Peter Vaughn, a thespian in the real sense of the word, world famous for his roles as Maester Aemon in ‘‘Game of Thrones’ and the amiable Harry “Grouty” Grout in BBC’s sitcom Porridge, peacefully passed away Tuesday morning with his family around him in his final moments.
“This is to confirm that very sadly Peter Vaughan passed away at approximately 10:30 this morning,” the actor’s long-time agent, Sally Long-Innes, told the BBC. “He died peacefully with his family around him.”
He was not always Peter Vaughan though; His given name was Peter Ewert Ohm, born on April 4, 1923, in Wem, Shropshire, England, the son of Max Ohm, a bank clerk, and an Austrian immigrant; his mother Eva Wright was a nurse by profession.
Here’s a brief profile of Peter Vaughn’s personal and professional life in the best possible attempt to maintain chronological order:
Born – April 4, 1923, in Wem, Shropshire, England
Died – December 6, 2016, at age 93
Real Name – Peter Ewert Ohm
Father – Max Ohm, bank clerk who was an immigrant from Austria
Mother – Eva Wright, a nurse by profession
Schooling – Uttoxeter Grammar School, Staffordshire
Army Service in World War II – Joined the Royal Corps of Signals on June 9, 1943 – served in Normandy, Belgium, and the Far East – he was stationed in Singapore when the war ended and was witness to the liberation of Changi Prison
Marriage – Married to the late actress Billie Whitelaw in 1952 and divorced in
1956 – later married actress Lillias Walker who survives him
Film Career –
* Debuted in 1959 in the film The 39 Steps as a police officer
* Got his first starring breakthrough in 1964 in the film Smokescreen as an insurance investigator
* Starred alongside Frank Sinatra in the 1967 film The Naked Runner playing the role of a British agent which did not go down well with critics, accusing him of overacting his part.
* In 1980 he got the role of Mr. Freeman in the movie The French Lieutenant’s Woman. The movie got the first-star billing for Meryl Streep and Jeremy Irons.
* Played the role of Anthony Hopkin’s father in the 1993 film The Remains of the Day.
* Got the part of a menacing character in Straw Dogs, in 1971.
* Appeared in the 1984 film The Razor’s Edge – the film, based on W. Somerset Maugham’s novel, also starred Bill Murray.
* Played the role of Giles Corey In the 1996 film, The Crucible.
* Acted in the 1997 film Face which also starred Robert Carlyle and Ray Winstone.
* 1998 saw him in the role of Bishop Myriel in Les Misérables alongside Hugh Jackman.
* His most out of the ordinary role is considered to be that of SS Obergruppenführer Arthur Nebe in the 1994 film Fatherland.
* Peter Vaughan also played the character ‘Uncle Alfie’ in the 2011 film Death at a Funeral
Television Career –
* In 1969 he appeared in the Randall and Hopkirk episode “Never Trust a Ghost”.
* The same year he acted in the 13-part TV series The Gold Robbers Vaughan played the role of Mr. Paxton in the BBC TV adaptation of the M.R. James ghost story A Warning to the Curious, televised as part of BBC Television’s annual series A Ghost Story for Christmas (December 1972).
* Lovable performance in the British sitcom Porridge – his role was 3 episodes brief but left a distinctive mark in the memories of those who were fortunate enough to see him in the program.
* Starred as Billy Fox in the Thames Television series Fox in 1980.
* Vaughan is also known to have played historical roles which include the role of Russian ambassador Alexander Izvolsky in the serial Fall of Eagles (1974), British politician Thomas Inskip in the mini-series Winston Churchill: The Wilderness Years (1981), the title role in A Last Visitor for Mr. Hugh Peter (1981), and German Nazi figures Kurt Zeitzler in the miniseries War and Remembrance (1988) and Hermann Göring in the docu-drama Countdown to War (1989).
* He is also known to have appeared in many literary adaptations, like Bleak House (BBC, 1985), in which he played the sinister lawyer, Mr. Tulkinghorn and Our Mutual Friend (BBC Two, 1998).
* He played the lead role of the KGB head in the spy thriller Codename: Kyril in 1988
* 1986 witnessed his appearance in the promotional video of Kate Bush’s “Experiment IV” single.
* In 1991 Vaughan played John Turner in one episode of the Granada Television’s The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes titled ‘The Boscombe Valley Mystery’ – his Australian accent in the episode was near-perfect.
* He achieved much appreciation and acclaim , AND the Best Actor nomination at the 1997 British Academy Television Awards for his role as Felix Hutchinson, an Alzheimer disease sufferer in Our Friends in the North (BBC Two, 1996).
* In 2007, he starred in the television serial Mobile.
* Vaughan starred as Michael Dodd in the BBC courtroom drama Silk, a British television drama series produced by the BBC between February 22, 2011, and March 31, 2014, and broadcast over three series on BBC One.
* The late Peter Vaughan is best known, and earned a huge fan following for his role as Master Aemon in the Game of Thrones, an old blind man providing guidance to the men on the Watch – The character of Master Aemon dies on the voyage between Braavos and Oldtown in the story ‘A Feast for Crows,’ when he is sent by John Snow to the Citadel by sea.
This is a tribute to you, Peter Vaughn. May your soul Rest in Peace.
And yes, you will be remembered and missed for a long, long time to come.