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Peter Paul Wyngarde
(August 23, 1933 - living) U.K.

Peter Wyngarde



Peter Wyngarde was born in Marseille, France, the son of an English father and a French mother. His father worked for the British Diplomatic Service, and as a result his childhood was spent in a number of different countries. In 1941, while his parents were away in India, he went to stay with a Swiss family in Shanghai. When the Imperial Japanese Army invaded the city, they were captured and placed in the Lunghua concentration camp. Conditions in the camp were sometimes harsh. On one occasion Peter had both his feet broken and spent two weeks in solitary confinement after being caught taking messages between camp huts.

As a young man he went into acting and from the mid-1950s had various roles acting in feature films, television plays and television series guest appearances. In the late 1960s, he was a regular guest star on many of the popular UK series of the day - many of which were espionage adventure series. He also played the rotating guest-star role of the villainous Number Two in the episode "Checkmate" of the cult series The Prisoner, which took place in a community of spies who had retired... or been retired.

Wyngarde became a British household name through his starring role in the espionage series Department S (1969). After that series ended, his character, the suave womaniser Jason King, was spun-off into a new action espionage series entitled Jason King (1971), which ran for one season (26 one-hour episodes). The series was sold overseas and Wyngarde briefly became an international celebrity, memorably being mobbed by adoring female fans in Australia.

In 1975, he was arrested and convicted for an act of "gross indecency" with a truck driver in the toilets of Gloucester bus station. His homosexuality was well known in acting circles, where he was known as 'the Major', because of a ten-year-long relationship he had from 1956 with fellow actor Alan Bates.

After losing his TV celebrity status, Wyngarde worked in Austria, acting and directing at the English Theatre in Vienna, and in South Africa and Germany. He also landed the role of General Klytus in the film version of Flash Gordon.

During the 1980s and 1990s he made a number of TV appearances, including the Doctor Who serial Planet of Fire (1984), Hammer House Of Horror & Suspense (1986), The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes (1994) and the film Tank Malling (1989).


Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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