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Tuesday, 26 February, 2002, 11:49 GMT
John Thaw: Your tributes
Actor John Thaw, star of Inspector Morse and The Sweeney, has died at home at the age of 60.
He had been battling cancer of the oesophagus and died at his home in Wiltshire with his family around him.
He first became well known as the tough-talking, no nonsense Detective Inspector, Jack Regan in The Sweeney.
However, his most successful role was as the cerebral Inspector Morse, based on the books by Colin Dexter.
Send us your tributes for John Thaw.
This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.
Judith MacLean, USA
This is very sad news indeed. It is like losing someone you know and love. I hope these expressions of affection will ease the family's sorrow.
When I heard John Thaw was diagnosed with cancer, I was truly sad for him and I was hoping and praying he would be able to beat this illness. However, other plans were made for him and John died, leaving all viewers including myself sad and at a loss. As an actor he was great, warm and convincing, I can only imagine how it would have been to have actually known him in person. My condolences for Sheila, his wife and his three daughters. I will miss you John, rest in peace.
Pam Geregova, USA
A tragic loss. A great actor whose contribution to television will be sorely missed.
Thank you, John. You were a great actor. My deepest and most sincere condolences to his family.
Oh how I will miss him as though he was a long-time friend. I couldn't even watch his demise in the final Morse episode.
Mary-Ann Goodier, Cheshire, England
My deepest sympathy goes out to his family. John Thaw was quite simply the best.
The coolest actor of them all and a pleasure to watch.
I am deeply saddened by the death of John Thaw. I thought he was a wonderful actor. My thoughts go to the family, who have lost such a wonderful man at such a young age.
I have grown up watching John Thaw regularly in various roles but the most prominent was Morse. In school we would talk frequently of him and how much we all adored both Thaw and Morse. To me he always seemed warm and reminded me of my dad. There was a quiet unassuming tenderness about him. I always made a point of watching all his TV performances, I just wish I had seen him on stage. I cried for Morse and now I find myself fighting back tears for John but only because I am in work. It feels like a friend and family member has died. To Sheila and family - he touched us all and our hearts go out to you all. He will be sorely missed.
How do you find the words to
express how much someone has
touched your heart? Especially
someone you've never met in
person. John Thaw was such a
person. I loved Inspector Morse,
but it was John Thaw who made him
come alive. The world has lost
a truly gifted actor. Knowing Morse was
gone, well, I could take that as
long as I knew John Thaw was
still walking around in this world,
sharing his gift with all of us.
God Bless you John Thaw.
And thank you for the
I feel sadness and sorrow knowing that the best of people, John, has been taken from our midst, knowing through his work, what a good man at heart he truly was.
Love and sympathy to Sheila from an old Hammersmithite.
People say they will remember John Thaw as Inspector Morse, but he will be remembered also for his part in the Sweeney, probably the best cop series in the seventies, and Goodnight Mr Tom in which he was brilliant.
John Thaw's remarkable ability as an actor was to make you truly believe that his characters were real. No one can walk through Oxford, see a red Jag or order a pint of real ale without thinking of Morse, and that in itself is a tribute, when so many celebrities make so little real impact on the public. Through his characters, he seemed a lovely man, and private though his life was, we all feel that we know the man himself at least a little. I wish his wife and daughters every comfort at this sad time, and hope that celebrities everywhere will learn from him. John Thaw could hold his audience in the palm of his hand, whilst still retaining great dignity, genuine ability and the respect of all who knew him and his work. May he rest in peace.
What a top man John Thaw was! I met him, many years ago, in a chip shop in Oxfordshire, when he was filming an episode of Morse. He had a couple of my chips while he was waiting for his own. We chatted idly for a couple of minutes, as if we'd known each other for ages. I'll miss him!
I am extremely saddened to learn of the death of the magnificent actor, John Thaw. As a young teenager, my first experience of John Thaw was as the tough Detective Inspector Jack Regan in "The Sweeney". I really enjoyed his other, more sedate characters, such as "Inspector Morse", and "Kavanagh QC". British film, theatre and television has lost a true great, and will be very sorely missed.
Through the years I've been hooked to Morse mainly because John embodied the character. He made him real and the struggles he faced were struggles that you and I can face.
He was Morse in everyway. But I also enjoyed his acting in other roles. A great actor has died and he will surely be missed by his wife and children.
I wish them all the best.
I felt such personal loss last night when I watched the news about John Thaw. He did not just play on the small screen - he entered your home. Will missed by all. Our thoughts are with his family and friends.
Glenn and Heather, Canada
Thank you, John, for everything.
My sincere condolences to all your family.
John - you entertained us and you enriched us with your work, go in peace and thank you. Condolences to the family
I remember as a young lad having a "The Sweeney" annual from a jumble sale that was one of the best ever reads. That show was, and still is, a classic. As Morse there was no comparison - truly brilliant. When the likes of John Thaw pass you surely know their unique contribution to their art.
