Roger Hammond - Character Actor Dec 8, 2012 22:10:04 GMT 1
Post by Laurence on Dec 8, 2012 22:10:04 GMT 1
Picture Source Aveleyman.com
Born 21 March 1936 Roger Hammond was a British character actor who appeared on TV and films in a career that began with a 1964 role in the TV series The Villains and ended with a 2010 part in the film The King's Speech.
Hammond's father was a chartered accountant and managing director of a cotton mill. He attended Stockport Grammar School for two years followed by Bryanston School in Dorset. He then went up to Emmanuel College, Cambridge where he initially read English, then switched to archeology and anthropology and he appeared extensively in their drama programme, alongside actors such as Ian McKellen, Derek Jacobi, and John Wood. Following that, he attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. In 1963, he joined the Arts Theatre Company, and appeared in a number of productions there.
He subsequently acted on the BBC radio Children's Hour and at the Library Theatre in Manchester. On stage in classical drama at the Marlowe Society, afterwards completing his training at RADA and making his theatrical debut in London in 1963. In 1964, Hammond made his first television appearance, as Tidiman in an episode of The Villains, and his first film appearance the next year. Although he worked primarily as a television actor in his early years, since the 1990s his career had been more focused on film, and his credits boast an impressive 125 credits in a variety of roles, ranging from all sorts of genres, although mostly in costume dramas and period pieces.
His TV appearances included No Hiding Place, The Corridor People, Mr. Rose, The First Churchills, Catweazle, Jennie: Lady Randolph Churchill, The Duchess of Duke Street, Minder and Lovejoy. He appeared in 4 episodes of Emmerdale in 1980 as Harold Eckersley and also appeared in the Doctor Who story Mawdryn Undead in 1983 as Dr. Runciman - it was his second role in the series, the first coming much earlier (in 1965) in The Executioners, an episode of an epic Dalek story that saw The Doctor and his companions being pursued through time and space.
Writing in The Guardian, his friend and fellow actor Sir Ian McKellen paid tribute to him: Roger Hammond's special achievement as an actor was to spread great good humour and jollity among his colleagues, always optimistic and fun. He invariably became the comforting centre of a company's off-stage life. In a Who's Who of Theatre, his name might not be prominent, but among his myriad colleagues and friends he was an ever-twinkling star.
He was in demand as figures of authority, to which he contributed avoirdupois and a wry gravitas. It amused him and his friends that directors cast him as clergymen, doctors and royalty, so at odds with his trademark light-heartedness off stage and set.
In 1963-64 I shared his flat in Chelsea, home to other tyro actors and haven to many a wanderer. We met first at Cambridge, bonding over our shared regard for Ivor Novello, a hero of our youth. His last outing was to the Novello concert at the 2012 Proms, the day after he had been released from hospital. Rog was the ideal partner for a night out, or a weekend away, ready to enjoy himself and the companionship of old and new friends.
As the cancer overtook him, he still relished company. Seventeen friends had visited him the day before I said goodbye at his hospice bed in Ealing. He asked me to hold his hand and said: "I think I'm going to have to go away." I asked if he felt all right about that. He whispered "yes," and then, regretfully, "but I don't want to miss anything".
John Roger Hammond, actor, born 21 March 1936; died 8 November 2012