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Bernard Horsfall obituary

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Actor most famous for his roles in Doctor Who;

Born: November 30, 1930; Died: January 28, 2013.

Bernard Horsfall, who has died on Skye aged 82, was a respected character actor who appeared in films, most notably with George Lazenby in On Her Majesty's Secret Service, and in television series including Z Cars, Casualty and Dr Finlay's Casebook.

However, he was perhaps most celebrated for several guest starring roles in Doctor Who and for one in particular: the villainous Time Lord Goth in the Tom Baker story The Deadly Assassin. One scene, in which Goth appeared to drown the Doctor and the camera zoomed in on the face of the Doctor under water, attracted the wrath of the campaigner Mary Whitehouse and was edited out of repeats.

The part of Goth, and others in Patrick Troughton and Jon Pertwee stories, meant Horsfall was popular with Doctor Who fans. Indeed, although he had retired to Breakish on Skye, he was due to fly to a Doctor Who convention in Los Angeles later this month.

Horsfall was born in Bishops Stortford in Hertfordshire, the son of an RAF officer and an opera singer. He trained at the Webber Douglas Academy in London before heading off for rep, including in Dundee. While at Bristol Old Vic he met and married the actress Jane Jordan Rogers.

He quickly began to make his mark on stage and on film. Notable theatre roles included the ghost to Richard Burton's Hamlet at the Old Vic; films included The Angry Silence in which Richard Attenborough plays a worker who defies strikers.

He also played the British spy Campbell who is ostentatiously killed by Blofeld in the Bond film On Her Majesty's Secret Service.

Throughout his 50-year career, Horsfall appeared in numerous roles on television, including four times on Doctor Who. The first time was as Gulliver in the Patrick Troughton story The Mind Robber in 1968; he then played a Time Lord in Troughton's final story The War Games the following year. Four years later, he was back as the leader of a group of rebels in the Jon Pertwee story Planet of the Daleks.

He will be best remembered among Doctor Who fans for the role of Chancellor Goth in the Tom Baker story The Deadly Assassin. Set on the Time Lords home planet Gallifrey, much of it was set in a nightmarish computer-generated world in which Goth hunts down the Doctor. Horsfall was excellent as the man of honour descending into madness.

After Doctor Who, there was continuous work on television and he continued to work into the 1990s after moving his family from London to Skye. His last major role was in Mel Gibson's Braveheart in 1995.

He is survived by his wife Jane and daughters Hannah and Rebecca.

Additional keywords: Gallifrey One

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  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Bernard Horsfall obituary | url= | work=The Herald | pages=18 | date=2013-02-02 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=16 April 2024 }}</ref>
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