Peter Wyngarde is a French-born English actor best acknowledged for creating and playing the character of Jason King, a successful writer and detective, in two British television series of the 1960s and early 1970s:' Department S' (1969–1970) and 'Jason King' (1971–1972). Born Cyril Goldbert in Marseille, France, the son of an a a French mother and English father . His father worked in the British Diplomatic Service, consequently his childhood was spent in a numerous different countries. In 1941, although his parents were away in India, he went to live with a Swiss household in Shanghai. The Japanese Armed forces took over Shanghai's International Settlement on the 8th December 1941, and as a British national his father was incarcerated in the Lunghua concentration camp on 10 April 1943. Conditions in the camp were at times harsh. According to J.G. Ballard's autobiography Miracles of Life, "Cyril Goldbert, the future Peter Wyngarde" was a fellow internee at Lunghua Camp and "He was four years older than me...". Ballard was born in November 1930 but according to Lunghwa Camp archives, compiled in 1943, Goldbert was really born in 1928. His younger siblings, Adolphe Henry and Marion Simeone, were under Swiss protection and consequently immune from internment. As a young man he began acting, and from the mid-1950s had innumerable roles in feature films, single television plays and television series. In the late 1960s, he was a steady guest star on countless popular UK series of the day, many of which had espionage and adventure plots, including 'The Avengers', 'The Saint', 'The Baron', 'Sherlock Holmes', 'The Champions', 'The Troubleshooters', 'Love Story', 'I Spy' and The 'Man In Room 17'. He also played the Number Two in The Prisoner ("Checkmate", 1967). Wyngarde's movie work was narrow but had influence. In 1961, he made the most of his brief scenes as the leering Peter Quint in Jack Clayton's 'The Innocents' with Deborah Kerr and Pamela Franklin. The next year he starred in the occult adventure movie 'Night of the Eagle'.
The Big break came for Wyngarde in 1969 when he was cast in the ITC television series 'Department S', (produced by Monty Berman) in the role of the charismatic Jason King, a sardonic, well-spoken, over sexed mystery author who also works for an undercover Interpol investigative unit. With his long hair and a loud moustache, and dressed in an array of late '60s/Swinging London-style cravats, ruffled shirts, crumpled velvet outfits, kaftans, etc., Wyngarde was the original peacock. The character's eccentric mannerisms, together with his look, soon made Wyngarde the main star of the show, casting a shadow on his two co-stars, Joel Fabiani and Rosemary Nicols; indeed, many fans felt that Wyngarde's character dressed more flashily than Nicols' character. Now a days, Jason King's manner of dress, together with his ferocious sex drive and even with the sporadic use of such retro terms as "groovy" makes him the very obvious role model for the 'Austin Powers' chracter, made famous by Mike Myers. In the series that spun out of 'Department S', simply called' Jason King', he worked solo but manoeuvred from bed-to-bed with a succession of women in seemingly every story, keeping up a pace that any self-respecting James Bond would have had a tough time keeping up with.
In 1970, Peter recorded an album for RCA Victor called Peter Wyngarde, and a single, "La Ronde De L'Amour/The Way I Cry Over You" was released. The album was reissued on CD by the British RPM Records label as 'When Sex Leers Its Inquisitive Head'. Curiously,it was not a collection of lounge standards but instead an unusual collection of spoken word/musical arrangements.
Several tracks are on the Radio Sounds Familiar playlist.
In 1983, he performed in the thriller 'Underground' opposite Raymond Burr (Ironside) at the Royal Alexandra Theatre, Toronto and at the Prince of Wales Theatre, London. During the 1980s and 1990s he made a number of television appearances, comprising the Doctor Who serial 'Planet of Fire' (1984), Hammer House of Mystery & Suspense (1984), 'The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes' (1994) and the 'Movie Tank Malling' (1989).
In recent years he has been a regular invitee to Memorabilia, a cult, science fiction and memorabilia fair held at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham The last time he appeared on TV was in 2003,as a guest of the late Simon Dee in the Channel Four one-off revival of his chat show 'Dee Time' in. In 2007, Wyngarde participated in recording extras for a re-release of 'The Prisoner' on DVD, including a mock interview section titled "The Pink Prisoner", this material was released in the Prisoner DVD set issued in the UK in 2007 and in North America on both DVD and Blu-ray in October 2009.
