Doctor Who star dies at the age of 81

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 23 February 2011
The Doctor's foes the Cybermen at the Doctor Who Experience

Doctor Who's evil Cybermen

Former 'Doctor Who' actor Nicholas Courtney has passed away at the age of 81 following a long battle with cancer

Former 'Doctor Who' actor Nicholas Courtney has died.

The 81-year-old actor - who is most famous for playing the legendary Time Lord's long-serving companion Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart opposite in the BBC One sci-fi series - passed away yesterday evening (22.02.11) after a long battle with cancer.

According to his biographer Michael McManus, Nicholas was in a hospice in Hampstead, north-west London, with his second wife Karen at his side when he died.

He first appeared in 'Doctor Who' in the late 1960s and was often referred to after the series returned to screens in 2005 as being "stuck in Peru". He also resurrected his former role in 'Doctor Who' spin-off 'The Sarah Jane Adventures' in 2008.

In 1997, Nicholas became honorary president of the Doctor Who Appreciation Society in recognition of the 107 episodes in which he starred, and in recent years has made guest appearances in 'The Bill', 'Doctors' and 'Casualty'.

'Doctor Who' writer Mark Gatiss wrote on his twitter page: "Desperately sad to hear that Nicholas Courtney has passed away. A childhood hero and the sweetest of gentlemen."

Meanwhile, impressionist Jon Culshaw said Courtney was "a brilliant actor and warm, charming man", while 'Shaun of the Dead' director Edgar Wright paid tribute to "a true gent".

Nicholas is survived by Karen and his two children Philip and Bella from his first marriage.