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 Friday, 20 December, 2002, 11:14 GMT
London's Burning star Hazeldine dies
James Hazeldine
Hazeldine was playing Sigmund Freud at the National
Actor James Hazeldine, a former star of ITV's London's Burning, has died at the age of 55.

Hazeldine, who played Bayleaf in the long-running drama, was taken ill shortly after taking on a new role at London's National Theatre.

He had spent some days in intensive care before dying on Tuesday, his agent Nicola van Gelder said.

Hazeldine was taken ill on 10 December, the day after appearing in a preview of The Talking Cure in which he played Sigmund Freud.

He was a man of infectious enthusiasm, great warmth and humanity who was universally popular amongst his colleagues

Trevor Nunn
Trevor Nunn, director of the Royal National, said the acting profession would be "shocked and distressed".

Nunn said: "It is rare that great charismatic talent and selfless warm generosity are found in the same person, but this was so with Jimmy Hazeldine.

"A leading actor of minutely observed truthfulness, comic brio and emotional daring, he was also a man of infectious enthusiasm, great warmth and humanity who was universally popular amongst his colleagues."

Although Hazeldine was best known to audiences from his role in London's Burning, he was also an accomplished stage and film actor.

James Hazeldine
Hazeldine had an impressive track record with the RSC
With the Royal Shakespeare Company, he played Troilus in Troilus and Cressida, John Clare in Edward Bond's The Fool, and Alcibiades in Timon of Athens.

He made his Broadway debut in 1984 as Sam Evans in Strange Interlude with Glenda Jackson, and returned to New York as Harry Hope in Howard Davies' production of The Iceman Cometh, starring Kevin Spacey.

His films included Emma in 1996, Business As Usual in 1988 and Pink Floyd: The Wall in 1983.

He also played Jimmy Porter in a television production of Look Back In Anger.

BBC News Online users sent in their tributes to James Hazeldine.

A truly wonderful actor who inspired all ages. He will be sadly missed. Rest in peace James.
Dean Feeney, Bristol, England

I knew Jim when I was in junior school with his son Sam. I once remember going to Epping Forest with him and had a great day out. As kids we were always haranguing him to perform magic tricks by pulling Star Wars picture cards from his ears. A wonderful man he will be sorely missed.
Tony Hawkins, UK

Was so sorry to hear of the sad death of James. I am an avid London's Burning fan and loved his character bayleaf. He was a brilliant actor. He will be sadly missed. My thoughts go to all his friends and family at this time.
Tracy, England

So very very shocked and saddened to hear this dreadful news. My thoughts are with his family and friends. May you rest in peace.
Justine Turner, England

I was very shocked & saddened to hear of James' death. He was a fantastic actor who will be greatly missed by many
Joanne Taylor, England

I was truly shocked to hear about the utterly untimely death of James Hazeldine. Such a familiar face. I shall particularly remember his performance in One Summer, many years ago now.My heart goes out absolutely to his family and all who knew him.
Marina Brown, UK

I grew up watching James and always admired him. For a man to die so young but to have accomplished so much must make his family very proud. My thoughts go out to all who new him especially his family. Sleep well.
Helen, England

James Hazeldine in Adrian Mole: The Cappucino Years
He was a superb actor who could turn his hand to many roles

Kevin, Chester, UK
I was shocked and saddened to hear of James Hazeldine's death. I am a great fan of London's Burning and it was never the same after Bayleaf left. He'll be greatly missed. My thoughs and prayers go to his family and friends at this sad time. Rest In Peace.
Linda Lawford, UK

I am shocked to hear of James Hazeldine's death. I met him once in Tesco's when I accidentally hit him with my trolley. I said sorry and he was smiling. I will remember him for being a charming gentleman.
Margaret Holland, United Kingdom

I've just watched James in Thames adaptation of John Wyndhams "Chocky" from 1984. His performance was excellent. He'll be missed from our screens. My sypathies to his friends and family.
Graeme, UK

