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Brtitish actor Simon MacCorkindale dies at 58

October 15, 2010 |  4:44 pm

Maccorkindale Simon MacCorkindale, a British stage and screen actor who starred in the 1980s TV series "Manimal" and was a regular on "Falcon Crest," died of cancer Thursday night in a London clinic in the arms of his wife, actress Susan George, his publicist told the BBC

The 58-year-old MacCorkindale announced last year that he had been diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2006, and he learned that it was terminal after it had spread to his lungs a year later.

The BBC News report quoted George as saying, "No one could have fought this disease any harder than he did ... To me, he was simply the best of everything, and I loved him with all my heart. He will live on in me forever."

MacCorkindale, who played Dr. Harry Harper for six years on the BBC One medical drama "Casualty," appeared as Greg Reardon on "Falcon Crest" from 1984 to 1986.

In the short-lived "Manimal," an NBC police drama/fantasy that ran for three months in 1983, he was Jonathan Chase, a wealthy New York University professor of animal behavioral sciences who served as a police consultant. And, to the regret of criminals, he had the supernatural ability to turn into everything from a deadly panther to a cobra.

Born Feb. 12, 1952, in Ely, Cambridgeshire, England, MacCorkindale launched his career in the theater and made his West End debut in a 1974 production of "Pygmalion."

Among his early credits are the 1977 TV miniseries "Jesus of Nazareth" and the 1978 film "Death on the Nile."

After moving to the United States, he appeared in the 1981 miniseries "The Mansions of America" and made guest appearances on TV series such as "The Dukes of Hazzard," "Dynasty" and "Hart to Hart."

MacCorkindale appeared in a West End production of "The Sound of Music" until it closed in February 2009. 

-- Dennis McLellan

Photo: Simon MacCorkindale in 1985.

Credit: Los Angeles Times