Edward Woodward died yesterday at the age of 79.
Best known as Robert McCall on the hit 80s crime show The Equalizer, Mr. Woodward played the title role of Harry "Breaker" Morant in the breakthrough Australian film Breaker Morant and turned in an exceptional performance as the Ghost of Christmas Present in the George C. Scott television version of A Christmas Carol.
In what is one of the most powerful scenes in all of English literature, Edward Woodward gave the Spirit an aura humanity tinged with excruciating dread.
'Spirit. are they yours.' Scrooge could say no more.
'They are Man's,' said the Spirit, looking down upon them. 'And they cling to me, appealing from their fathers.
This boy is Ignorance. This girl is Want.
Beware them both, and all of their degree, but most of all beware this boy, for on his brow I see that written which is Doom, unless the writing be erased. Deny it.' cried the Spirit, stretching out its hand towards the city. 'Slander those who tell it ye.
Admit it for your factious purposes, and make it worse. And abide the end.'
'Have they no refuge or resource.' cried Scrooge.
'Are there no prisons.' said the Spirit, turning on him
for the last time with his own words. 'Are there no workhouses.'"
In the same way, he brought Robert McCall to life. A disillusioned retired intelligence operative of independent means, he was a true-to-life James Bond. Instead of fighting evil geniuses, he took arms against a sea of trouble caused by the random acts of violence that were so common in the New York City of the 1980s. The Equalizer was a great show with great supporting players, great locales--shot on the streets of New York--and great, great music by Stewart Copeland.
The Equalizer tapped into the undercurrent of fear that was pervasive in pre-Giuliani New York City. They couldn't make that show today with its dark and foreboding atmosphere.
I never liked Rudy, but you cannot dispute the fact that he transformed New York.
Requiem in Pacis Mr. Woodward.