Simon MacCorkindale

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Plays Harry Harper

FULL NAME : Simon Charles Pendered MacCorkindale

HEIGHT : 6ft

DATE OF BIRTH : 12th February 1952

DATE OF DEATH : 14th October 2010

Simon sadly lost a four year battle with cancer.

His wife, Susan reported ‘No-one could have fought this disease any harder than he did since being diagnosed four years ago. He fought it with such strength, courage and belief. Last night, he lost this battle, and he died peacefully in my arms. To me, he was simply the best of everything, and I loved him with all my heart. He will live on in me forever.’

BBC Controller John Yorke also gave tribute, ‘Not only was he a fabulously iconic consultant, he was also an inspirational team leader. One of the reasons so many people have loved working with him on Casualty is because of the tone he established on the shop floor – always welcoming, always disciplined, always quietly the leader. Simon had an extraordinary career encompassing – amongst many other things – matinee idol, Hollywood lead, film and theatre director, film producer and horse breeder. That amazing energy and appetite for life remained with him to the end.’

‘It is a massive tribute to Simon that he bore his illness so stoically – never asking for sympathy or attention, and continuing to work for as long as he was able. He will be missed massively by his many fans, and by everyone who worked with him.’

BORN : Cambridgeshire

WIFE : Susan George, married in 1984.

PREVIOUS RELATIONSHIPS : Simon was previously married to actress Fiona Fullerton from 1976-81.

PARENTS : Peter and Gill. His father was a pilot. Younger brother, Duncan.

STUDIED : Theatre of Arts in London

LIVES : A stud farm, near Exmoor

ON PLAYING HARRY : ‘Harry is a mix of new man and old school. He’s very switched on and bright and values discipline, rank and status which is why he likes to wear his uniform, a suit, at work. It tells people that if you’ve got a problem then this id the guy in charge. Also, because he’s a father of a large family (the youngest is nine months, the eldest is 16) and his wife works in her own profession then he has a real understanding with new man and the way a household has to run. Harry brings his world to work, his family is very much part of him and his day. He believes he has a very strong and ordered sense of priorities. His family is always in the top five of the most important things but number one might be a patient on a given day. He cannot genuinely say that his family always come first and he has to juggle, which is sometimes to the detriment of the relationship with his children.’

SIMILARITIES WITH HARRY : ‘If you’re playing a leading man, which is what this is, then there are lots of parallels you can draw on. Like Harry, I’m a total one hundred percenter and take on too much work. But it is something I thrive on.’

ON HARRY’S TEMPERAMENT : ‘He’s a reasonable and fair man but doesn’t suffer fools gladly and though he’s got a quick fuse he will give people a chance. After a day working with Harry you should know exactly how he ticks and realise he doesn’t harbour grudges. During a shift for instance, Harry can have words with someone but still have a drink with them afterwards.’

ON JOINING CASUALTY : ‘I’ve always been a fan of CASUALTY and it’s great to be joining such an established show with a great bunch of people. Having spent so much of the last 15 years working abroad, I’m really pleased to be back filming on home turf, particularly since we’ve just moved to the South West and Casualty is Bristol-based.’

ON WORKING WITH THE CAST : ‘It is a very happy company and everyone really does get on very well. I suppose I’m closest to Christine and Christopher because we work together the most. But I also have a lovely relationship with Loo, Kelly and Kwame – but it’s hard to ignore any of the team and that includes the vast crew who are all great to work with.’

ON CASUALTY’S SUCCESS : ‘I was away in America through the show’s most formative years. However, I do believe that at all times the show has battled to find a central core of truth amid the demands of fiction. Largely it succeeds and I believe audiences respond to the truth.

IF HE COULD PLAY ANY CHARACTER BESIDES HARRY : ‘I would certainly enjoy playing Jim or even bad guy Simon. Bex would be fun too – but I don’t have the legs! However, I was offered Harry and really liked him.’

ON ‘SWITCHING OFF’ AFTER FILMING : ‘I try to stay in the moment throughout the making of a sequence, but like to throw it off as quickly as possible afterwards. Sometimes it’s harder than others but generally, I try to make a joke and move on. It is, after all, acting.’

ON BEING SQUEAMISH : ‘I’ve never been squeamish. I now have a horse farm so see lots of “nature”. Anyway, as well as the make-up department do, it is all – make-up.’

ON FAME : ‘Having hit the public eye at 25, I have been spotted around the world for over 25 years. It is rarely a problem as everyone is very gracious and friendly. Most often, because I have a “body” of work most people know me as Simon but the younger ones might only know Harry or indeed another character. It doesn’t bother me a jot which it is. I am only pleased to have given pleasure and happy to give autographs or spend a few moments. I’ve even been “spotted” by the odd person who wasn’t such a fan and, actually, that doesn’t bother me either. Everyone’s entitled to their opinion and in some cases they’ve been absolutely right!!’

REAL LIFE CASUALTY : While filming in France, Simon was accidentally stabbed in the hand with a scalpel. They were filming in the middle of nowhere and Simon was taken to the local vet where he was bandaged before taking him to hospital in Paris. ‘The scalpel had cut all my nerves and for two years I had no feeling in my right hand. It’s still not 100 percent right – I still get a tingling sensation.’

FAVE SONG : ‘Love lift us up where we belong’ by Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warns.

TELEVISION CREDITS : The Girl Next Door; Running Wild; Sands of Eden; While my Pretty One Sleeps; No Greater Love; At the Midnight House; The Way to Dusty Death; Family of Cops; Counterstrike; Twist of Fate; Children of the Full Moon; Obsessive Love; Falcon Crest; Manimal; Falcons Gold; The Manions of America; Quatermass; Three Weeks; Jesus of Nazereth; I Claudius; Queen of Swords; Relic Hunter; Poltergeist: The Legacy; Mentors; Night Man; Nikita; E.N.G.; Hart to Hart; Dynasty; Hamme House of Horror; The Dukes of Hazzard; Hunter’s Walk; Casualty; Holby City; New Tricks

FILM CREDITS : The Dinosaur Hunter; Wing Commander; Shades of Love: Sincerely, Violet; Jaws 3D; An Outpost of Progress; The Sword and the Sorcerer; Macbeth; Caboblanco; The Riddle of the Sands; Death on the Nile; Juggernaut; Such a Long Journey; Djavolji rai; Stealing Heaven; 13 hrs; A Closed Book

THEATRE CREDITS: School for Scandal; Sleuth; The Unexpected Guest; Sound of Music

DID YOU KNOW?

* Simon owned a production company with his wife called Anglo Films International.

* Returning to the UK in 1988, he formed, along with Susan, his own production company called Amy International. One of its current projects is Dick Francis, a series of original films for UK television, based on the author’s canon of novels.

* While living in Hollywood he was part of the rebirth of the live theatre scene there during which he directed and acted in various productions and worked with Douglas Fairbanks Jnr and Howard Keel, among others.

Links

http://www.simonmaccorkindale.net/

Gallery : Simon MacCorkindale

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