THE acting world bid farewell to one of its most versatile performers this week when the funeral of John Stuart was held in North Woodchester.

Mr Stuart, who was also known in his profession as John Boswall, recently passed away peacefully aged 91 at the home in South Woodchester he shared with friends.

Despite never marrying or having children, his funeral at St Mary’s Parish Church on Friday, June 17, attracted more than 100 well-wishers from stage and screen, including Sir Michael Gambon and members of Stroud’s Daylight Theatre, who read a eulogy at the service.

Having studied at Oxford and been posted to Burma as a major in the Second World War, John’s acting career did not take off until after 50th birthday when he joined a theatre group in Derby.

His natural talent landed him a host of roles in television and film throughout the 1970s 80s and 90s, including Three Men and a Little Lady alongside Ted Danson and Tom Selleck, which he flew out to shoot in Hollywood on his 70th birthday.

Most recently he appeared in two Pirates of the Caribbean blockbusters alongside Johnny Depp and Geoffrey Rush and the British spoof documentary Morris: A Life With Bells On, about the Morris dancing tradition.

It was through his stage work he met his friend Richard Latham and his wife Patty, with whom he lived for 30 years, first in London and then in Gloucestershire until his death.

"People just loved him," said Patty.

"He really enjoyed all life had to offer and he was a very giving person.

"It did not matter whether you were a famous actor or someone he met in the street, he treated everybody with the same respect, that was just the sort of person he was."

Those who attended John’s funeral are urged to make a donation either to residential care homes group The Abbeyfield Society, or Cotswold Care Hospice, whose nurses visited John in recent years.

Donations can be sent to Fred Stevens Funeral Directors, Newmarket Road, Nailsworth, GL6 0DQ.