Fade Out: ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ Actor Christopher Malcolm Dies

Scottish actor Christopher Malcolm, who was a regular screen presence through the early seventies through the late eighties, and a cast regular on hit British comedy Absolutely Fabulous, died today at the age of 67. His passing was confirmed by his daughter, playwright Morgan Lloyd Malcolm, via Twitter.

In addition to his television and film roles, Malcolm was an accomplished, classically trained Shakespearean actor, beginning his career with the prestigious Royal Shakespeare Company in England. He performed in standards like “Macbeth” and “Hamlet,” though his push to mainstream audiences came during his appearance as Brad Majors in The Royal Court Theatre’s original run of “The Rocky Horror Show” in 1973. While a number of the stage cast transitioned to Jim Sharman’s big screen adaptation, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, in 1975, Tim Curry amongst them, Malcolm was replaced as Brad by Barry Bostwick.

Malcolm retained a  stream of screen work all the same, appearing with the likes of Robert Shaw in Force 10 from Navarone, The Dogs of War with Christopher Walken, Superman III, Jim Henson’s Labyrinth, 1986’s The Highlander with Christopher Lambert, and perhaps most famously, as Rebel Alliance pilot Zev Senseca and member of Luke Skywalker’s famous Rogue Squadron in The Empire Strikes Back.

His most recognizable role, however, was likely on Jennifer Saunders’ hit BBC comedy, Absolutely Fabulous, a series about two boozing, chain-smoking, aging PR agents following the absurd fashions of the day in an attempt to remain culturally relevant. Malcolm played Justin, father to Saffron (Julia Sawalha), and ex-husband to Saunders’ Edina Monsoon. The show also starred British actress Joanna Lumley as Edina Stone. He was a member of the cast from 1992 to 2003, and also appeared in the  show’s 2011 three episode special. In addition to his on-camera work, Christopher Malcolm was also a stage producer, with theater adaptations of “Footloose“and “Flashdance“under his belt amongst many others, the former of which is his last producing credit in 2010. Malcolm also co-produced a revival run of “The Rocky Horror Show” himself from 1990 to 1991, and again from 2000 to 2001. The former was nominated for a Tony Award.

Malcolm is survived by his daughter, and wife Judy, who resided with him in London.

Dustin is a California transplant by way of West Texas, spending most of the last ten years anywhere between Oceanside and Santa Barbara. Dustin has been writing since adolescence, winning such illustrious honors as first grade teacher Ms. Wall's Creative Critter Writing Award.

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