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Simon MacCorkindale

Beaks here...

Renowned film and television actor Simon MacCorkindale has passed away at the age of fifty-eight after a lengthy battle with cancer. Though best known recently - to British audiences, at least - for his work on the BBC mainstay CASUALTY, MacCorkindale occupies a special place in the heart of genre fans for his performance as the shapeshifting crime fighter Professor Jonathan Chase aka MANIMAL. He also played Mikah in Albert Pyun's '80s cult classic THE SWORD AND THE SORCERER, Lucius in the amazing I, CLAUDIUS, the dashing Greg Reardon on FALCON CREST, and improbably assisted in the detonation of a Great White Shark as Philip FitzRoyce in JAWS 3-D. A reader writing under the nom de plume Eskine Childers sent along a heartfelt tribute to MacCorkindale - who, according to The Telegraph's obituary, died in the arms of his wife, Susan George.
I've never sent in a contribution before, but feel that this time I have to. One of my favourite British actors, Simon MacCorkindale, has today very sadly died of cancer aged only 58. He went public last year with his illness, and although it's not a shock, it's still incredibly sad. MacCorkindale was in a slew of great geek roles, probably most famously as Manimal in the bizarre tv show of the early 80's, but he was also in the Sword and the Sorceror, Jaws 3D, Death on the Nile, and his break (and award-winning) role in 1978's Riddle of the Sands. I had the great privilege of meeting him two years ago after a theatre performance of Sleuth - in which he played the role originally made famous by Lawrence Olivier. To my great delight he signed my copy of The Sword and the Sorcerer. MacCorkindale had a unique acting style that I often liken as a precursor of James Purefoy: a mix between British theatricality and a more US approach. That's a poor description, but it was always worth watching. He is survived by his family, including his wife, the wonderful Susan George, who readers of this site will know all too well. That's British acting royalty for you right there. He will be very sadly missed, and I hope talkbackers respect his memory and his family. Simon MacCorkindale - thank you and rest in peace.
Thanks for the remembrance, sir. Our condolences to Mr. MacCorkindale's loved ones.

Readers Talkback
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  • Oct. 15, 2010, 2:31 p.m. CST

    first RIP

    by disfigurehead

  • Oct. 15, 2010, 2:32 p.m. CST

    RIP, Simon

    by Desk

    A childhood hero as Manimal

  • Oct. 15, 2010, 2:32 p.m. CST

    He was great in SoTS.

    by Stalkeye

    Rest in Peace, Simon.

  • Oct. 15, 2010, 2:33 p.m. CST

    Sad, I liked him in Jaws

    by John_McClanes_Vest

  • Oct. 15, 2010, 2:35 p.m. CST

    RIP sir.

    by LordPorkington

    You will always be remembered as Manimal. I must seek out some episodes to pay my respects.

  • Oct. 15, 2010, 2:40 p.m. CST

    Sad, Manimal was a pretty terrible show...

    by HarryKnowlesNonExistentInceptionReview

    ...but he was actually good in it, gave all the silliness and bad, 80's, mega-low production values some weight.

  • Oct. 15, 2010, 2:42 p.m. CST

    I, Claudius is still a regular watch for me.

    by HoboCode

  • Oct. 15, 2010, 2:43 p.m. CST

    I'm watching the "Quatermass" miniseries tonight.

    by The Reluctant Austinite

    I've had the "Quatermass" DVD boxed set on my shelf for years, but I've never gotten around to watching it. I've only seen the condensed movie version known as "The Quatermass Conclusion", but tonight I'm going to watch it all as a tribute to the great Simon MacCorkindale. I'll always rememeber him as King Micah in "The Sword and the Sorcerer," but his face and image seem like a part of my lifelong film fan experience. Rest in peace, Simon.

  • Oct. 15, 2010, 2:44 p.m. CST

    by djtelesca

    I always thought he'd have been a good Bond, back in the day.

  • Oct. 15, 2010, 2:45 p.m. CST

    Death scene in Jaws 3....

    by darthderp

    The shark crunching, Fitz-Royce's underwater screaming...that's a movie death that I still find unsettling the more I think about it, and that's in a PG movie no less. RIP

  • Oct. 15, 2010, 2:50 p.m. CST



    Will be much missed. Was married to Fiona Fullerton before Ms Goerge. Lucky lad. RIP.

  • Oct. 15, 2010, 2:52 p.m. CST

    Agreed Hobocode

    by Mr Soze

    I, Claudius is genus as a mini series and even a better read, Robert Graves masterpiece.

  • Oct. 15, 2010, 2:52 p.m. CST

    Good-bye Manimal

    by Angry Bald Guy

    Even though I really only saw one episode.

