The Department S and Jason King star died on January 15th aged 90.

Peter Wyngarde in Department S spin-off series ‘Jason King’ for ATV/ITC/ITV.

The actor, best known for the ITC produced series, in association with ATV for ITV, Department S, passed away in hospital on Monday. (Jan 15th) after what his agent described as a short illness.

“He was one of the most unique, original and creative actors that I have ever seen. As a man, there were few things in life he didn’t know. I sometimes nicknamed him the King because he simply knew everything.” – agent Thomas Bowington

The success of his character in Department S saw a spin-off series follow, simply titled Jason King with the sleuth taking centre stage. The actor became a sensation, mainly with women, with a tour of Australia leaving him in hospital for three days after being mobbed by horny housewives.

Following the hit series he made many other appearances across television including Granada series Crown Court and Bulman as well as BBC science fiction hit Doctor Who and big screen movie Flash Gordon. However by the mid-1990s television parts had dried up with Wyngarde left to the chat show circuit.

An ITC promo for Jason King, 1971

Despite television unwilling to provide roles he carried on working in theatre as he had done across his career, it was where he began his performing art. His first professional role was at the Theatre Royal Birmingham in Noel Cowards’ ‘Present Laughter’ show in 1947. He later went on to movie parts with appearances in films such as The Siege and Alexander the Great. Prior to the massive success of Department S he had made guest appearances in other ITC shows such as The Prisioner, The Saint and ABC’s The Avengers.

Peter died at the Chelsea and Westminster hospital on Monday after a short hospitalisation for an undisclosed illness.

“He was a mentor on everything you can think of, from sports cars to how to make a good cup of tea and how to do a tie and shirt. As a person he was the most exceptional person I met in my life and a great mentor and teacher.” – agent Thomas Bowington

Inspecting a scene in Department S, Peter (right) acts alongside Joel Fabiani.
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