His agent, Sally Long-Innes, confirmed the news Tuesday. She said: “This is to confirm that very sadly Peter Vaughan has passed away at approximately 10.30 [GMT] this morning. He died peacefully with his family around him.”
Vaughan was known most recently for his role as Maester Aemon, the elderly, blind leader of the Night Watch who was sympathetic to Jon Snow in HBO’s Game Of Thrones. He appeared in the first five seasons of the show.
He was also well known for his role as Harry “Grouty” Grout in BBC’s sitcom Porridge, a fan favorite despite appearing in only three episodes. He had recurring roles alongside Robert Lindsay in Citizen Smith and had a major part as Tom Franklin in Chancer, which ran for 20 episodes.
Vaughan had a career that spanned seven decades and, while seldom playing leading roles, he featured frequently on stage, screen and TV in roles ranging from police officers to villains. He also had roles in cult films including Terry Gilliam’s Brazil, in which he played Mr. Helpmann, as well as Straw Dogs and Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Remains Of The Day.
Born Peter Ohm in 1923 in Shropshire, UK, Vaughan began his career in theater, specifically the Wolverhampton Repertory, in what would begin a long stint there. He then joined the army during World War II, when he served as an officer in Normandy and Belgium before he was transferred to the Far East.
When he returned to the UK, he continued in theater playing a raft of roles before he met young actress Billie Whitelaw. They married in 1952 and were married for 12 years. He later married actress Lilias Walker.
He made his film debut in 1959 in a version of The 39 Steps, where he played a policeman, but his first breakthrough role came in 1964, when he had a leading role as an insurance investigator in Jim O’Connolly’s Smokescreen.
In the same year, he appeared on the stage in London in Joe Orton’s Entertaining Mr. Sloane.
During the 1970s, he was featured more on television with roles in Porridge, and a 1972 BBC adaptation of MR James’ ghost tale A Warning To The Curious.
In 1980, he starred in Thames Television’s series Fox and the following year he took the role of Denethor in a BBC radio adaptation of The Lord Of The Rings.
Gilliam cast him as an ogre in his film Time Bandits and later gave him a role in cult film Brazil. Vaughan became increasingly known for playing William Stevens in the film adaptation of Remains Of The Day.
Vaughan was cast as Maester Aemon at age 90; he was also partially blind at the time.