  • Oct. 15, 2010, 2:54 p.m. CST


    by Darth Busey

  • Oct. 15, 2010, 2:55 p.m. CST


    by Darth Busey

  • Oct. 15, 2010, 2:56 p.m. CST


    by Darth Busey

  • Oct. 15, 2010, 2:56 p.m. CST


    by Darth Busey

  • Oct. 15, 2010, 2:56 p.m. CST


    by Darth Busey

  • Oct. 15, 2010, 2:57 p.m. CST


    by Darth Busey

  • Oct. 15, 2010, 3 p.m. CST


    by sonofbronson

    as a Canadian I will always remember his work with Christopher Plummer on the tv series Counterstrike.

  • Oct. 15, 2010, 3:02 p.m. CST

    RIP Simon McCorkindale

    by pilgrim64

    He made Manimal watchable

  • Oct. 15, 2010, 3:03 p.m. CST


    by Eddie_Dane

    I was just thinking about that scene in Jaws 3d a couple of days ago. You are right, Movienut401, it is disturbing.

  • Oct. 15, 2010, 3:03 p.m. CST

    RIP Simon McCorkindale


  • Oct. 15, 2010, 3:11 p.m. CST

    Ahh, the '80's: When light-hearted SF shows were accepted

    by ShiftyEyedDog2

    in present day, snobby fickle fanboys would tear shows like this and AUTOMAN apart. But back then, they made light, fun sci-fi fare and people just accepted it.

  • Oct. 15, 2010, 3:12 p.m. CST

    Simon McWhokenfuck?

    by RETURN_of_FETT

    Oh...he was in Jaws 3. Yes, let the candlelight vigil proceed.

  • Oct. 15, 2010, 3:13 p.m. CST


    by radio1_mike

    Wacky role in Manimal but cool nonetheless. And still yet, Carrot Top lives... Sad day indeed.

  • Oct. 15, 2010, 3:18 p.m. CST

    We actually had mutual friends

    by dukeroberts

    I'm sure they will miss him dearly. Rest in peace, Sir Manimal. You provided great childhood memories.

  • Oct. 15, 2010, 3:24 p.m. CST


    by slappy magoo

    You're right. Chuck is really dark and moody.

  • Oct. 15, 2010, 3:26 p.m. CST

    Some I, CLAUDIUS fan I am...

    by Grandpa Bunche

    I've watched I, CLAUDIUS several times since first seeing it on PBS in 1979, and I never realized he was in it.

  • Oct. 15, 2010, 3:41 p.m. CST

    Excellent actor. I am so sick of cancer claiming people.

    by Mr Nicholas

  • Oct. 15, 2010, 3:42 p.m. CST

    Jedi Bobster

    by Jedibobster

    Many a time in the playground would I screech like a hawk or turn into a panther (Manimal had the power to change into any animal he liked but invariably went for either of these two or a snake didn't he?) I always enjoyed Simon's performances whatevr he was in - and a little sad that he ended up in UK hospera - I felt this guy needed to be re-discovered and embraced by geekdom in something worhty of his quirky manner.

  • Oct. 15, 2010, 3:48 p.m. CST

    Only recently saw him in "Death on the Nile"

    by Drunken Irishman

    He was among some brilliant actors in that film (Maggie Smith, Bette Davis, Peter Ustinov, Angela Lansbury, David Diven, et al) but he still stood out to me as a brilliant actor. He'll be missed. "Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam."

  • Oct. 15, 2010, 3:55 p.m. CST

    RIP, Simon.

    by Hint_of_Smegma

    Normally celebrity deaths don't bother me much, only a few like Roy Scheider, Freddie Mercury or Simon have that effect on me. This was a very classy guy. A great, great actor on stage and television, and he will definitely be missed. Time to break out my Manimal dvd's..... RIP man. Thanks for all the fun, adventure and laughs.

  • Oct. 15, 2010, 4:05 p.m. CST

    Ah, geez...

    by Paul T. Ryan

    Manimal is one my earliest tv memories. And I only saw The Sword and the Sorcerer for the first time a few months back. RIP Simon, thanks for the memories,

  • Oct. 15, 2010, 4:10 p.m. CST


    by Dennis_Moore

  • Oct. 15, 2010, 4:18 p.m. CST

    Never got the hate for Manimal.

    by Dennis_Moore

    It was a cool concept. Just needed a bigger budget, and a Cannell-level writer. MacCorkindale's acting elevated it. And word on the street was he was always very genial toward genre fans, and didn't mind talking about Manimal.

