Geoffrey Hutchings, whose acting career spanned both stage and screen, has died at the age of 71 from a suspected viral infection.
The Dorset-born performer was last seen in the West End playing Brooksie in the stage adaptation of The Shawshank Redemption in 2009.
A RADA graduate, Hutchings launched his professional career in 1964, when he appeared in No Strings at Her Majesty’s theatre. He went on to forge a varied career spanning film, television and theatre.
On stage, Hutchings spent nearly 16 years working with the Royal Shakespeare Company, where he was made an Associate Artist, appearing in productions including The Merry Wives Of Windsor, The Duchess Of Malfi, Henry V, The Winter’s Tale and Twelfth Night. He was also a regular at the National Theatre, where his credits included Mother Courage, Cleo Camping Emmanuelle And Dick and Three Men On A Horse, for which he received a Laurence Olivier Award nomination.
Hutchings received another Olivier nomination for his performance in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, but won the award for Best Comic Performance in 1982 for Poppy.
More recently, Hutchings’s stage work had included the Rufus Norris-directed revival of musical Cabaret and Beckett’s Endgame, opposite Michael Gambon, Liz Smith and Lee Evans.
Hutchings’s screen work was as varied as his stage career, taking in EastEnders, Benidorm, Bad Girls, Goodnight Mr Tom, Duck Patrol and Funland.
Grandma’s House, the final series Hutchings shot, is due to air on BBC2 later this year.