Jack Gold, a four-time Bafta winner who directed Goodnight Mister Tom and The Naked Civil Servant, died on August 9 aged 85. Gold, who was born in London on June 28 1930, earned a degree in law and economics at London University before making his name at the BBC. He went on to work with scores of acting greats, including the late Richard Burton and John Thaw, directing the latter in Goodnight Mister Tom and episodes of Inspector Morse and Kavanagh QC.
Gold began as an assistant studio manager for the BBC in 1954 but came to notice with his work as an editor on the Tonight programme in the early Sixties. He won his first Bafta for a programme about fox hunting presented by Alan Whicker. He also earned plaudits for producing Jim Allen's TV play The Lump, which criticised the building industry.
It was in 1961 that he made his first foray into the film industry, directing a documentary-like movie about a group of jazz players. Gold's movie was a realistic portrayal of life on the touring circuit for The Bruce Turner Jump Band and the band's musicians including Turner, John Chilton and Jim Bray.
Gold's following film projects concerned social issues: The Bofors Gun (1968) was about conflict in an Army unit; The Reckoning (1969) was about boardroom conflict and The National Health (1973) was set in a men's terminal ward. In the same year, he worked with the acclaimed Irish novelist Brian Moore on a film adaptation of his novel Catholics, which starred Trevor Howard and Martin Sheen. He then worked with Peter O'Toole on Man Friday (1975), a film which was nominated at Cannes for a Palme d'Or.
It was in that year that he made one of his most memorable films, The Naked Civil Servant (1975), a poignant and funny portrait of Quentin Crisp, superbly acted by John Hurt. The film earned Gold a Bafta Desmond Davis Award for contribution to television and was hailed by Kenneth Tynan as the best TV programme he had ever seen. In 1976 he directed Aces High and two years later came one of his most stylistically bold pieces of work for the cinema - a horror called The Medusa Touch, starring Richard Burton and Lee Remick.
During the Eighties Gold continued to make television documentaries but also directed several plays including Arthur Miller's Danger: Memory! Further triumphs were to come, most notably the superb Goodnight Mister Tom (1998), starring Thaw, a moving tale based around memories of evacuation during World War Two. Gold and Thaw enjoyed working together on several episodes of Kavanagh QC and Inspector Morse (including the final episode). Gold personally oversaw ITV's tribute documentary to the actor following Thaw's death.
Even in old age, Gold remained busy. He earned an Emmy nomination for his miniseries Escape from Sobibor and took a couple of small acting parts in films. He is survived by his wife, actress Denyse Macpherson and their three children.