  • Oct. 15, 2010, 4:23 p.m. CST

    Murder on the Nile

    by Bentley_Bear

    Always remember him from that over Manimal

  • Oct. 15, 2010, 4:24 p.m. CST

    RIP but...

    by billyhitchcock1

    ...this guy gets an obit but not norman wisdom? you dumb fucks.

  • Oct. 15, 2010, 4:30 p.m. CST


    by kabong

  • Oct. 15, 2010, 4:31 p.m. CST

    Manimal rocks

    by Kaitain

    There was a great half hour interview with MacCorkindale on BBC Radio 5 (Simon Mayo) a couple of years ago. MacCorkindale was more than happy to talk about Manimal, even though it was a flop, and was clearly happy that there were still people who remembered it with affection. <p> He sounded like a really nice bloke, both in that interview and in general.

  • Oct. 15, 2010, 4:32 p.m. CST

    He was on 'Old tricks' last week...

    by Gabba-UK

    and I mentioned that I thought he'd died recently to my mum. Quick check on tindernet reminded me that he was still alive and working but he had terminal cancer. Sucks that he's gone, such a good actor and from what I've read a throughly decent chap. He'll be missed.

  • Oct. 15, 2010, 4:37 p.m. CST

    58 yrs old

    by nolan bautista

    that's a shame..goodnight Simon

  • Oct. 15, 2010, 4:39 p.m. CST


    by Shoegeezer

    I shall be watching him in his episode of Nigel Kneale's creepy as hell Beasts tonight, then I shall be having nightmares like I do every time I watch that show. RIP Mr. MacCorkindale, you did some fine work.

  • Oct. 15, 2010, 4:48 p.m. CST

    I remember....

    by Carolinamaestro

    He was very seriously considered for the role of James Bond.

  • Oct. 15, 2010, 5 p.m. CST

    Other than "I Claudius"

    by IamZardoz

    I am amazed after looking at all his credits on IMDB I have not seen him in one tv programs or any of the movies he was in over the years. Amazing.

  • Oct. 15, 2010, 5:03 p.m. CST

    Manimal, Jaws 3-D!!!!

    by THX1968

    Geek favorites of mine, always. What a bummer. Godspeed, Simon.

  • Oct. 15, 2010, 5:06 p.m. CST


    by Margot Tenenbaum


  • Oct. 15, 2010, 5:09 p.m. CST

    he spent the last few years..

    by emeraldboy

    in the uk medical drama casualty. very smarmy in it he was.

  • Oct. 15, 2010, 5:32 p.m. CST

    RIP To an actor from a classier generation than ours...

    by spud_mcspud_returns

    Manners, intonation, that perfect RP, Shakespearean acting... Simon belonged to a generation for whom acting wasn't something you did to get rich, it was a CRAFT, an art form, and he elevated it as such. To appear in such fluff as JAWS 3-D, THE SWORD AND THE SORCEROR and MANIMAL, but still be as memorable as he was, was testament to his magnificent talent as an actor. He held up against a terrific Sir John Mills in THE QUATERMASS CONCLUSION. He even brought his own blend of class and talent to CASUALTY. Truly one of a kind, and a man who will always be remembered for his warmth towards his fans, his exceptional screen work, and obviously his devotion to his family.<P> But for me, he will ALWAYS be Manimal. Rest in peace Simon MacCorkindale, and sincerest condolences to your friends and family. You will be greatly missed.

  • Oct. 15, 2010, 5:34 p.m. CST

    Peace to him, and condolences to his family,

    by Dingbatty

    friends, and fans.

  • Oct. 15, 2010, 5:40 p.m. CST

    Manimal was awesome...

    by thecomedian

    It's a shame it only lasted less than half a season. A-Team, Knight Rider and Manimal could have been a Holy Trinity of Friday Night 80's NBC awesomeness. They did bring him back on Nightman too though.

  • Oct. 15, 2010, 5:52 p.m. CST

    Spud - nice eulogy, man. A touch of class yourself there.

    by Hint_of_Smegma

    Nice words. The man was truly from a different school of bahaviour and acting and while he was never as big a name as he deserved, he was truly one of the greats. Can't say that about too many. He'll be missed by a lot of us.

  • Oct. 15, 2010, 6:06 p.m. CST

    A quality guy and a decent actor

    by palimpsest

    QUATERMASS, DEATH ON THE NILE, BEASTS , SWORD AND THE SORCERER and so on. Plus he was married to two of the hottest women on this or any other planet, and yet carried himself off like he was Michael York's younger brother. Well played, sir and bon voyage.

