Veteran British stage and screen star Brian Bedford died on Wednesday after a battle with cancer, The New York Times reports. He was 80.
The Tony award-winning classic actor famously lent his voice to the titular character in Disney’s animated 1973 version of Robin Hood.
While Bedford regularly appeared onscreen in everything from Nixon to television series such as Cheers and Frasier, he was most accomplished on stage and was inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame in 1997.
A Yorkshire native, Bedford trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London beside classmates like the legendary Peter O’Toole. The actor had a mastery of classical works, including those by both Moliere and Shakespeare, and performed and directed for an impressive 29 seasons at the Canadian Stratford Festival.
“He was the reason so many actors became actors,” Antoni Cimolino, the festival’s artistic director, told Canada’s CBC News. “He was the reason our audiences came year after year. He was not only an icon, he was a delight, and we will miss him so much.”
Additionally, Bedford was nominated for an impressive seven Tony Awards for his work on Broadway, winning one in 1971 for Moliere’s The School for Wives.
Bedford is survived by his husband, actor Tim MacDonald. The couple were together for 30 years and married in July 2013.