On a personal note, Peter Wyngarde remains a total hero of mine, and I thank him for his contribution to the golden age of television.
Peter passed away peacefully on Monday 15th January 2018 at the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital,
after a short illness.
His legacy will live on for many more generations to enjoy.
In this clip, Peter Wyngarde challenges the witch that's been tormenting him in the film "Night Of The Eagle'
And now as the swarve ‘Jason king’
Hammer House of Mystery & Suspense - 'and the Walls Came Tumbling Down ' as Daniel /General Haswell
The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes (TV series) Langdale Pike – The Three Gables (1994) … Langdale Pike
1994 The Lenny Henry Show (TV series) Mr. Bad – Pilot (1994) … Mr. Bad
1989 Tank Malling Sir Robert Knight
1985 Bulman (TV series) Gallio – I Met a Man Who Wasn't There (1985) … Gallio
1984 The Two Ronnies (TV series) M'Lord – 1984 Christmas Special (1984) … M'Lord
1984 Hammer House of Mystery and Suspense (TV series) Daniel Haswell / General Haswell – And the Wall Came Tumbling Down (1984) … Daniel Haswell/General Haswell
1984 Doctor Who (TV series) Timanov – Planet of Fire: Part Four (1984) … Timanov – Planet of Fire: Part Three (1984) … Timanov – Planet of Fire: Part Two (1984) … Timanov – Planet of Fire: Part One (1984) … Timanov
1984 Crown Court (TV series) Charles Marchington – The Son of His Father: Part 1 (1984) … Charles Marchington
1980 Flash Gordon Klytus
1979 Himmel, Scheich und Wolkenbruch Scheich Al-Abdullah
1971-1972 Jason King (TV series) Jason King – That Isn't Me, It's Somebody Else (1972) … Jason King – An Author in Search of Two Characters (1972) … Jason King – Zenia (1972) … Jason King – Chapter One: The Company I Keep (1972) … Jason King – Every Picture Tells a Story (1972) … Jason King See all 26 episodes »
1969-1970 Department S (TV series) Jason King – The Double Death of Charlie Crippen (1970) … Jason King – A Ticket to Nowhere (1970) … Jason King – The Soup of the Day (1970) … Jason King – A Fish Out of Water (1970) … Jason King – The Ghost of Mary Burnham (1970) … Jason King See all 28 episodes »
1968 The Champions (TV series) Hallam – The Invisible Man (1968) … Hallam
1967 The Prisoner (TV series) Number Two – Checkmate (1967) … Number Two
1967 The Troubleshooters (TV series) Sheik Mohammed bin Falik – A Nice White Girl - Is She for Sale? (1967) … Sheik Mohammed bin Falik
1967 The Revenue Men (TV series) General Daniel – The Exile (1967) … General Daniel
1967 I Spy (TV series) George – Let's Kill Karlovassi (1967) … George
1967 Love Story (TV series) Konrad Von Kroll – It's a Long Way to Transylvania (1967) … Konrad Von Kroll
1966-1967 The Saint (TV series) Tiberio Magadino / Turen – The Gadic Collection (1967) … Turen – The Man Who Liked Lions (1966) … Tiberio Magadino
1966-1967 The Avengers (TV series) Stewart Kirby / The Honorable John Cleverly Cartney – Epic (1967) … Stewart Kirby – A Touch of Brimstone (1966) … The Honorable John Cleverly Cartney
1955-1967 ITV Play of the Week (TV series) Garry Essendine / Guido / Hovstad / … – The Crossfire (1967) … Hugo de Croissillon – The Rules of the Game (1965) … Guido – A Choice of Coward #1: Present Laughter (1964) … Garry Essendine – A Midsummer Night's Dream (1964) … Oberon – Camino Real (1964) … Jaques Casanova See all 11 episodes »
