That Will Be All, Sir
When death came last week for the 79-year-old actor, debilitated by painful complications from diabetes, he lay quietly receptive in his small Hollywood apartment, surrounded by reminders of his cherished homeland: a portrait of Prince Charles, a Wind in the Willows china set. "He couldn't speak, but his eyes were so eloquent," says his great-nephew Paul Strode, a holistic therapist who came from London to nurse him. "I showed him get-well cards, pictures of Cornwall and England. You could see him thinking he was there."
But it had been in the United States that Hewett, the youngest of seven siblings, saw his career take wing—on Broadway with My Fair Lady in 1956 and in films like Mel Brooks's notorious 1968 comedy The Producers (as outré director Roger De Bris). When Hewett, who was classically trained in acting, replaced Herve Villechaize as Ricardo Montalban's assistant on Fantasy Island in 1983, "he didn't come on like a big shot," says Montalban, 80. "He never thought TV was beneath him."
Except once on Mr. Belvedere, when Hewett refused to tell a joke mocking Princess Margaret. "It wasn't a beastly line, but I just didn't want to say it," he said last year. "Otherwise, I was the consummate professional."