Vale: Ian Carmichael

Veteran British actor Ian Carmichael, who starred as Bertie Wooster in the BBC's World of Wooster, has died aged 89.

Veteran British actor Ian Carmichael, who starred as Bertie Wooster in the BBC’s World of Wooster, has died at the age of 89.

He died peacefully on Friday at his home after falling ill over Christmas.

During the 1960s and 1970s, he was a successful television actor, particularly as the PG Wodehouse character Bertie Wooster in The World of Wooster and Lord Peter Wimsey in several drama series based on the mystery novels by Dorothy L Sayers. He appeared in the BBC serial Wives and Daughters in 1999 and his most recent roles were the in the ITV drama series Heartbeat and The Royal as recently as last year.

His film work included Private’s Progress (1956) and I’m All Right Jack (1959) alongside Peter Sellers.

Keith Richardson, executive producer of The Royal, said Carmichael had filmed a couple of episodes last year which will be seen when the programme returns to the screen, possibly in the spring.

“He was a terrific professional to work with, always there first thing in the morning,” he said. “I did a TV film with him 23 years ago called A Day In Summer, and I remember thinking ‘will this be Ian Carmichael’s last film’?

“It says something about him that he went on for another 23 years.”

Source: Telegraph, BBC

4 Responses

  1. I loved the Lord Peter Wimsey series that was shown on the ABC back in the ’70’s. I was only a kid when I watched them, but I can still remember Ian Carmichael very well from them. He was fantastic in the role.

  2. At the age of 8 or 9, “The World of Wooster” was my introduction to the works of PG Wodehouse. To me, Ian Carmichael _was_ Bertie Wooster; to this day, when ever I read any of the stories it’s Carmichael in the role in my mind’s eye. What a pity that apparently only a couple of episodes of “World of Wooster” still exist.

    Coincidentally, the ABC is screening the Hugh Laurie & Stephen Fry versions of the Wooster stories from a few years back, starting (I think) this week on Thurday at 12.30PM. Worth a look, but it’s just not the same without Carmichael.

  3. He certainly was a great actor–it was said that nobody could play an upper class twit better than Ian Carmichael.

    He’ll always be remembered for the Boulting Brothers’ movies, especially “I’m All Right Jack” — and like that producer, I thought when he came out with his autobiography in the early 80s, that this was his grand farewell and would go into retirement – who knew 30 years later he’d be still working?

    Just shows there will always be a need for great character actors.

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