Thursday, May 20, 2010

Remembering... Jon Pertwee

Best known for portraying the third incarnation of the Doctor on the classic BBC show Doctor Who between 1970 and 1974, Jon Pertwee - who died on this day in 1996 - scored a second hit playing the title character in the children's series Worzel Gummidge (which was itself based on a series of books by Barbara Euphan Todd) from 1979 to 1981.  Despite this and other subsequent roles Pertwee never ceased to act as an ambassador for Doctor Who, promoting both the show and his role in it even unto his last television appearance*...

PhotobucketBorn in July 1919 into a theatrical family - his father was noted screenwriter and actor Roland Pertwee and his cousin, Bill Pertwee, played Chief Warden Hodges in the classic sitcom Dad's Army - he was educated at Frensham Heights School, Sherborne School, and later expelled from Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA); a wartime stint as an officer in the Royal Navy ably prepared him to play a Chief Petty Officer in the long-running radio series The Navy Lark, which he did from 1955 to 1979He also appeared in four Carry On films: Carry On Cleo (1964, as the soothsayer), Carry On Screaming (1966, as Dr. Fettle), Carry On Cowboy (1965, as Sheriff Earp) and Carry On Columbus (1992, as Duke of Costa Brava) among dozens of others beginning with A Yank at Oxford in 1938.

Twice married - first to Jean Marsh (1955-1960) and then to Ingeborg Rhoesa from 1960 until his death - by his second wife Pertwee had a son and a daughter, Sean and Dariel, who've both gone into the family business.

*On the Cilla Black presented Surprise, Surprise for London Weekend Television.

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