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Jon Pertwee (1919 - 1996)


This is transcribed from the news item which appeared in the Irish Times on 21st May 1996.


Former Dr Who, actor Jon Pertwee dies

Former Dr Whos last night paid tribute to actor Jon Pertwee, who has died aged 76 from a heart attack while on holiday with his wife. The actor played the cult time lord for four years during the 1970s and went on to appear as children's character, Worzel Gummidge, for nearly a decade.

Dr Who number four, Tom Baker, said: "I am very sorry to hear the news. I was a great admirer of such a stylish actor". Another, Colin Baker, said he was "devastated".

"He was a man of such presence and stature. I can't believe he has gone - it is a great shock. Of all of the interpretations of the doctors his was the most straight in terms of avoiding comedy. He felt his doctor should be an action man, he loved gadgets and cars."

Pertwee, whose acting career spanned 60 years, was found dead in bed by his German-born second wife, Ingeborg, yesterday morning. He had worked right up until the end of his life. He was using the holiday in Connecticut to take a break from his one-man tour of Britain, which he was due to resume on Thursday.

Broadcaster David Jacobs said: "It is too terrible for words. Jon was one of the funniest men that Britain has ever produced, one of the greatest character actors, he was marginally eccentric, he lived his life to the full."

Comedian Ronnie Barker, who worked with Pertwee in the radio series The Navy Lark said: "I thoroughly enjoyed working with him. It was always great fun and we had a lot of laughs."

Terry Wogan praised the actor's sense of humour. "He was a big man in every way, with a wonderful sense of humour and sense of the ridiculous. Last time we met in the Garrick Club, he was handing round a bag of fried locusts."


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Last Updated: 21/05/96

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