The Crown star James Laurenson dies at the age of 84

James Laurenson - who starred in 'The Crown', 'Coronation Street' and 'Taggart' - has died at the age of 84.



James Laurenson has died at the age of 84
James Laurenson has died at the age of 84

'The Crown' star James Laurenson has died at the age of 84.

The actor - who was born in New Zealand but moved to the UK in the mid-1960s - starred as Doctor Weir in the Netflix series about the British royal family and his agent has confirmed his passing.

Laurenson worked extensively in television, theatre and film, making his movie debut in 1969 with a small part in Ken Russell's acclaimed 'Women In Love'.

He appeared in ITV soap 'Coronation Street' back in 1968 as the Reverend Peter Hope of St Mary's Church and his extensive television resumé included roles in 'Taggart', 'Prime Suspect' and 'Midsomer Murders'.

In 1970, Laurenson made British television history for participating in the first gay kiss shown on screen when he locked lips with Sir Ian McKellen in a TV adaptation of Christopher Marlowe's 'Edward II'.

The scene was aired three years after the decriminalisation of homosexuality.

The BBC remembered the significant moment in a post made on August 6, 2022 on the BBC Archive Twitter/X account.

Accompanied by a black and white still from the production, the post read: "#OnThisDay 1970: The first same-sex kiss was broadcast on British television.

"BBC Two’s broadcast of Christopher Marlowe’s Edward II included a kiss between Edward, played by Ian McKellen, and Gaveston, played by James Laurenson. #BBC100."

In 2011, Laurenson was nominated for an Olivier award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for his portrayal of the Ghost and the Player King in Nicholas Hytner’s production of 'Hamlet'.

In 2022, Laurenson appeared as a sleeping teacher in the movie adaptation of Tim Minchin's hit stage show 'Matilda the Musical'.