So sorry to hear of his untimely death, Thoughts and prayers go to his family and friends
Sharon Ronan, Ireland

Sicknote will be lost without you. A fine actor and person. Gone but Never Forgotten!
Ray Casey, Ireland

I fell in love with James as a teenager when he was in a series called the Omega Factor. My thoughts are with his family at this difficult time. I wish them all the peace they can find this Christmas.
Nicola, UK

A hugely talented actor, an example to the younger generation of actors as to how to put across a true portrayal of a character. As an actor, you really can't be any better than James was. Long live Bayleaf!
Catherine Oxlade, UK

A little boy called Sam my Mum used to look after during the early years of London's Burning was lucky enough to see James on a break from filming in South East London. He was so nice to Sam and really made his day and Sam still has the photo taken to this day. My sympathies to all his family and friends. May you rest in peace, James.
Becky Hyde, England

Sad news, James Hazeldine was a superb actor who could turn his hand to many roles. London's Burning has never been the same since he left.
Kevin, Chester, UK

So saddened by this news. Although known to a wider audience through his superb performance in London's Burning, James was a truly accomplished stage performer and director with perfect timing and the ability to take on many varied tasks.
Steve Goulding, UK

I was very shocked to hear thats James Hazeldine had passed away. As a big fan of London's Burning he was one of my favourite characters,who will be missed greatly,my thoughts go out to his friends and family.
Julie, England

I was very sorry to hear that James was taken from us and far too soon and will sadly miss him. I have enjoyed James┐s performances in many a production over the years, he seemed to have a kindness in some of his roles, which you could see was reflecting his inner self. I hope the BBC will repeat the excellent series which he starred in - The Omega Factor.
Barry, UK

I had the privilege to meet with James on a couple of times and thought of him as warm, wonderful and a funny man. I will miss him greatly.
Roberto Ricipio, Portugal

I am so shocked at hearing about Jimmy's passing. I met him on several occasions. He will be a huge loss to the acting world. My deepest sympathies to Rebecca & Chloe.
Martin Webster, USA

I was sad to learn of James Hazeldine's untimely death. I recall his early TV work when he featured in the seminal A Family at War. An accomplished talent and he will be greatly missed.
Nigel Wroe, Doncaster England

Very sad new indeed. His performance in the series One Summer back in 1983 left an indelible impression on me. I also remember him well in the Omega Factor. Warmest sympathies to his family at this difficult time.
Caitlin Hickie, Australia

So sorry to hear the news, my thoughts and love to the family.
Matthew, England

London's Burning was never the same after Bayleaf left. James always brought such depth and charm to every role he played - if he was in something you knew it was worth watching. Very sad news, God bless you.
Beverley Young, Hertfordshire, England

Taken far too early. May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed rest in peace.
Colin Watts, UK

One of the most talented actors has been taken from us.As a huge fan of Londons Burning it was never the same when Bayleaf left.Bayleaf was always the best charcter on Londons Burning.Deepest sympathies go out to his family and his close friends.James Rest In peace.
Michael C.Smith, UK

They say the good die young, in this case they were right, he was great in London's Burning never the same after he left.You will be sadly missed. God Bless.
Pattie Thorpe, United Kingdom

Devastated to hear the sad news from this week. Our deepest sympathies to James' family. James was a superb, accomplished actor, and I've followed his amazing career ever since the classic 'One Summer'. Rest in Peace, James.
Peter, Liverpool, England

Such a terrible loss, at such a young age. My thoughts are with his wife, daughter and son, Sam, a dear school friend of mine. When I met James he was at least everything in his tribute and much more, a great man and a sad loss.
Chris Averill, UK

Besides the obviously excellent Bayleaf in London's Burning I most most remember James for an emotional and gripping performance in Heartbeat. This is a sad and tragic loss.
Lucy Jones, Reading, UK

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