Oscar-Winning British Actor Sir John Mills Dies
By Gideon Long
LONDON (Reuters) - British actor Sir John Mills, who won an Oscar in 1971 for his portrayal of a mute village idiot in "Ryan's Daughter," died on Saturday aged 97, a trustee for his estate said.
"Sir John died this morning at around 6:30 (1:30 a.m. EDT). He'd been ill for about a month with a chest infection," the trustee told Reuters. "He remained remarkably lucid until the end."
Mills made his name in patriotic films during and after World War II including "The October Man," "Scott of the Antarctic," "Dunkirk" and "Ice Cold in Alex."
Handsome and dapper, he embodied to many the archetypal British war hero, either as the cool-headed gentleman officer or the resigned working class soldier.
His first big break came in 1946, when he played Pip in a film version of Charles Dickens' novel "Great Expectations."
He always maintained his favorite movie was the 1960 production "Tunes of Glory," in which he co-starred with Alec Guinness as a highly-strung English officer given the job of leading a hostile Scottish army battalion.
He won the best actor award at the Venice Festival for the film and went on to take an Oscar as best supporting actor a decade later for "Ryan's Daughter," directed by David Lean. (link)
He was a good actor and a wonderful gentleman.