VETERAN British actor Peter Vaughan has died at the age of 93. In a statement, his agent Sally Long-Innes confirmed that Vaughan had passed away peacefully at 10.30am on Tuesday December 6 surrounded by his family.
Boasting a varied career which spanned more than seven decades, Vaughan probably remains best-known for his portrayal for the villainous Harry Grout in Porridge. The fact that he has lingered in the collective consciousness of viewers for so many years despite only appearing in four episodes is a testament to Vaughan’s arresting and unique presence as an actor.
Vaughan first began acting in the 1950s. He classified himself as a character actor, claiming that he never possessed the dashing good looks needed to catapult him to the outer stratosphere of fame. Regardless, his looks served him well enough as he delighted audiences with his nuanced and commanding performances in various mediums, including the stage, television, radio and film. Some of his most memorable roles included a stern patriarch in San Peckinpah’s gritty 70s thriller Straw Dogs, a man suffering from dementia in the TV drama Our Friends in the North, and the butler-father of Anthony Hopkins in the Oscar-nominated period piece The Remains of the Day.
Vaughan is also recognisable to younger audiences thanks to his five year stint on the hugely popular fantasy serial Game of Thrones, where he played Maester Aemon Targaryen, the blind great-uncle of plucky heroine Daenerys.