A serious actor, strikingly handsome in a sullen way, looking rather like a cross between Derek Jacobi and Oliver Reed. Trained at RADA, he hit the acting scene with a modest bang, securing early appearances in 'Blow Up' (1966), 'The Lion in Winter' (1968), and the most talked-about TV show of the day, 'The Prisoner', though he didn't seem to quite grab the public imagination like some of his illustrious young contemporaries. He played Caesar in Charlton Heston's unloved film version of 'Antony & Cleopatra' (1972) and the Duke in 'The Man of La Mancha' (1972), but then things seemed to go a little bit quiet.
|As Number 12 in 'The Prisoner' episode 'The General'|
|At the circus with Charlton Heston in 'Antony & Cleopatra' (1972)|
There was a certain amount of television drama in the late '60s and early '70s, such as Johnny Speight's 'If There Weren't Any Blacks You'd Have to Invent Them' and a sprinkling of one-offs like 'ITV Sunday Night Theatre', and 'The Wednesday Play'. His next high profile role was as Postumus in the BBC's toga-ripper 'I, Claudius', which seemed to kick-start another spate of varyingly prestigious work. There are quite a few costume dramas and period pieces, which seem to suit his austere, brooding presence, such as 'The Fight Against Slavery', 'King John', 'Lillie', 'Penmarric' and a Jeremy Brett 'Sherlock Holmes'. He also plays Teddy, the destructive love-interest in 'The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie' with Geraldine McEwan. There were also a few action and police jobs like 'Strangers', 'The New Avengers', 'Softly, Softly' and 'The Professionals'. Not much in the way of comedy.
|In the BBC's 2013 Christmas ghost story, MR James's "The Tractate Middoth'|
He is, however, in the excellent Mark Gatiss adaptation of the MR James ghost story, 'The Tractate Middoth', which is where I was reminded of his great presence and ability.
John Castle - imdb