Thank you for many hours of great entertainment. May you rest in peace. Thoughts and prayers to the family of John Thaw.
John Thaw was a outstanding actor, one of the best of his time. He will be sadly missed by all who enjoyed those riveting TV shows.
You didn't just watch John Thaw act. You felt the feelings of the characters he played.
I'm sorry John Thaw has been taken from us at such a young age he was a great TV and Stage actor. My sympathies are with Sheila Hancock and their family.
Matt Seymour, UK
What is there to say - John Thaw was simply the best. He was a fantastic actor no matter what role he was playing. As much as I loved Inspector Morse I think I will always remember him as Mr Tom from Goodnight Mr Tom. That was one of the best pieces of television that I have ever watched even though I sobbed my heart out at it. He will be very sorely missed and my thoughts are with his family at this very sad time.
The cake shop in Marple has lost its most famous customer.
Morse was one of my best of all times TV series, and also brought me a little bit of "home" into my house in Buenos Aires! I shall miss him dreadfully as I am sure that so will other "ex pats." My condolences to all his friends and family, and many thanks for his delightful work. God Bless.
My wife and I greatly enjoyed Mr. Thaw's work as shown on our TV screen. He was a joy to watch. Such a sad loss and at such a young age.
It is difficult to put into words the feeling of loss, I cried as I heard the news this morning. He was a sublime actor, and with Kevin Whately created one of the best acting partnerships ever seen on screen. It is a terrible injustice for him to have died to soon.
It feels as though we have lost a very special member of our family with the passing of John Thaw. He will be sadly missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this time. Good-night Mr Tom, sleep well.
I just saw the pilot episode of Inspector Morse last week in a re-run over here. It has added poignancy now. It was best Detective show ever and Morse was a great comedy double act with Lewis. I also loved the Sweeney and his other works. I'll have an ale (good ale from a good pub) for him this weekend.
A fantastic actor - as Morse he was unforgettable. He brought the character to life in a way that has never been done before or since. A very sad loss for us all.
How tragic that John should have lost his fight with cancer. He will be missed so much by so many. Heartfelt sympathies to Sheila and his family.
John, the finest screen actor of your generation ..... you will be sadly missed.
When I was at school we were routinely forced to go and see Shakespeare's plays. They had always seemed worthy rather than inspired to me until I saw John Thaw at Stratford Upon Avon - he had a means of bringing the piece to life brilliantly, and my view of the theatre hasn't been the same since. His TV work was of course excellent at its best and my thoughts are very much with his family at this appalling time for them, but to me he'll always be the bloke who woke me up to a whole new world of literature. 60 is far too young; rest easy, John, you've earned it.
When a man like John Thaw dies, it reminds me of my father who died almost nine years ago. When someone passes away who is dear to you, it is always a very sad thing. But I always enjoy to be reminded of my father, and to relive the memories he left behind. So although John's passing away makes another remorseful day, I am looking forward to the next time when my wife and I will turn the television on, sit down, make ourselves comfortable, and enjoy another rerun episode of Inspector Morse. Thanks to John's brilliant acting I am sure I will never be bored.
I recall a few years ago when I was a serving officer in the Metropolitan Police, London, a seasoned detective once remarked to me that he wasn't sure whether The Sweeney was based on the Metropolitan Police Flying Squad or whether the Flying Squad modelled itself on The Sweeney. A touching tribute to the acting skills of John Thaw.
Janet and Grant, Scotland
The death of Mr John Thaw, a great actor, is a great loss. I barely got over the death of Morse and now the man himself has left us. My deepest sympathies go to his family, friends and fans. He will never be forgotten. May he rest in peace.
I am sad to hear today that John Thaw has died. I loved to watch his programmes and his wonderful acting when I lived in the UK. You knew the programmes would be worth watching if he was starring in them.
He brought so many great hours of television into our home, he became a kind of English uncle to us. We wish his family all the love to give this loss a place in their live.
Debbie Wilmot, UK
I've come to love John Thaw over the 15 years that I've been in England. He was the best and I shall miss him.
I don't know what to say, I just feel sad. I'll forever remember the sentence; "Lewis, don't fuss"
I just can't find the words to express the loss that the country has got to be feeling. John Thaw was one of the finest men in the world. I love Inspector Morse, would watch one every day, and it's hard to take in that this man who has portrayed the Inspector with such passion and excellence isn't with us anymore. My thoughts and prayers are with his family. May he rest in peace.
John Thaw made such an impact upon the television crime scene and yet his loss is akin to losing a member of the family.
Fantastic Actor, Inspector Morse was a superb series. He will be missed.
The passing of John Thaw deeply touches me. He was an outstanding actor, not only as E. Morse but also in movies like "Out of the blue".
His appearances on Dutch television were always a moment of happiness for me. He will never be forgotten.
He was simply a joy to watch.
