TRIBUTE has been paid to RSC Honorary Associate Artist, Alan Howard, who has died aged 77.
His health had declined in recent months and he died on Saturday (February 14) after contracting a bout of pneumonia in January of this year. His wife Sally and his son James were at his side.
RSC Artistic Director Gregory Doran said: “There’s a great spirit gone.
“Alan was a giant. He was gifted with a great classical physique, a prodigious talent and an utterly unmistakable voice.”
His illustrious career included film, television and theatre – and the RSC which was his spiritual home.
Alan joined the company in the mid-sixties to play Orsino, Burgundy, and Jaques, and went on to play Achilles, Benedick and Edgar, as well as Lussurioso in Trevor Nunn’s famous black and silver production of The Revenger’s Tragedy.
He later played the Theseus/Oberon double for Peter Brook in the legendary A Midsummer Night’s Dream in 1970, and also Hamlet in the same year.
Brook also later cast him as Mark Antony opposite Glenda Jackson as Cleopatra, and Alan achieved an unexpected triumph with his performance as Rover in Wild Oats – one of many non-Shakespearean parts he played with the company in his long career.
But the partnership that came to identify the RSC in the 1970s was his work with Terry Hands on the History plays – during which he played all five kings.
Terry said “Alan was an RSC icon – a great classical actor in the line of Olivier, Redgrave, Scofield. I have lost a brother.”
Tribute has been paid to Alan Howard who has died aged 77. (s)