British actor Peter Vaughan, best known for roles in Game of Thrones and Porridge, has died at the age of 93.
He played Maester Aemon in the HBO series and Grouty in the TV sitcom.
His many other roles included parts in TV shows Citizen Smith, Chancer and Our Friends in the North.
His agent Sally Long-Innes said: “This is to confirm that very sadly Peter Vaughan passed away at approximately 10.30 this morning. He died peacefully with his family around him.”
Vaughan began acting in the 1950s and became a recognisable face by playing numerous mainly supporting roles on stage, television and film.
His best known parts included:
- The menacing villain Harry Grout in Porridge, which remained his most famous part, despite the fact he only appeared in a handful of episodes
- The strict father of Robert Lindsay’s girlfriend in the first two series of another 1970s comedy, Citizen Smith
- Town patriarch Tom Hedden in Straw Dogs, the controversial film made by Sam Peckinpah, whom Vaughan described as “one of the best directors ever”
- Felix, the dementia-suffering father of Christopher Eccleston’s character in landmark TV drama Our Friends in the North, which earned him a Bafta nomination
- The ageing butler William Stevens, the father of Anthony Hopkins’s character in Merchant Ivory’s film The Remains of the Day
- The elderly, blind Maester Aemon of the Night’s Watch in HBO’s epic fantasy Game of Thrones
Vaughan described himself as a character actor, saying he did not have the looks to play romantic leads.
“If you’re a character actor, you don’t need to wait for the next leading role,” he once said. “But if you are a leading man you have to wait for the next part. Sometimes that means long periods without work.”
He was never out of work for long, but Vaughan was not overly fond of only being recognised for Porridge.
“It bores me rigid,” he once said. “I only did about four episodes in the film but never has a role been written that has had more impact.”
However Game of Thrones brought him a new level of fame with a younger audience, and he remained in the show for five years.