeare plays among other things. Mr. Lloyd-Pack was an incredible actor. While he may be best known as Trigger, he played so many other  memorable characters over the  years and played all of them well.


Raquel Stecher said...

I adored him in The Vicar of Dibley and was so sad to hear about his passing.

Great work on your obituary Terry!

Terence Towles Canote said...

Thanks, Quelle! He was a wonderful actor.