I'm really sad to hear that John Thaw
has passed away. When I came this country 4 years ago I started to watch his two dramas Morse and Kavanagh and I felt he was a great Actor. I am sure many people (British or foreign) who watched his programmes will be feeling the same as I am. We lost a great actor and a great man. Also I'd like to send my sympathy to his wife and children. God bless him.
Derek Steer, England
I saw John Thaw playing Sir Toby Belch in the RSC production of Twelfth Night at Stratford in 1983. For a few hours I was mesmerised by his towering presence on the stage. Before that too, in the Sweeney and latterly in Morse, he was totally in character, totally believable. A great actor. Thank you John.
Tony Martin, UK
John Thaw was simply one of the best actors around. He had so much of his life ahead of him, and it's a bitter blow to see him snatched away so soon.
He will be sorely missed - may he rest in peace.
It is a major loss. John Thaw was a weekly guest in our house for a long time. We shall sorely miss him.
You realize your own immortality when actors who have delivered great entertainment pleasure, leave before the final act should be over.
John Thaw left before the curtain had time to come down. An actor's actor. He was Inspector Morse, he played roles so profoundly that you believe they were one and the same.
Heaven just got a great actor who will be brushing shoulders with the greatest of this and the next world.
Miss you John!
A great loss of a fine and genuine actor. Our condolances to his family.
John Thaw will live on in our memories, as Mister Tom, Jack Regan, Morse and as the lovely guy he really was. The acting world and the 'real world' will not be the same without him.
A great actor and a great loss. For me, his talent was demonstrated by the characters Jack Regan and Morse. Both policemen and yet so diverse. Regan, the hard gritty detective that represented 70s Britain, and Morse, the sophisticated Oxford detective who always seem to be on a higher plain. My thoughts go out to his family at this time.
Quite simply one of the best!
An actor of outstanding quality and a wonderful British icon.
John - thanks for being hard in The Sweeney and thankyou for being so intelligent in Inspector Morse. All actors shall learn from you.
What a loss! John Thaw was a fine actor. There is a vacuum that cannot be filled.
Ever since the late 1980's, John Thaw as Inspector Morse, gave us a few hours of exceptional acting. The story line was second to his credible and enthralling depiction of a tormented ,but erasible policeman.
Here in the USA, we have few who could match his performances. He will be sorely missed. His passing
will dim the lights for all who enjoy a good story delivered by an exceptional actor.
my thoughts and prayers go out to sheila & the girls.
They have lost a wonderful husband & father.
the world has lost one of the finest actors of our time.
god bless & keep you john.
I remember meeting at a Children`s Christmas charity do which they invite many famous stars which was held in London. And it was In the late 70`s when i was about 9 years old that I met John Thaw, I found him to be a lovely man.
A great man has passed and we are all grateful to the service he gave us as an actor. I would like to show my appreciation to the media, who in his last few months allowed him to be with his family in peace.
It is sad to lose one of our finest actors. He consistantly brought fine performances to our screens. To me, he was one of those actors who, that if you knew he was appearing in a programme, you knew you were gauranteed quality and pleasure from it. A fine actor who deserved every accolade he recieved. He will be sorely missed on our screens, but I am sure he will be missed even more by his family and friends and my deepest and sincere condolances go to them at this time of greatest sorrow. God Bless.
What a terrible loss. John Thaw will be remembered as one of the most genuine actors to ever embrace the medium. My heartfelt sympathy goes to his family who must miss him terribly.
good men and suberb actors of the old school are few in his ever changing world, the death of a true britsh gentleman is a great loss to all who knew him both on screen and personnely
William Burton, UK
my daughter was privilaged to work with John Thaw after being selected with a few of her friends from her oxford school to appear as extras in an episode of Inspector Morse. He made the girls feel welcome and put at ease with his jokes and kind smiles, and they all remember him with great affection. A great man and actor.
John Thaw was the greatest tv actor this country has ever seen. His versatility in the roles he played was second to none. He will be greatly missed. My thoughts and prayers are with his family
The world stopped when "Inspector Morse" was shown on PBS. I cancelled dates, changed appointments, and turned off the telephone. I shall miss John Thaw. I cried when he died as Morse, and I feel a deep sadness now that he has died for real. My sincere condolonces to his family.
John Thaw, a legend, a gentleman, and the best catchphrase in english police drama. i will always think of Regan when i hear the phrase "shut it!!
A tragic loss. I used to watch the Sweeney as a child. But, he will always remembered for those catchphrases.Like you're nicked, son and shut it. You have left some best shows. We will always remember you.
John Thaw was an amazing actor. Good at what he did, but in the minds of the nation, never typecasted. A sad loss, he will be sorely missed by all - His talent, ability and wit were coupled with a down-to-earthness that made him so loved. A talent like his is rarely seen and may he live in memories of fabulous broadcasting for many years to come.
I cried when Inspector Morse died, and I cry now when the man who made him so much a part of our lives has now died.
10 May 01 | TV and Radio
Bafta honour for John Thaw
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