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BBC drama The Onedin Lines Captain Onedin actor Peter Gilmore dies age 81 / UK News

Peter Gilmore, who played the captain in long-running seafaring BBC drama The Onedin Lane, has died at the age of 81.

The actor, who also appeared in a number of Carry On films, died at the Trinity Hospice in London following a long illness.

German-born Gilmore appeared in numerous TV dramas such as Doctor Who, The Persuaders, The Ruth Rendell Mysteries and Heartbeat.

But he will be best remembered for his portrayal of mutton-chopped lead character James Onedin in 91 episodes of the BBC1 series.

The Onedin Line followed the fortunes of a family shipping line in the second half of the 19th century.

Its familiar theme tune was taken from Adagio Of Spartacus And Phrygia from the ballet Spartacus by Aram Khachaturian.

Gilmore’s co-star Jessica Benton, who also appeared in period dramas The Duchess Of Duke Street and Upstairs, Downstairs, said: “The Onedin Line was a very happy, long-running series to be involved in.

“That was all credit to Peter, because he made it so.

“We all became very close friends over the years and had a lot of fun. Peter was a gentle man and a gentleman – and we sorely miss him.”

Gilmore, who was born in Leipzig, came to the UK when he was six and was raised in Nunthorpe, North Yorkshire, leaving school at 14 to pursue an acting career.

His big break was in the TV series Ivanhoe in 1958, and he went on to appear in West End musical stage successes such as Lock Up Your Daughters and The Beggar’s Opera.

Among his many films, he appeared in popular comedies such as Carry On Up The Khyber and Carry On Henry, as well as horror film The Abominable Dr Phibes.

Gilmore – who died on Sunday – was married to actress Una Stubbs for more than a decade and went on to marry Anne Stallybrass, who also played his wife in The Onedin Line.

His agent Primie Carey said: “On behalf of his wife Anne and Peter’s family, I would like to thank those who have sent their kind thoughts and condolences and would request their privacy is respected at this sad time.”

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