Peter Vaughan, of Porridge (Genial Harry Grout), Citizen Smith (Shirley’s dad) and Brazil (the Minister) has died at the age of 93, demonstrating that the terrible sweep of 2016 is not going to ebb away.
I remember him in all three roles, but best of all as Grouty in Porridge. Vaughan played the head of a big London Mob, enjoying a rest at the taxpayers’ expense, but indubitably the real boss of HM Slade. He only appeared in three episodes, but he established himself with quiet menace, the more so for his complete lack of concern for anyone else. Even knowing him to be acting a part, you would have jumped to carry our Peter Vaughan’s wishes.
He’s had a bloody good, bloody long life, and we should not mourn him as we do those younger, but it will be very hard to look at the list of those taken away this year and not feel the extent to which our lives have been diminished. In that company, Peter Vaughan stands very tall.