April 26, 2005

Leading UK Actors to Attend John Mills' Funeral

LONDON - Some of Britain's leading actors are due to attend Sir John Mills' funeral Wednesday.

Lord Attenborough, former James Bond actor Sir Roger Moore as well as Robert Lindsay and Simon MacCorkindale and 1960s model Twiggy will be among mourners at the service in Denham in the eastern county of Suffolk.

"Lord Attenborough was John's closest friend," said a spokeswoman for Mills. "We're expecting just family and close friends as well as the people who worked for him to come."

The service is scheduled for 1330 GMT.

Mills, who won an Oscar in 1971 for his portrayal of a mute village idiot in "Ryan's Daughter," died Saturday aged 97.

He made his name in a number of overtly patriotic films during and after World War II including "The October Man," "Scott of the Antarctic," "Dunkirk" and "Ice Cold in Alex."

Handsome and dapper, he embodied to many the archetypal British wartime hero, either as the cool-headed gentleman officer or the resigned working class soldier. He always maintained his favorite movie was the 1960 production "Tunes of Glory," in which he co-starred with Alec Guinness as a highly-strung English officer given the job of leading a hostile Scottish army battalion.

He also fathered one of Britain's leading theatrical families. Both daughters, Juliet and Hayley, are successful actresses who gained early experience in some of their father's productions.

A memorial service will held for Mills either in June or July.

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