LONDON (AP) — British actor Donald Sinden, known for his rich voice and varied roles, died Friday at his home in Kent, southern England, of prostate cancer, his son said. He was 90.
Marc Sinden said his father’s varied career kept him so busy that he was only unemployed for five weeks in the period from 1942 to 2008.
He said his father “bravely” kept working on an arts documentary series despite suffering a minor stroke and had been determined to keep news of his health problems from all but his closest friends.
“Even though his death was expected, it is still a huge loss to his family,” Marc Sinden said.
The Society of London Theatre said the marquees of London’s famed West End theaters will be dimmed in Sinden’s memory for one minute Friday evening.
Sinden was known as a tremendously versatile actor who excelled at everything from Shakespeare’s King Lear to TV sitcoms such as “Two’s Company” and “Never the Twain.”
His rich, deep voice was his calling card in many successful productions, starting with his work on stage when he entertained troops during World War II.
He received a knighthood in 1997 in recognition of his contribution to the arts. By then he had appeared in dozens of films and stage productions, often alternating between comedies and his work with the Royal Shakespeare Company.
Sinden was planning a career in architecture and dabbling in amateur theater when he was spotted and asked to join a company that was entertaining British troops. He had tried to join the Royal Navy but had been turned down because of chronic asthma.
Sinden is survived by a brother, his son, four grandchildren and a great-grandchild.