Actor Bruce Allpress passed away last week at the age of 89. According to a statement released by his family, the New Zealander died peacefully at home on Thrusday, April 23 surrounded by his five children. Allpress is known for iconic roles in the Lord of the Rings and Power Rangers franchises.
Allpress' children said that they will miss his gregarious nature and his sense of humor, according to a report by Stuff. His eldest son, Pete, guessed that it was these qualities that got him so far in the entertainment industry, saying: "I guess you could describe him as the guy you would like to have a beer with. He would find a joke in anything."
Pete went on to say that his father's sense of humor was "totally inappropriate," yet made him lovable nonetheless. He said that this was why his father got along so great with New Zealand comedian Billy T James so well. "He loved working with Billy T, he said that wasn't work, it was just a party," Pete said.
"Dad picked a lot of people up when they were on the bones of their arse, whether it was his time or his money or humour, he was incredibly generous," Pete concluded.
According to Pete, Allpress passed away from complications with Lou Gehrig's disease, with which he was diagnosed just six months ago. Pete said that his father had already survived lung cancer and other severe illnesses, adding: "nothing could kill him. He fought to the bloody end, he was a scrapper."
To fans outside of New Zealand, Allpress was better known for his work in the sci-fi and fantasy genres. He played a character named Aldor in The Two Towers — the second movie in The Lord of the Rings franchise. Aldor was a role created specifically for the movies and not found in J.R.R. Tolkien's books, yet Allpress brought life to the character. In the climactic battle at Helm's Deep, Aldor stood on the castle walls against the Uruk-hai, firing the first arrow that got the whole fight started.
Meanwhile, younger fans may remember Allpress as Master Phant, a.k.a. Elephant Ranger in Power Rangers: Jungle Fury. He appeared in seven episodes of the series. Allpress is also known for movies like The Water Horse, Klynham Summer, The Piano and other films in both the U.S. and New Zealand.
All told, Allpress worked in the entertainment industry for 60 years, including roles on TV, in movies and on the stage. His family felt that he had carved out a niche for himself playing the "quintessential Kiwi bloke."
"He will be missed dearly," his younger son Michael said.