Bernard Horsfall - Character Actor Mar 3, 2013 14:07:02 GMT 1
Post by Laurence on Mar 3, 2013 14:07:02 GMT 1
The character actor Bernard Horsfall, who has died aged 82, appeared in television, films and on the stage for more than half a century. Tall, imposing and authoritative, he appeared in many of the major television series from Z Cars and Dr Finlay's Casebook to Casualty and The Bill, and in Doctor Who took no fewer than four roles.
In 1968 he played Lemuel Gulliver in The Mind Robber, where he was encountered by Patrick Troughton, the second Doctor, in the Land of Fiction. The following year he returned as a Time Lord in The War Games. In 1973, with Jon Pertwee now donning the time-traveller's cape, he played the Thal chieftain, Taron, in the six-part Planet of the Daleks. And finally, he was another Time Lord, Chancellor Goth, in the 1976 story The Deadly Assassin, famously battling with Tom Baker's Doctor inside the Matrix and holding him under water. This sequence drew complaints from the campaigner Mary Whitehouse, and was edited out of the repeat showings.
His many film roles included Campbell in the sixth James Bond movie, On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969), starring George Lazenby, and General Edgar in Richard Attenborough's Gandhi (1982) with Ben Kingsley. He had an extensive, distinguished stage career, too, playing the Ghost to Richard Burton's Hamlet at the Old Vic in 1953 and the Player King to Roger Rees's with the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1984, first in a series of prominent roles with the company in Stratford-upon-Avon and London in the late 1980s.
Horsfall was born in Bishop's Stortford, Hertfordshire, and always claimed he was a 25th-generation descendant of William the Conqueror. The son of an opera singer, Margaret Horsfall, nee Norton, and her RAF officer husband, Charles, Bernard grew up in Hindhead, Surrey, and Wisborough Green, West Sussex. Always drawn to the outdoor , adventurous life, he left Rugby school early to visit his favourite uncle, Jack Norton, in Canada, and took a job cutting down trees. Jack had been a first world war pilot, flown with TE Lawrence in Palestine and had run the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.
Returning to London, Bernard trained as an actor at the Webber Douglas Academy and was soon in rep, at Dundee in 1952, at the Old Vic, the old Nottingham Playhouse in the mid-1950s (in a company that included Graham Crowden, Joan Plowright and Denis Quilley) and at the Birmingham Rep under John Harrison at the end of the 60s.
He met and married the actor Jane Jordan Rogers while she was appearing at the Bristol Old Vic, and made his mark in movies such as The Steel Bayonet (1957), a second world war adventure featuring an unknown Michael Caine, and Guy Green's The Angry Silence (1960) in which Attenborough played a strike-breaker. His notable television work after Doctor Who included a performance as Melford Stevenson, QC, in a documentary drama about Ruth Ellis, the last woman hanged in Britain. Later well-known as a judge, Stevenson was the barrister who defended Ellis. He had a leading role as the doctor, Philip Martel, in the highly successful Channel Islands wartime drama, Enemy at the Door (1978-80).
Bernard Arthur Gordon Horsfall, actor, born 30 November 1930; died 28 January 2013