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U.K. director Peter Hammond dies

Helmed 'Sherlock Holmes,' 'Inspector Morse' series

Peter Hammond, who began as an actor in English films during the 1940s but eventually became a director of such Brit TV fare as “The Avengers,” the “Sherlock Holmes” series with Jeremy Brett and “Inspector Morse,” died Oct. 12 in London. He was 87.

Hammond made his bigscreen debut in an uncredited role in 1945’s “Waterloo Road.” He had a supporting role in Ken Annakin’s 1947 comedy “Holiday Camp” and then appeared in Annakin’s Huggetts trilogy of dramedy films. Hammond had a fairly big role in 1949’s “Helter Skelter” and war drama “Operation Disaster” (1950) and was second billed behind Jack Hawkins in “Fortune in Diamonds.” He also had a prominent role in 1955 crime drama “The Deadliest Sin.”

By the mid-’50s he began appearing on English television, recurring on “The Buccaneers,” “William Tell,” “Something in the City” and “The World of Tim Frazer.”

Hammond began work as a TV director in the early 1960s, notably helming 18 episodes of classic spy show “The Avengers” and contributing to the development of its signature look. Other assignments during the 1960s included episodes of the series “Contract to Kill,” “Lord Raingo” and “The Three Musketeers.”

For his work on “Ambrose,” a 1965 segment of “Armchair Mystery Theatre” starring Donald Pleasence, among other efforts, Hammond received the 1965 Guild of Television Producers and Directors Award (which later became the BAFTAs).

He made his feature helming debut in 1970 with “Spring and Port Wine,” starring James Mason.

In the 1970s he directed episodes of “Our Mutual Friend,” “Kilvert’s Diary,” “Rumpole of the Bailey” and the 1978 BBC miniseries “Wuthering Heights.” Work in the 1980s included the series “The Little World of Don Camillo”; “Tales of the Unexpected”; and “Uncle Silas,” starring Peter O’Toole.

Hammond’s association with Jeremy Brett’s Sherlock Holmes began with the 1987 Granada telepic “The Sign of Four” and continued with episodes of “The Return of Sherlock Holmes,” “The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes” and “The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes.”

Peter Charles Hammond Hill was born in central London, attended Harrow School of Art and became a scenic artist before turning to work as an actor. In 1959 He joined the BBC as a trainee producer.

Hammond’s wife, actress Maureen Glynne, died in 2005. He is survived by five children.

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