Goodbye, Siegfried.


I was very sad last week to read that British actor Robert Hardy had passed away at the age of 91.

Of course all the headlines said “Harry Potter actor has died,” because one of Hardy’s most recent roles was that of Cornelius Fudge in the Harry Potter movies:

But to me? He will always, ALWAYS be Siegfried Farnon, the role he played in the wonderful series All Creatures Great and Small (based on the equally wonderful books by James Herriot about being a veterinarian in mid-twentieth-century Yorkshire). The girl I was may have loved Tristan Farnon, Siegfried’s roguish little brother (as played, playfully, by Peter Davison), but the woman I am now is all about the older, wiser, and still joyful Siegfried:

I’m sorry, but only an actor of Robert Hardy’s caliber could look cute even while laughing out the phrase “artificial vagina.” We’ll miss you, Robert Hardy.


  1. How old was “Siegfried” in the Harry Potter movies?
    Even though Siegfried was a bachelor, he sort of reminded me of a parent with his many moods and seemingly inconsistent changes of attitude and opinion, which I now take to be quite normal and understandable.

    • Robert Hardy was in Harry Potter movies that were produced from 2002 to 2007; he was born in 1925, so he acted in those when he was 77 to 82 (or thereabouts).
      The author of the James Herriot books/series (Alf Wight) actually took some criticism for making the character of Siegfried (based on his real colleague Donald Sinclair) too mercurial, but from what little I’ve read on the subject it seems that people agree that Wight/Herriot was actually very kind to Sinclair in his portrayal of him!
      Understandable or not, the dynamic between Herriot and the two Farnon brothers made the series.

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