Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Actor Bernard Kay R.I.P.

Bernard Kay, who appeared in TV shows from The Avengers to Doctor Who and films from Witchfinder General (1968) to The Case of Marcel Duchamp (1984), died on 25 December 2014 at the age of 86.

Bernard Kay was born on 23 February 1928 in Bolton, Lancashire. His mother committed suicide when he was only an infant. His father, who was a reporter for the Yorkshire Post who spent his last few years in a mental hospital. He died when Bernard Kay was only twelve. Young Mr. Kay was then largely raised by his grandparents. He attended Chetham's Hospital School in Manchester. After leaving school he worked as a reporter for the Bolton Evening News and also contributed to the Manchester Guardian. Mr. Kay left his post as a reporter to fulfil his national service in the British Army.

After leaving the military he attended the Old Vic theatre school in London. In 1952 he acted with the Nottingham Rep. In 1953 and 1954 he was part of the Royal Shakespeare Company. It was in 1958 that he made his television debut in an episode of ITV Television Playhouse. He made his film debut in Carry On Sergeant in 1958. In the late Fifties he appeared in the shows The Infamous John Friend, World Theatre, Saturday Playhouse, The Terrible Choice, and The Roving Reasons.

In the Sixties Mr. Kay appeared as Horatio in a television series adaptation of Hamlet, as well as the President of the Tribunal in an adaptation of A Tale of Two Cities and Aslan in a television adaptation of The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe. In 1964 he made his first of five different appearances on Doctor Who. During the Sixties he would appear on the show again in 1965, and 1967.  He also appeared on such shows as Maigret, Dixon of Dock Green, The Edgar Wallace Mystery Theatre, The Avengers, Out of the Unknown, No Hiding Place, The Baron, Adam Adamant Lives!, The Champions, and Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased). He appeared in such films as Backfire (1962), Doctor Zhivago (1965), They Came from Beyond Space (1967), The Shuttered Room (1967), Torture Garden (1967), Interlude (1968), Witchfinder General (1968), Darling Lili (1970), and Trog (1970).

In the Seventies Bernard Kay had regular roles on South Riding, Accident, and Dick Barton: Special Agent. He made his last appearance on Doctor Who and also appeared in a television series adaptation of The Prince and the Pauper. He guest starred on such shows as Z Cars, Colditz, The Protectors, Emmerdale, The Main Chance, Space 1999, The Professionals, and Crown Court. He appeared in the films The Hunting Party (1971), Running Scared (1972), Lady Caroline Lamb (1972), The Hiding Place (1975), Spy Story (1976), Sweeney! (1977), Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger (1977), and The Great Riviera Bank Robbery (1979).

In the Eighties Mr. Kay was a regular on the show Scarf Jack. He appeared on such shows as Dick Turpin, Tales of the Unexpected, The Bill, The Fourth Floor, Remington Steele, A Very British Coup, Hannay, and London's Burning. He appeared in the films The Case of Marcel Duchamp (1984) and The Most Dangerous Man in the World (1988). In the Nineties he was a regular on the show Century Falls. He guest starred on the shows Coronation Street, Minder, PSI Factor: Chronicles of the Paranormal, Jonathan Creek, and The New Adventures of Robin Hood. He appeared in the film Steal This Movie (2000).

In the Naughts Bernard Kay appeared on the shows Casualty, Foyle's War, and Doctors. He appeared in the films Puritan (2005), The Last Hangman (2005), Joy Division (2006), and Psychosis (2010).

If Bernard Kay was seen so frequently on television and in films throughout his career it was perhaps because he could play nearly any role. He was very adaptable as an actor. He could play anything from villains to business executives. Prime examples of how varied the roles he played can be found in two of his best known appearances. He played Saladin in the Doctor Who serial "The Crusade" and Kuril the Bolshevik in the film Dr. Zhivago. Over the years he played everything from police detectives to physicians to judges to ministers. And he did all of them well.

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