  • Oct. 15, 2010, 6:13 p.m. CST

    RIP...wonderful actor I only recently really noticed..

    by quantize

    after watching Riddle in The Sands and Death On The Nile. Became curious about his familiar face..condolences to his family.

  • Oct. 15, 2010, 6:24 p.m. CST

    I did some work as an extra many years ago

    by jim

    My favourite job was doing a scene at the airport for Counterstrike. Basically just a walk-and-talk between Simon MacCorkindale & Christopher Plummer. It was a real treat for me to see even a standard expository scene with Manimal & Macbeth.

  • Oct. 15, 2010, 6:34 p.m. CST

    That's Tragic

    by cushing1967

    Blimey, that's really saddened me – I think on balance that Simon MacCorkindale was in more terrible things than he was in good things. For every I, Claudius there was a Caboblanco or a Jaws 3-D or a Robbers of the Sacred Mountain or an appearance in Matt Houston and let's be honest Manimal wasn't very good – but he always was.<P>I always think that perhaps he was stymied a little by the fact that Michael York got there first, because everything that I can think of Michael York playing I can imagine MacCorkindale doing it too, with just as much charm and just as much charisma. They did appear together in Riddle of the Sands and Jesus of Nazareth and for me they both represented an era that perhaps cinema wasn't looking for so much at that time. <p>The seventies and the grittier meaner films that the decade brought were not really ever going to fully include MacCorkindale and the British film industry was stuck of a degenerating cycle of beating Hammer and Carry On to death by trying to compete and the occasional flash of genius with films like Villain and Get Carter, and we had actors like Burton and Caine for those. I'd have loved for Simon MacCorkindale to have had a GREAT career because he was an excellent actor but he was born in an era that I think didn't quite know what to do with him and casting directors can be lazy bastards and if they needed gentlemanly charm they had Roger Moore.<P>So, a great actor that was condemned by being a persona out of time – stuck in a lot of poor projects or guesting in Dukes of Hazzard. <p>I will miss Simon MacCorkindale and my thoughts go to his family, especially Susan George his wife of 26 years.

  • Oct. 15, 2010, 6:35 p.m. CST

    Always found his name funny

    by Turingtestee

    Loved Manimal.

  • Oct. 15, 2010, 6:48 p.m. CST

    74 Days

    by Countdown_to_Vader

    RIP, Simon. I loved his work--especially in I, CLAUDIUS.

  • Oct. 15, 2010, 6:50 p.m. CST

    There needs to be an investigation

    by TheFug

    You have to wonder if years and years of turning into a hawk or panther or horse or snake had anything to do with Mr. MacCorkindale getting cancer. I would imagine that doing such things would put a strain upon the body. Before anyone becomes a Manimal, I think there should be an investigation as to whether transforming oneself into a hawk or panther or snake or horse has long-term health hazards. This really is a sad, sad day.

  • Oct. 15, 2010, 6:50 p.m. CST

    Could turning into a hawk give you cancer?

    by TheFug

  • Oct. 15, 2010, 6:50 p.m. CST

    Could turning into a hawk give you cancer?

    by TheFug

  • Oct. 15, 2010, 6:51 p.m. CST

    Could turning into a panther give you cancer?

    by TheFug

  • Oct. 15, 2010, 7:29 p.m. CST

    If you gotta die...

    by eustisclay

    ...there are worse ways than in the arms of Susan George.

  • Oct. 15, 2010, 7:51 p.m. CST


    by frank cotton

  • Oct. 15, 2010, 8:04 p.m. CST


    by Dead_Geek

  • Oct. 15, 2010, 8:09 p.m. CST

    "For god's sake Jackie!"

    by Tacom

    I remember him saying that a lot in DEATH IN THE NILE.

  • Oct. 15, 2010, 8:11 p.m. CST


    by NixEclips

    I just recently used his name in relation to Manimal as a joke title on my review blog. ""

  • Oct. 15, 2010, 8:39 p.m. CST

    Seemed like a decent man.

    by matineer

    Sorry to hear this.

  • Oct. 15, 2010, 8:49 p.m. CST

    Underrated Actor

    by wilbur gray

    When I first read Stephen King's story The Langoliers,I pictured MacCorkindale as the British agent character.Just another reason the TV version was a disappointment.

  • Oct. 15, 2010, 9:09 p.m. CST

    One hell of a great actor and...

    by Flexfill

    always elevated the material. Jaws 3 was a perfect example of one man who made a not so great movie better. He was awesome!!! He will be missed.

  • Oct. 15, 2010, 9:30 p.m. CST


    by Munro Kelly

    He was always a class act. My condolences to his family.

  • Oct. 15, 2010, 10:09 p.m. CST


    by torpedoboy

    He will be missed.

