Socialist Worker

Roger Lloyd Pack 1944-2014

by Sabby Sagall
Issue No. 2386

Roger Lloyd Pack, who has died of cancer aged 69, was a man of many roles and varied talents. As an actor and performer, he excelled in both popular comedy and classic drama.

He was, in addition, a man with strong political beliefs and commitment, who disdained the celebrity culture of the contemporary media. He would frequently be approached for his autograph and addressed as Trigger to which he responded by signing his name and saying quietly “actually, my name is Roger.” Moreover, he wasn’t afraid to get his hands dirty. He gave unstinting support to radical causes and movements such as Stop the War Coalition and the People’s Assembly.

He first achieved popular fame in the 1980s through the TV series Only Fools and Horses, in which he played the simple-minded street-sweeper Trigger. He also appeared in numerous TV plays and films including Made in Dagenham (2010), about the Ford women sewing-machinists’ strike of 1968. 

But from the beginning of his career, he established himself as a stage actor with a very broad range, a performer who successfully mastered complex Shakespearean roles. In the mid-1970s, he was a member of the radical Joint Stock Theatre Company. In the 1980s, he appeared in Alan Bennett’s Kafka’s Dick and JB Priestley’s When We Are Married. Recently, he had performed the very different roles of the Duke of Buckingham, the ruthless, scheming sidekick in Richard III, and that of Sir Andrew Aguecheek, the fool outmanoeuvred by Sir Toby Belch in Twelfth Night, in Mark Rylance’s all-male productions at the Globe Theatre. 

As a political activist he addressed one anti-war demonstration from the rostrum at Trafalgar Square. He was a consistent supporter of the Campaign to Free Vanunu, the Israeli nuclear technician kidnapped and jailed by the Israeli state for revealing the truth about Israel’s nuclear weapons. 

And more recently, he supported the No Glory campaign against the government’s attempt to glorify the First World War. In 2010, he took part in the big demonstrations against Camden Council’s decision to implement the Coalition government’s cuts. He was also a dedicated supporter of the local campaigns to save the Whittington Hospital and Highgate Library and went on numerous marches.

Roger was a man much loved and respected by his many friends, colleagues and comrades. Indeed, it is hard to imagine a person of greater humanity, generosity and commitment. He was also a keen Tottenham Hotspur fan. The worlds of theatre and radical politics, his family and friends have suffered an immeasurable loss. 

 


Article information

Obituary
Sat 18 Jan 2014, 12:13 GMT
Issue No. 2386
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