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Updated: 1 hour 38 min ago

Remembering Bernard Kay

Mon, 01/05/2015 - 12:17pm

Bernard Kay, the actor who played four roles in Doctor Who during a career spanning over 50 years, died December, 2014. He was known for his versatility and ability to bring both gravitas and vulnerability to an enormously wide range of characters.

After a couple of minor TV roles his big screen debut came in the first of the Carry On movies, Carry on Sergeant (1958), starring William Hartnell. His later films included David Lean’s Dr Zhivago (1965), Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger (1977) and Steal this Movie (2000) but he’s principally remembered for his extensive television work. From the mid-50s he became a familiar face in British drama, appearing in countless hits ranging from Z Cars and Colditz to Jonathan Creek and Foyle’s War. He guested in cult classics such as The Avengers, Space: 1999, The Champions and the original version of Terry Nation’s Survivors and he played Richard Naismith in Russell T Davies’ Century Falls. But many Doctor Who fans remember Bernard Kay fondly for his roles in adventures involving the First, Second and Third Doctors.

In 1964 he found himself acting alongside William Hartnell (the First Doctor) once again in The Dalek Invasion of Earth, playing the hard-bitten but heroic Tyler in his Doctor Who debut. He returned to the show the following year, delivering a nuanced performance as Saladin, the Twelfth Century military leader in The Crusade. He played Detective Inspector Crossland in the Second Doctor adventure The Faceless Ones and finally appeared in one story shot in colour, the 1971 six-parter, Colony in Space. The photo above is taken from this adventure and shows him as Caldwell (left) with Jon Pertwee as the Doctor.

Bernard Kay had been a reporter in his youth and during his later years he returned to writing. The opening chapter of his autobiography came first in the New Writing Ventures awards in 2006 but he didn’t abandon acting, appearing in BBC series including Casualty: 1909 and Doctors.

You can watch him in action in a tense scene from The Faceless Ones.

Bernard Frederic Bemrose Kay, born February, 1928; died December, 2014.

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