Jon Pertwee (1919 - 1996)

The Report from the BBC 6 O'Clock News - 20th May 1996

The Doctor Who actor Jon Pertwee died this morning at the age of 76. In his showbiz career, which spanned sixty years, he was best known for his role as a childrens scarecrow - Worzel Gummage, and as a cult time-lord in Doctor Who.

Jon Pertwee was the third of seven actors to play the BBC's intrepid timelord in the series that inthralled generations of children. His contribution was to turn the Doctor into a dandy. The baddies were unconvincing, sets and acting shaky, but the star loved it.

Young Jon came from a theatrical family, but as he used to recall his principal at drama school thought he'd never make an actor. The judgement was wrong. After wartime service in the real navy, Jon Pertwee's talent for comedy secured him twenty years as the Chief Petty Officer in The Navy Lark on radio.

As Worzel Gummage the turnip headed scarecrow, he became a cult figure, just as he had done with Doctor Who. Children and fellow actors alike found him delightful. His fame never bothered him. He found it fun and funny to be fasionable, no more than a just reward for one of the countrys most entertaining character actors.

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Last Updated: 21/05/96

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