Welsh television actor Philip Madoc dies at 77

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Philip Madoc

Philip Madoc

Philip Madoc, a television actor who was heard in the first Welsh-language animated feature film, died Monday. He was 77.

“He passed away in hospital in Hertfordshire this morning after a short illness with his family around him,” agent Michael Hallet said. “He will be hugely missed by everybody.”

The Welsh actor voiced Gwydion in 2003’s Y Mabinogi (Otherworld), featuring the vocal talents of Daniel Evans, Jenny Livsey and Matthew Rhys.

Almost five years in the making, Otherworld was the result of a unique collaboration between numerous broadcasters, production companies, facilities companies and animation houses from as far afield as Budapest and Moscow. The musical score was arranged by John Cale, formerly of the Velvet Underground, in conjunction with the National Orchestra of Wales.

Madoc was in the title role of British Broadcasting Corporation drama The Life And Times Of David Lloyd George. He also appeared in such series as Doctor Who and The Last Of The Mohicans.

In an episode of Dad’s Army, Madoc portrayed a captured U-boat captain who asked his captors’ names. That made an angry Captain Mainwaring to shout the famous line “Don’t tell him, Pike.”

He insisted that he didn’t mind playing villains, for which he was well-known.

“Certainly initially I rarely played heroes because there was still this tradition that heroes were six foot tall,” he said in an interview. “Certainly if you had a voice that wasn’t high and dark eyes, then there was a feeling that you were set out to play the villains of this world.

“I didn’t ever argue with that, because they were more or less the best parts.”

Born in the southern Welsh town of Merthyr Tydfil on July 5, 1934, Madoc attended the Universities of Wales and Vienna, where he became an interpreter (Interpretation Diploma, University Of Vienna). Since entering the theatre, he worked in Russian, French, German and Italian.

Philip Madoc was married to Hi-de-Hi star Ruth Madoc for 20 years until their divorced in 1981. He is survived by two children and several grandchildren.

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