Peter Vaughan, the actor best known stateside for his role as the elderly Night’s Watch maester Aemon Targaryen on Game of Thrones, has passed away.
Vaughan was 93 years old.
U.K. television fans will also recognize Vaughan for his work as Grouty in the beloved sitcom Porridge.
The news of Vaughan’s passing was made public this morning by his agent, Sally Long-Innes, who issued a press release reading:
“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.”
First appearing in the Season One episode “Lord Snow”, Vaughan’s Maester Aemon was a semi-regular on the wildly popular HBO fantasy series.
When his character passed in Season Five, it was noteworthy as the only time a character on the show died onscreen of natural causes.
Fans of the series have been paying tribute to Vaughan with the familiar refrain “and now his watch is ended” a reference to the phrase uttered at funerals for members of the Night’s Watch.
Beginning with stage roles while he was still in his teens, Vaughan’s career spanned more than 75 years.
He racked over 200 credits in that time, receiving his television role in 1959.
In addition to his work on Porridge and GoT, Vaughan received great deal of acclaim for his work as an Alzheimer’s patiend in the beloved British miniseries Our Friends to the North.
Over the course of his wildly prolific career, Vaughan acted opposite some of the biggest names in entertainment.
He received second billing to Frank Sinatra in 1967’s The Naked Runner.
He starred alongside Anthony Hopkins in the beloved 1993 film The Remains of the Day.
One of the better-known TV character actors in his native U.K., Vaughan developed a reputation with playing hardened chatacters such as police officers and stern elders.
It’s somewhat ironic that his final role is that of the kind and nurturing Maester Aemon, but friends and family say the character’s gentle good nature was closer to Vaughan’s real-life personality than any of the cranks that had previously made him famous.
Vaughan’s name became a trending topic on Twitter within minutes of the announcement of his passing.
And now his watch has ended…