John Thaw (January 3, 1942 - February 21, 2002) was a British actor who achieved his first starring role in the military police television drama Redcap (1964 - 1966), and subsequently appeared in a range of television, stage and cinema roles.

Thaw will perhaps be best remembered for two roles: the hard-bitten Flying Squad detective Jack Regan in the television series (and two films) The Sweeney (1974 - 1978), which established him as a major star in the United Kingdom, and as the quietly-spoken, introspective and bitter detective Inspector Morse (1987-2001), with specials in 1995-1998 and 2000). He subsequently played liberal barrister James Kavanagh in Kavanagh QC (1995-1999, with a special in 2001).

Thaw died of esophageal cancer at the age of 60 in 2002.