Colin Welland (1934 – 2015)
Oscar winning writer and actor Colin Welland has died at the age of 81 after suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
Welland was born July 4th 1934 in Liverpool. As an actor, he appeared as PC David Graham in the BBC Television series Z-Cars from 1962 to 1978. He played Mr Farthing, a sympathetic schoolteacher in the film Kes (1969), which won him a BAFTA, and a detective in the Richard Burton film Villain (1971). He appeared in one 1975 TV episode of The Sweeney, and also appeared in the series' first cinema spin-off Sweeney! (1977) as Frank Chadwick, an editor of a newspaper.
Welland was also a screenwriter and won an Oscar in 1982 for best original screenplay for his work on the film Chariots of Fire, (1981) about two athletes at the 1924 Olympic Games.
In his acceptance speech he said:
“I’d just like to thank David Puttnam for having the wisdom to ask me to write it in the first place. Hugh Hudson for respecting me and my script, which is a very hard thing to find in our business, as you know. All the actors for getting fit enough to appear like Olympic athletes and to British television, where I learned my craft. I'd like to finish with a word of warning. You may have started something - the British are coming."
Chariots of Fire producer Lord Puttnam said Colin was "an unswervingly good man; a fine actor, and a seriously gifted screenwriter".
Welland died November 2nd 2015 peacefully in his sleep surrounded by his family