The British actor, Peter Vaughan, best known for his role as Maester Aemon Targaryen in the HBO series Game of Thrones, has died at age 93.
He also played the villain ‘Harry Grout’ in the TV sitcom Porridge. He also played minor roles in the shows Our Friends in the North, Citizen Smith and Chancer.
Sally Long-Innes, his agent, said: “This is to confirm that very sadly Peter Vaughan passed away at approximately 10.30 this morning. He died peacefully with his family around him.”
The actor was born on April 4 1923 in Shropshire, England and started acting in the 1950s, becoming known by playing many supporting roles on stage, television, radio and film.
He described himself as a character actor, rather than an actor that has mainly leading roles. “If you’re a character actor, you don’t need to wait for the next leading role. But if you are a leading man, you have to wait for the next part. Sometimes that means long periods without work.”
He preferred playing an actor that leaves a mark, rather than necessarily a leading one. Despite being in only a few episodes in the TV sitcom Porridge, Vaughan’s character, Grouty, has had a large impact on the show. “I was just in three episodes and, of course, the feature film, so I have to thank the writers Dick Clement and Ian
La Frenais for the fact I’m one of the characters people always remember when they talk about Porridge because Grouty is so prominent – even though I’m not there.”
“I still get people saying ‘Let you out, have they Grouty?’ even 40 years later,” he said.
Vaughan’s other roles included:
- A strict father in the 1970s show Citizen Smith
- Maestor Aemon Targaryen in Game of Thrones, his most famous role
- Town patriarch Tom Hedden in the film, Straw Dogs
- Felix Hutchinson in Our Friends in the North as a “hard nut with Alzheimer’s”