Television and stage actor Simon Ward has died at the age of 70.

A statement released by his agent said the actor died peacefully in his sleep with his family by his side.

Ward’s last television role was in Showtime‘s historical drama The Tudors which aired on BBC Two in the UK. The drama revolved around Henry VIII, as played by Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, and his reign as King. Ward played the scheming Bishop Gardiner in 17 episodes of drama from its second season to its fourth and final season in 2010. Between 2003 and 2007 Ward played Sir Monty Everard in BBC One’s legal drama Judge John Deed opposite Martin Shaw.

Ward had a long and varied career with roles in film, television and stage productions. On the big screen he appeared in films such as The Three Musketeers and its sequel The Four Musketeers. The actor’s other television roles include appearances in Lovejoy, Ruth Rendell Mysteries, Heartbeat and Channel Five soap opera Family Affairs. In 1975 Ward played James Herriot in an adaptation of All Creatures Great and Small several years before the popular BBC series launched.

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