Published on May 15th, 2013 | by Andrew Reynolds
RIP The Controller
The London born actor was a veteran of stage and screen and was perhaps most famous for his role as the singing sweetshop owner who sang ‘The Candy Man’ in the 1971 Roald Dahl adaptation Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.
Woods’ career began at the age of 17 when he played Smike in the film The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby.
His stage roles included the parts of Jacob and Potiphar in the 1991 West End revival of Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and Fagin in the musical Oliver! for three years, succeeding Ron Moody in the original 1960 production.
He quickly found himself in demand on BBC radio, writing and appearing in many plays, including his own adaptations of the Mapp and Lucia novels by EF Benson.
His other roles included the theatre musical The Four Musketeers and the radio version of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, while he also wrote the play Trelawny, which was in the West End in the 1970s.
He died in Barrow-in-Furness in Cumbria, his wife Gaynor told the BBC.
Online obituaries can be found at:
- BBC News
- The Guardian