Peter Vaughan, 93, best known for his role as Maester Aemon, the blind maester of the Night’s Watch and one of the last surviving Targaryens in the renowned fantasy Game of Thrones series of HBO, has died.
His agent Sally Long-Innes said, “This is to confirm that very sadly Peter Vaughan passed away at approximately 10.30 this morning. He died peacefully with his family around him.”
Born in Shropshire, England, Vaughan has served the army during the Second World War. He joined acting in 1950s and in a career spanning almost seven decades, became a well-known face on the screen. His other notable performances include playing the menacing villain Harry Grout in Porridge.
Bryan Cogman, the Game of Thrones co-executive producer who wrote Vaughan’s final episode, posted a message about the actor on Twitter, saying, “Rest in Peace to our own Maester Aemon, Peter Vaughan, who passed away this morning at age 93. Truly an honor to have known him.”
Vaughan’s stint as ‘Maester Aemon’ was the most popular role he played
“People talk about Grouty but, good heavens, the fan mail I get from all over the world because of ‘Game of Thrones’ is enormous,” Vaughan had said in a Sunday Post interview in June. “It’s been an absolute privilege to have worked on it for the past five years at my time of life because it’s absolutely first-class,” he had added.
Other best known roles played by Vaughan includes town patriarch Tom Hedden in the film Straw Dogs, Felix, the dementia-suffering father of Christopher Eccleston’s character in landmark TV drama Our Friends in the North, which earned him a BAFTA nomination and the ageing butler William Stevens, the father of Anthony Hopkins’s character in Merchant Ivory’s film The Remains of the Day.
Vaughan has always described himself as being a character actor. “If you’re a character actor, you don’t need to wait for the next leading role,” he once said. “But if you are a leading man you have to wait for the next part. Sometimes that means long periods without work.” Game of Thrones brought him a new level of fame at the ripe age of 86.