PASSINGS: Simon MacCorkindale, Janet MacLachlan


Simon MacCorkindale

British actor was on CBS’ ‘Falcon Crest’

Simon MacCorkindale, 58, a British stage and screen actor who starred in the 1983 NBC-TV series “Manimal” and was a regular on CBS’ “Falcon Crest,” died of bowel cancer Thursday at a London clinic, publicist Max Clifford said. MacCorkindale’s wife, actress Susan George, was by his side.


MacCorkindale won the starring role in “Manimal” as a crime-fighting college professor capable of metamorphosing into any animal, but the series survived for only eight episodes. He had better luck on “Falcon Crest,” appearing in 59 episodes from 1984 to 1986 as womanizing lawyer Greg Reardon.

MacCorkindale had a six-year run on the long-running BBC hospital series “Casualty” as consultant Harry Harper.

Born Feb. 12, 1952, in Ely, Cambridgeshire, England, MacCorkindale launched his career in the theater and made his West End debut in a 1974 production of George Bernard Shaw’s “Pygmalion.”

He tackled the title role in “Macbeth” at the Ludlow Festival in 1980, and played Capt. Georg von Trapp in the London revival of “The Sound of Music” in 2008-09.

In the BBC miniseries “I, Claudius” in 1976, he had the role of Lucius.

His film roles included Simon Doyle in “Death on the Nile” in 1977 and Philip FitzRoyce in “Jaws 3-D” (“Jaws III”).

Janet MacLachlan


Actress had dozens of guest roles on TV

Janet MacLachlan, 77, an actress whose roles included a key supporting part in the 1972 film “Sounder” and guest appearances on such TV series as “The Archie Bunker Show” and “Cagney and Lacey,” died Oct. 11 at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Los Angeles after suffering a “cardiovascular incident” at her home in Silver Lake, said family spokeswoman Brandy Burton-Owens.

Janet MacLachlan: The obituary of actress Janet MacLachlan in the Oct. 17 California section said she played housekeeper Polly Swanson on “The Archie Bunker Show.” The correct name of the TV series was “Archie Bunker’s Place.”

Besides playing the teacher who influences David Lee Morgan (played by Kevin Hooks) in “Sounder,” MacLachlan also appeared opposite Jim Brown in “tick … tick … tick” (1970), James Earl Jones in “The Man” (1972) and Calvin Lockhart in “Halls of Anger” (1970).

On “The Archie Bunker Show,” she played caustic housekeeper Polly Swanson. On “I Spy” in 1967, she played Bill Cosby’s love interest Laya.

Born Aug. 27, 1933, in New York City, MacLachlan graduated from the City University of New York’s Hunter College in 1955 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. She worked as an executive secretary in New York before launching her acting career with small stage parts. After a stint at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, she became a contract player for Universal Studios.

She had dozens of TV guest roles, starting in the mid-1960s with “Alfred Hitchcock Presents” and continuing in such shows as “The Rockford Files” and “Murder She Wrote.”

MacLachlan won a Los Angles-area Emmy Award for her 1981 performance in KCET’s “Voices of Our People: In Celebration of Black Poetry.”


She recently had served as grant committee chairman for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

-- Times staff and wire reports