John Fraser dies after a battle with cancer

Dam Buster star, John Frasier, dies aged 89 after a battle with cancer

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John Fraser passed away on Saturday, 7th November, after a year-long battle with cancer. His family recently confirmed the devastating news.

Fraser shot to fame in 1955, playing the role of Flight Lieutenant J V ‘Hoppy’ Hopgood in the British war film Dam Busters. Throughout his career he starred in more than 20 films, such as Tunes of Glory in 1960 and The Waltz of the Toreadors in 1962.

The Scottish actor was born in a Glasgow council estate in 1931, with his first role being in 1947, as a page in Oscar Wilde’s Salomone. However, his career took a backseat while he completed his National Service as a Royal Corps of Signals lieutenant with the British Army of the Rhine. After his service, he returned to acting, and landed a role in a BBC adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Kidnapped in 1951.

John Fraser began turning down roles in the sixties, since during the height of his fame, homosexualty was still illegal. As a gay man, this led to his desire to step out of the spotlight, with his final role being in the nineties. Whilst filming The Wind Cannot Read, actor Ronald Lewis made a comment about his sexuality, which led to a fight.

He moved to Buckinghamshire with his partner at the time, George, however they split in 1970. After this, Fraser toured West Africa performing Shakespeare with the British Council, overall performing in more than 60 countries. Fraser and his partner, Rodney Pienaar, an artist from South Africa, later retired to Tuscany together.

John Fraser was diagnosed with cancer a year ago, but decided to not have chemotherapy. Rodney Pienaar was beside him when he passed, saying “I found him on Saturday morning and he looked very peaceful in his bed.” The star had been in hospital until two weeks prior to his death, returning back home for his last week.

Frasier was nominated for a Best Actor Bafta for his role in The Trials of Oscar Wilde in 1960. He was also once said to be the “most handsome man in Britain”.