Tributes paid to Blackadder actor

Willoughby Goddard, known to us Blackadder fans as the Archbishop in The Black Adder episode “The Queen of Spain’s Beard” has died at the age of 81.

Born on July 4, 1926, Willoughby Goddard will be known to many viewers of television programmes from the 1950s to the 1980s.

His on-screen appearances are too numerous to list, but included hit shows such as Blackadder, The Famous Five, The Sweeney, Space: 1999, The Avengers, and The Saint.

Mr Goddard, whose heavy build made him perfect for many character roles, played the Austrian tyrant Gessler in the 1958 Adventures of William Tell.

In some of his final screen performances in the mid-1980s, Mr Goddard was Professor Siblington at a fictional Cambridge college in Tom Sharpe’s hit comedy Porterhouse Blue. He was also Cardinal Wolsey in the 1986 film God’s Outlaw.

Mr Goddard, who as a schoolboy is said to have set a record swimming in the River Isis, made his stage debut at the Oxford Playhouse in 1943.

A favourite with critics on stage, Mr Goddard played Sir Toby Belch in a 1979 Royal Shakespeare Company production of Twelfth Night.

Although his career was reportedly curtailed by arthritis in later years, he remained familiar as the voice of the Fox’s Glacier Mint bear.