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Nigel Terry, Who Starred in ‘Excalibur’ as King Arthur, Dies at 69

Actor Nigel Terry, best known for his performance as King Arthur in John Boorman’s 1981 film “Excalibur,” has died of emphysema, according to the Guardian. He was 69.

Terry’s first major appearance came in 1968 in Anthony Harvey’s “Lion in Winter,” where he played Prince John alongside Peter O’Toole and Katharine Hepburn. The British actor went years without another big film role until “Excalibur” came along, which also starred Helen Mirren as Morgana and Nicol Williamson as Merlin.

Terry played the titular Italian painter in the 1986 “Caravaggio,” directed by Derek Jarman. He and Jarman worked together on four more films: “The Last of England” (1988), “War Requiem” (1989), “Edward II” (1991) and “Blue” (1993).

He was born in Bristol and studied at London’s Central School of Speech and Drama. He worked extensively in theater, including productions at the Royal Shakespeare Company (including leads in “The Duchess of Malfi” and the title role in “Pericles, Prince of Tyre”), the Royal Court, National Theatre, Bristol Old Vic and the Oxford Playhouse.

He played a Trojan priest and adviser to O’Toole’s King Priam in the Wolfgang Petersen-directed “Troy,” his last major big screen role. Terry’s other film credits include “Deja Vu” in 1985 and the 2002 horror movie “Feardotcom.”

He worked extensively in television, including the British series “Covington Cross” in the ’90s as Sir Thomas Grey. ABC aired the show in the U.S. Other TV appearances in the past decade include “Foyle’s War,” “MI-5,” “Agatha Christie’s Marple” and “Dr. Who.”

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