THE legacy of film and TV actor Edward Hardwicke will live on in a Black Country theatre which the star launched just a few months ago in memory of his famous father.

The actor, best-known for playing Dr Watson alongside Jeremy Brett in the 80s and 90s TV series The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, passed away on Monday at the age of 78.

Just six months ago Mr Hardwicke was guest of honour at the official re-launch of Thorns Community College’s theatre which was renamed in honour of his Lye-born father - the late Hollywood star Sir Cedric Hardwicke.

Chris Clarke, performance faculty director at the Quarry Bank school, led tributes locally this week saying staff and students were “extremely saddened” to hear about the death of the star who spent much of his childhood in Kinver.

Mr Clarke said: “We will not forget his genuine warmth and how 'thrilled to bits' he was when he came to re-launch our theatre in memory of his father.

“We feel honoured and priviledged to have met such a true gentleman and his legacy, like that of Sir Cedric, will live on in the Hardwicke Theatre."

Inspired by his father, Mr Hardwicke began his career in Hollywood at the age of ten - in Victor Fleming’s film A Guy Named Joe with Spencer Tracy.

He went on to become a respected stage star and, as well as the popular television whodunit series Sherlock Holmes, he also appeared in the 1970s TV series Colditz and numerous films including The Day of the Jackal and Enigma.