Doctor Who Cuttings Archive

Peter Russell

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Peter Russell was a versatile actor who worked extensively on stage and television throughout his long career. He also wrote a considerable number of radio plays for BBC programmes such as Saturday Night Theatre and the Monday Play, as well as dramatizing Anthony Trollope's Barchester Chronicles.

He was born on March 29, 1931, and educated at the progressive Summerhill School in Suffolk before going to RADA when he was 17. After spending his national service in Malaya, he worked for around the next ten years in rep, mainly in the north of England, before joining the Royal Shakespeare Company at the Aldwych Theatre and appearing in the original London productions of The Devils and Jean Anouilh's Becket.

During the sixties he also began to be seen regularly on television in such programmes as Z Cars, Dr Who and the BBC Play of the Week. This led to numerous small screen appearances over the years, including The Bill, the children's series Oasis, The Dark Room, London's Burning and feature-length versions of Last of the Summer Wine and The Scarlet Pimpernel. There was also a two-hour special and several series of Bramwell.

Parallel with this work, he continued to combine West End appearances in such shows as Judith (Her Majesty's), Becket (Globe) and the RSC's Infanticide in the House of Fred Ginger (Arts), with frequent stays at the Royal Court (Three Sisters, Marya), the New Shakespeare Company at London's Open Air Theatre in Regents Park (A Midsummer Night's Dream, Richard III) as well as venues throughout the UK.

He spent several seasons at the Chichester Festival Theatre and played in Hamlet and Othello at the Bristol Old Vic. And then there was Accidental Death of an Anarchist, The Country Wife, Death of a Salesman, What the Butler Saw and the musical Gypsy at Cheltenham Everyman, along with As You Like It at the Everyman, Liverpool, Charley's Aunt at the Theatre Royal, York, The Seagull in Manchester, Me and My Girl at Aberystwyth and many more.

In addition to all this, he managed to squeeze in numerous national tours of commercial comedies and thrillers and appeared in several Kevin Wood pantomimes.

Although dogged by ill-health for several years, he continued to work but died on July 28, aged 72, after a short illness. He is survived by his wife Barbara, a former actress whom he met while in rep, and six daughters.

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  • APA 6th ed.: Martland, John (2003-09-25). Peter Russell. The Stage p. 23.
  • MLA 7th ed.: Martland, John. "Peter Russell." The Stage [add city] 2003-09-25, 23. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Martland, John. "Peter Russell." The Stage, edition, sec., 2003-09-25
  • Turabian: Martland, John. "Peter Russell." The Stage, 2003-09-25, section, 23 edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Peter Russell | url= | work=The Stage | pages=23 | date=2003-09-25 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=7 February 2023 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=Peter Russell | url= | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=7 February 2023}}</ref>