Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Actor Nicholas Courtney Passes On

Nicholas Courtney, best known for playing the Brigadier on Dr. Who, passed on 22 February at the age of 81. Of the co-stars on Dr. Who, it was Mr Courtney who served the longest.

Nicholas Courtney was born on 16 December 1929 in Cairo, Egypt, the son of a British diplomat. Because of this he was educated in Egypt, France, and Kenya. Once he had completed National Service in 1950, Mr. Courtney attended the Webber Douglas School  of Singing and Dramatic Art. For two yeas he was part of a repertory in Northampton, then moved to London.

Nicholas Courtney made his television debut on an episode of Escape in 1957. In the early to mid Sixties Mr. Courtney would appear on such shows as Looking About, No Hiding Place, The Indian Tales of Ruyard Kipling, and The Saint. He first appeared on Dr. Who  in 1965 in a role other than the Brigadier. In 1968 he first appeared as Colonel (later Brigadier) Lethbridge Stewart. He would play the role until 1989. He made his film debut in The Brides of Fu Manchu in 1966. For the remainder of the Sixties Nicholas Courtney would appear on such shows as Sword of Honour, The Avengers, The Champions, Callan, and Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased). He appeared in the films Doppelgänger (1969) and It Takes a Girl Like You (1970).

In the Seventies Mr. Courtney appeared in such shows as Jason King, Doomwatch, The Two Ronnies, and Watch This Space, and All Creatures Great and Small. He appeared in the movies Endless Night (1972) and Uncovers Hero (1974). In the Eighties he appeared on such series as Minder, Juliet Bravo, Yes Prime Minister, and Only Fools and Horses. He appeared in the film Bullseye (1990). From the Nineties into the Naughts Mr. Courtney appeared on such shows as Then Churchill Said to Me, Satellite City, Harry Hill (as the Brigadier), Casualty, The Bill, and The Sarah Jane Adventures.

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