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Dr Who actor Pertwee dies

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Jon Pertwee, the actor known to millions in Britain as Dr Who, died in his sleep early Monday aged 77, a BBC television spokesman said.

Pertwee spent more than 60 years as an actor but was best known for his five-year early-1970s run as the time-travelling Doctor in the cult science fiction series.

His death comes as the BBC prepares to show an up-dated Dr Who film.

Although he was not the first to play Dr Who -- there were two before him -- he came to symbolise the long-running TV series which spawned a host of Dr Who clubs and exhibitions. Memorabilia was much sought after.

However, Pertwee was later dismissive of Dr Who's most famous adversaries, the Daleks, saying they were put together with a sink plunger, an egg whisk and 24 tennis balls and described them as "ridiculous."

But Pertwee never minded being type-cast: "I'm very much afraid to say it, but I'm rather a cult figure," he said recently.

Pertwee came from a theatrical family. His father Roland was a writer, his elder brother Michael became a screenwriter and his cousin Bill Pertwee starred as the warden in another TV classic "Dad's Army."

His first wife was actress Jean Marsh and his second German-born Ingeborg, a writer. His son Sean and daughter Dariel are both actors.

He went to the prestigious Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London to train for an acting career, but was asked to leave for allegedly writing rude words on the toilet wall and was told he had no future in theatre.

Pertwee's big break came during the war when, as a seaman, he met future radio comedian Eric Barker. His comic role in radio's "The Navy Lark" aboard the lunatic HMS Troutbridge lasted more than 20 years and established him as a household favourite.

Later came films such as "Carry On Cleo" and "Carry On Screaming," and variety theatre tours all over Britain.

When Pertwee bowed out as Dr Who, he turned to a very different TV role -- that of scarecrow Worzel Gummidge. He returned as the doctor for a 1989 stage tour.

Pertwee worked right up until his death, presenting a BBC radio show in March. He was planning a one-man stage show and more radio work.

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  • APA 6th ed.: (1996-05-20). Dr Who actor Pertwee dies. Agence France Presse .
  • MLA 7th ed.: "Dr Who actor Pertwee dies." Agence France Presse [add city] 1996-05-20. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: "Dr Who actor Pertwee dies." Agence France Presse, edition, sec., 1996-05-20
  • Turabian: "Dr Who actor Pertwee dies." Agence France Presse, 1996-05-20, section, edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Dr Who actor Pertwee dies | url= | work=Agence France Presse | pages= | date=1996-05-20 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=16 April 2024 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=Dr Who actor Pertwee dies | url= | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=16 April 2024}}</ref>