Scrooge actor to miss annual 'Christmas Carol' production

Posted November 4, 2010 2:33 p.m. EDT
Updated November 4, 2010 3:46 p.m. EDT

— Actor Ira David Wood III, who has become synonymous in the Triangle with his portrayal of Scrooge in an annual production of "A Christmas Carol," said Thursday that he will miss this year's show for health reasons.

Wood said he is scheduled to undergo surgery at WakeMed next week to replace a defective heart valve. A routine exam Thursday morning revealed the problem, he said.

"My doctor said, 'This is serious, and I'm scheduling surgery right away,'" Wood said.

Wood has turned "A Christmas Carol" into a holiday tradition in the Triangle. He has directed the stage play and played the role of Scrooge for 35 years.

His son, Ira David Wood IV, will fill in for his father as Scrooge. The younger Wood and his sister, actress Evan Rachel Wood, will co-direct the production.

"Ira has been at my side for years," his father said. "He knows this production inside and out and will do a remarkable job."

The elder Wood predicted audiences would enjoy the show, even without the original Scrooge.

"This way, they don't have to wait until I no longer need make-up to play the role of Scrooge to see Ira take the reins," he said. "He will be spectacular."

"A Christmas Carol" will be performed Dec. 3-5 at he Durham Performing Arts Center and Dec. 8-15 at the Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts in Raleigh.