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Peter Wyngarde

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Peter Paul Wyngarde was born on 23rd August 1933 to Anglo-French parents in Marseille, France. His father was a British diplomat and consequently his childhood involved a great deal of travelling to different countries. During the Second World War he was interned in a Japanese Concentration Camp when captured as a childhood civilian in Shanghai. Suffering greatly from the brutality of the Japanese guards, he went into acting after his release, appearing in a range of adventure television series such as The Avengers, The Prisoner, The Saint, The Baron and the Granada series The Man in Room 17. It was during this phase of his career that he guest-starred as astrologer Richard Merlin in the opening episode of the Coronation Street spin-off Turn out the lights, The Boyhood Haunt, opposite Arthur Lowe as Leonard Swindley in January 1967.

Two years later, Wyngarde became a household name when he received top billing in the ITC adventure series Department S as the impossibly trendy and raffish Jason King, also the name given to a spin-off series starring Wyngarde in 1971. Four years later his homosexuality, an open secret in the acting profession, became public knowledge when he was arrested for Gross Indecency in Gloucester and, in the less tolerant climes of the 1970s, his fanbase declined somewhat however he continued acting in series such as Doctor Who and The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes (again for Granada).

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Wikipedia page on Peter Wyngarde

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