Anthony Ainley Poster


Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Trade Mark (1) | Trivia (13) | Personal Quotes (1)

Overview (3)

Date of Birth 20 August 1932London, England, UK
Date of Death 3 May 2004Harrow, London, England, UK
Nickname Tony

Mini Bio (1)

Anthony Ainley was a notable British actor and a member of a distinguished British acting family. His brother was Richard Ainley (1910-1967) and his father Henry Ainley (1879-1945). He worked in the theatre for many years and eventually found work in various historical film dramas in the 1970s. However, his claim to fame is in the casting in the role of the Master in the long running science fiction series, Doctor Who (1963). He joined the team in 1980, appearing in at least one of every six episodes per year until 1986 - when his contract expired. However, he did reprise the role for the final Doctor Who episode entitled 'Survival' - where the Master was supposedly killed off. He retired from acting professionally in the late nineties and played cricket up until the time of his death in May 2004.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: stephen Lowrey

Trade Mark (1)

Smooth, aristocratic villains

Trivia (13)

He played the Master in 'Doctor Who' for nine years - the longest serving actor to appear as a regular character in the TV series' history.
He was a keen cricketer for many years.
He despised cheeses of all kinds.
Succeeded, briefly, in the role of the Master by 'Gordon Tipple', and then, more fully, by Eric Roberts, who portrayed the villain in Doctor Who (1996).
He was on the shortlist for Prof Watson (played by Glyn Houston) in Doctor Who: The Hand of Fear.
By the mid-eighties, he had come into some money that allowed him to live a comfortable life without acting. He actually rejected many TV and film roles in 80s and 90s because of this.
Just as his Doctor Who character "The Master" would use anagrams to conceal his identity, Ainley would be credited with an anagram of his own name to hide the fact that a character he was playing in certain episodes was The Master in Disguise. Most notably, this led to his credit in "Castrovalva" episode 3 being "Neil Toynay" (Tony Ainley).
After Roger Delgado, Peter Pratt and Geoffrey Beevers, he was the fourth actor to play the Master, the Doctor's greatest enemy, in Doctor Who (1963). He played the role from the 1981 serial "The Keeper of Traken" to the 1989 serial "Survival". He is the longest running Master. He was succeeded in the role by Gordon Tipple, Eric Roberts, Sir Derek Jacobi and John Simm.
Before his acting career took off, he was well known as a leading rugby player in London, playing under the name of A.A. Holmes. For several seasons in the sixties he played regularly for Richmond and Middlesex, either at full back or centre three quarter. Articles confirming this can be found in the archives of the London Evening Standard, written by the then rugby correspondent Richard Evans. Photographs accompanying the articles clearly confirm that Holmes and Ainley are one and the same.
Was a keen club cricketer - even abruptly citing Sophie Aldred (who played Ace on Doctor Who) as his friend once he learned that she played cricket.
Was so fond of the role of The Master that, according to Doctor Who script editor Eric Saward, Ainley would introduce himself on the phone by saying "This is the Master," and then do his trademark villainous laugh.
Considered for Dr. Armstrong, Sir Percy and Bukovsky in Lifeforce (1985). He was offered a role in Lifeforce but turned it down.
Anthony Ainley would often turn down acting roles that would clash with major cricket matches.

Personal Quotes (1)

I once sat next to a girl in a play and had to say 'Would you like some tea?', and I said it and she broke rehearsal and said 'My God you're evil!'. I guess it's something I have.

See also

Other Works | Publicity Listings | Official Sites | Contact Info

Contribute to This Page