Doctor Who star Bernard Cribbins dies aged 93
From working class roots to a UK national treasure with a career spanning seven decades, Bernard Cribbins leaves behind an indelible mark
BERNARD Cribbins has died at the age of 93, leaving behind a career stretching back seven decades and an incalculable amount of entertainment. He was an actor, comedian, singer and raconteur, doing everything from Shakespeare to children’s programming.
In the 1970s Cribbins narrated the children’s programme The Wombles, but is most famous for playing the Doctor’s companion Tom Campbell in the 1966 film Daleks’ Invasion Earth 2150 AD, before returning 41 years later in the revived TV series where he had a role from 2007 to 2010.
Cribbins was known by generations of children, having played the station porter Albert Perks in 1970 film The Railway Children.
Former Doctor Who showrunner Russell T Davies led the tributes, posting a picture of him on set, while saying: “I’m so lucky to have known him. Thanks for everything, my old soldier. A legend has left the world.”
A statement from Cribbins’ agent highlighted a diverse range of work, from the Carry On series, hit 60s song Right Said Fred and as a notorious hotel guest on classic BBC comedy Fawlty Towers.
“He worked well into his 90s, recently appearing in Doctor Who and the CBeebies series Old Jack’s Boat,” they added.
“He lost his wife of 66 years, Gill, last year.
“Bernard’s contribution to British entertainment is without question. He was unique, typifying the best of his generation, and will be greatly missed by all who had the pleasure of knowing and working with him.”
Born into working-class family in Oldham in December 29, 1928, he left school at 13 and found work as an assistant stage manager at a local theatre club, taking on small acting roles before serving an apprenticeship at a local theatre.
In 1956, he made his London debut in a musical production of A Comedy of Errors.
Cribbins had a string of successful novelty records in the 1960s such as Right Said Fred and The Hole in the Ground.
His voice was a permanent presence in UK living rooms, thanks to shows like Jackanory, where he frequently read stories from 1966 to 1991.
In 2009, Cribbins was awarded a special Bafta for his contribution to children’s film and television. He was awarded an OBE two years later.
In a 2014 interview with the Guardian, Cribbins gave his thoughts on his life and career.
“Well, I think I’m a good actor, without being boastful,” he said. “I have an array of voices. And intensity is a word you might use. Engage with that little figure on the other side of the lens.”
When he was nearly 90, he published an autobiography titled Bernard Who? 75 Years Of Doing Absolutely Everything, where he summed up his approach to life.
“Do your best and be grateful for every single job”.
source – The Vibes