World

Colin Welland, Oscar winner for Chariots of Fire screenplay, dead at 81

Actor and writer Colin Welland, who famously told Hollywood the British are coming when he won an Academy Award for Chariots of Fire, has died. He was 81.

Welland had been suffering from Alzheimer's

In this March 29, 1982 file photo, British actor and writer Colin Welland, left, accepts an Oscar for the best screenplay from Jerzy Kosinski, during the 54th annual Academy Awards presentation. (The Associated Press)

Actor and writer Colin Welland, who famously told Hollywood the British are coming when he won an Academy Award for Chariots of Fire, has died. He was 81.

His family said in a statement Tuesday that Welland, who had Alzheimer's disease, died peacefully in his sleep late Monday.

Welland's long acting career included TV cop shows Z-Cars and The Sweeney and the role of a kindly teacher in Ken Loach's landmark 1969 movie Kes.

His writing credits included the 1979 film Yanks, with Vanessa Redgrave and Richard Gere, but his biggest success was Chariots of Fire in 1981.

Based on the true story of British athletes at the 1924 Olympics, the film was an unexpected hit and took four Oscars in 1982, including best picture and best original screenplay.

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