  • Oct. 16, 2010, 12:12 a.m. CST

    Where the fuck did that come from????

    by sam jacksons wig

    Holy shit!!!!!<br><br> Only one further question to ask- was he in Egypt on a nile cruise when it happened?????

  • Oct. 16, 2010, 4:29 a.m. CST

    I LOVED to watch Manimal

    by CrusherBuddyRevell

    That was such a cool show. RIP.

  • Oct. 16, 2010, 6:14 a.m. CST

    RIP this is very sad

    by cool_britannia79

    But how come Roy Ward Baker got no obit? He directed a night to remember, and Quatermass, so he has just as many geek chops as Simon, but you guys didn't even mention him.

  • Oct. 16, 2010, 7:43 a.m. CST


    by mastes360

    Did it realy only last half a series?, its one of my earliest tv memorys and i loved it!.

  • Oct. 16, 2010, 9:02 a.m. CST


    by Darth Busey

  • Oct. 16, 2010, 9:02 a.m. CST


    by Darth Busey

  • Oct. 16, 2010, 10:43 a.m. CST

    I wonder if he died w/ Albert Pyun owing him money

    by Sleazzy


  • Oct. 16, 2010, 10:47 a.m. CST


    by triplesixclickqueer

    Alas,! I never knew the man.

  • Oct. 16, 2010, 11:35 a.m. CST

    Pretty sure that should be ERSKINE Childers...

    by irishraidersfan

    Seeing as he was the one who wrote "Riddle of the Sands". <p> Just sayin'... <p> And RIP Simon, you were a younger Michael Yorke.

  • Oct. 16, 2010, 3:05 p.m. CST


    by reaper28

    Beautifully put, couldn't have said it better myself ... <p>Personally, I thought he was brilliant in Casualty and I sincerely hope that he was proud of his work on it.</p> <p>Judging by other TBers have said about his attitude to fans talking about Manimal, I think he would have ...</p> <p>And for those of you too young to have ever seen Manimal ... let the magic of YouTube be your guide ...</p> <p>PILOT EPISODE</p> <p> < Part 1</p> <p> < Part 2</p> <p> < Part 3</p> <p> < Part 4</p> <p> < Part 5</p> <p> < Part 6</p> <p> < Part 7</p>

  • Oct. 16, 2010, 3:51 p.m. CST

    in Death on the Nile

    by PennyB

    This fellow was so great in that movie that you believed women would kill for him... RIP

  • Oct. 16, 2010, 3:55 p.m. CST

    His wife, Susan George, was blazing hot.

    by thegreatwhatzit

    So sorry about the actor's passing but his wife, a former bombshell, God! she was hotter than a Cajun barbecue.

  • Oct. 16, 2010, 4:30 p.m. CST

    Somebodey please remake the Sword & the Sorcerer!

    by CeejayNightwing

    This time with a budget!

  • Oct. 16, 2010, 4:30 p.m. CST


    by MichelleRodrijizz

  • Oct. 16, 2010, 4:57 p.m. CST

    A very sad loss

    by laguna_loire

    As a regular watcher of Casualty (which is decent British TV - yes, there is some!!) he was utterly superb. I'll always remember him as well in Manimal.

  • Oct. 16, 2010, 5:26 p.m. CST

    Barbara Billingsley is dead

    by WickedJacob

  • Oct. 16, 2010, 6:30 p.m. CST

    Am breaking my boycott of this site...

    by Denty420

    ... to say RIP Simon. A great actor and a credit to our humble islands. He'll be very sadly missed.

  • Oct. 16, 2010, 9:11 p.m. CST

    Simon MacCorkindale

    by TriniMum

    I LOVED Simon MacCorkindale, and could not believe when I read today that he'd died two days ago. I missed the BBC News for the past two days, where I'm sure it would have been mentioned. My sincere condolences to Susan George (whom I also love) and his family. Goodnight, Sweet Prince...

  • Oct. 17, 2010, 4:48 a.m. CST


    by Theycallmewonka

    Only just found out Norman Wisdom had died as well, did AICN report that ..sad stuff. Never watched Casualty much but i remember him from that.

  • Oct. 17, 2010, 9:26 p.m. CST

    PennyB...well said.

    by Bob Cryptonight

    He really sold that premise in DEATH ON THE NILE.

  • Oct. 18, 2010, 8:35 a.m. CST

    In a Dukes of Hazard episode he almost

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

    breached the Daisy Dukes.

  • Oct. 18, 2010, 8:40 a.m. CST

    In a Dukes of Hazard episode he almost

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

    breached the Daisy Dukes.