Alan Scarfe death: Star Trek and Double Impact actor dies aged 77

Alan Scarfe ( Jeff Hitchcock/Creative Commons)
Alan Scarfe ( Jeff Hitchcock/Creative Commons)

Alan Scarfe, the actor best known for his work in Seven Days and Double Impact, has died aged 77.

His family announced that the British-Canadian actor died from colon cancer at his home in Longueuil, Quebec, on 28 April.

Scarfe is survived by a son, the actor Jonathan Scarfe who is known for his roles inVan Helsing, Raising the Bar and The 100, a daughter Tosia, who is a musician and composer, and a brother named Colin.

Born in England and raised in Vancouver, Scarfe studied at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art from 1964 to 1966, in line with his desire to become a classical stage actor. He travelled all over Europe, the United States and Canada and performed more than 100 roles over the next two decades.

He also served as associate director of the Everyman Theatre in Liverpool from 1967 to 68. “I wanted to be a great classical actor in the long tradition of Burbage, Garrick, Kean, Booth, Olivier,” he said in an August 2007 interview.

“Forty five years ago when I began it was still possible to think in such a romantic, idealistic way.”

Scarfe’s time as stage actor included eight seasons at the Stratford Festival and two at the Shaw Festival, both in Ontario, where he performed a lot of Shakespeare, playing Macduff on Broadway in 1988 in a production of Macbeth with Christopher Plummer and Glenda Jackson.

He started his film career with roles in The Bay Boy (1984), Deserters (1984), Overnight (1986), Street Justice (1987), Iron Eagle II (1988), Aka Albert Walker (2003), and The Hamster Cage (2005).

He gained popularity with his science fiction roles, including Dr Bradley Talmadge from the National Security Agency in Seven Days, as well as for his guest roles as Romulans Tokath and Admiral Mendak on Star Trek in the 1990s.

Scarfe made several appearances at Star Trek conventions, endearing himself to fans, and spoke about his training coming in handy when playing sci-fi roles.

“Science fiction on film and television, especially if you are playing some kind of alien character with fantastic make-up, is great for actors with a strong stage background,” he said.

“The productions need that kind of size and intensity of performance. You can’t really mumble if you’re a Klingon.”

Scarfe also played the villain Nigel Griffith in the action film Double Impact in 1991 opposite twins Alex and Chad Wagner, portrayed by Jean-Claude Van Damme.

He then played the Internal Affairs chief Herman Walters in Lethal Weapon III in 1992.

In 1985, Scarfe won a Genie Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role for playing Sergeant Tom Coldwell in The Bay Boy.

In addition to his acting career, Scarfe was a published author, writing under the pen name Clanash Farjeon.

His first novel, The Revelation of Jack the Ripper, was published in 2017 and was followed by The Vampires of Juarez, The Demons of 9/11, and The Mask of the Holy Spirit.