1966 The Baron (TV series) Arnold Noyes / King Ibrahim – The Legions of Ammak (1966) … King Ibrahim/Arnold Noyes
1966 Lucy in London (TV movie)
1966 The Man in Room 17 (TV series) Paul Panacek – First Steal Six Eggs (1966) … Paul Panacek
1965 Disneyland (TV series) Sir Richard – The Further Adventures of Gallegher: A Case of Murder (1965) … Sir Richard
1965 Sherlock Holmes (TV series) Baron Grüner – The Illustrious Client (1965) … Baron Grüner
1965 R3 (TV series) Dr. Henri Lefebvre – The Forum (1965) … Dr. Henri Lefebvre
1964 A Choice of Coward (TV series) Garry Essendine – Present Laughter (1964) … Garry Essendine
1964 Rupert of Hentzau (TV series) Rupert of Hentzau – The Decision of Fate (1964) … Rupert of Hentzau – A Perilous Reunion (1964) … Rupert of Hentzau – The Wheel of Chance (1964) … Rupert of Hentzau – Audience with the King (1964) … Rupert of Hentzau – Return to Zenda (1964) … Rupert of Hentzau See all 6 episodes »
1962 About Religion (TV series) – Dinner with the Devil (1962)
1962 Out of This World (TV series) Captain Barton – Cold Equations (1962) … Captain Barton
1958-1962 Armchair Theatre (TV series) Werner Loder – Night Conspirators (1962) … Werner Loder – The Shining Hour (1958)
1962 Night of the Eagle Norman Taylor
1961 The Innocents Peter Quint
1961 Alcoa Presents: One Step Beyond (TV series) Paul Roland – Nightmare (1961) … Paul Roland
1960 The Siege of Sidney Street Peter
1960 On Trial (TV series) Sir Roger Casement – Sir Roger Casement (1960) … Sir Roger Casement
1959 Epilogue to Capricorn (TV series) Peter Vauxhall – Traitor's Gate (1959) … Peter Vauxhall – All on Tape (1959) … Peter Vauxhall
1958 The Dark Is Light Enough (TV movie) Richard Gettner
1958 The Adventures of Ben Gunn (TV series) John Silver – Marooned (1958) … John Silver – The Honest Seaman (1958) … John Silver – How the Treasure Was Buried (1958) … John Silver – The Winning of the Treasure (1958) … John Silver – The Taking of the Walrus (1958) … John Silver See all 6 episodes »
1958 General Electric Theater (TV series) Raymond DeTresk – Time to Go Now (1958) … Raymond DeTresk
1957 Ordeal by Fire (TV movie) Jerome Taillard
1957 A Tale of Two Cities (TV mini-series) Sydney Carton – The Footsteps Die Out (1957) … Sydney Carton – A Hand at Cards (1957) … Sydney Carton – The Darkness (1957) … Sydney Carton – The Storm Breaks (1957) … Sydney Carton – The Honest Tradesman (1957) … Sydney Carton See all 7 episodes »
1957 Overseas Press Club - Exclusive! (TV series) Andrea Bakolas – The George Polk Story (1957) … Andrea Bakolas
1957 Jack Hylton's Monday Show (TV series) – Hotel Riviera (1957)
1957 English Family Robinson (TV mini-series) Indian
1957 Sword of Freedom (TV series) Colonna – The Sicillian (1957) … Colonna
1956 Assignment Foreign Legion (TV series) Lt., Charles Designe – The Debt (1956) … Lt., Charles Designe
1956 The Gambler (TV movie) Marquis de Grieux
1956 Alexander the Great Pausanias
1955 Terminus (TV series) Tommy Glen – Hour of Decision (1955) … Tommy Glen
1954 Stage by Stage: The Relapse or, Virtue in Danger (TV movie) Worthy
1954 Liebelei (TV movie) Lt. Fritz Lobheimer
1950-1953 BBC Sunday-Night Theatre (TV series) Charles Granillo / Francis Derham / Prokesch / … – The Rose Without a Thorn (1953) … Francis Derham – Will Shakespeare (1953) … Will Shakespeare – L'Aiglon (1953) … Prokesch – As You Like It (1953) … Sylvius – Rope (1950) … Charles Granillo