Actor, Robert Hardy, who played Siegfried (centre in the photo above) in All Creatures Great and Small’ died 3rd August 2017, he was 91. Hardy was born in Cheltenham in October 1925. He gained a BA from Oxford in English Literature, after being conscripted into the RAF during the war. He became an actor who could play a wide range of parts. Below is an excerpt from his obituary on the BBC website:
‘In 1978, Hardy took the part of the irascible but good-natured Siegfried Farnon in All Creatures Great and Small, the long-running BBC series based on James Herriot’s best-selling books.
As the senior vet of the small Yorkshire Dales practice, Robert Hardy became one of the best-known faces on British television.
Full of animals, nostalgia and rural scenery, the show became a massive hit, attracting audiences of up to 20 million.
The original run ended in 1978 but the series was revived 10 years later after the BBC obtained permission to write new storylines, having exhausted the original James Herriot books.
But the new scripts failed to meet with Hardy’s approval and he rewrote large parts of his dialogue. “All they did was make Siegfried explode and be bad-tempered. I kept changing things.”‘
The following comments were left on the Pebble Mill Facebook page:
Keith Brook (Scouse): ‘What a bloody brilliant actor. Never forgot a line, could always find his light or see when he was shadowing someone, and could hit a mark in the middle of nowhere, every time. Occasionally, he’d even hold a line until the camera was ready! His rhythm and pacing were wonderful and repeatable. A true delight to work with.’
John Evans: ‘You suspect he was playing himself in All Creatures Great and Small.What a great part he played with such presence and humour.I always liked to watch him.’
Steve Weddle: ‘One of the greats of British acting, and a great advocate for Pebble Mill. He always approved of All Creatures being made at PM. He was one of us.’
Robin Sunderland: ‘You always knew when Robert was in a scene…. consummate professional!’
Andy Tylee: ‘ I recall him in Age of Kings playing prince hall opposite Sean Connery as hotspur. Also he was a leading authority on the English longbow.‘