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Jon Pertwee Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (5) | Mini Bio (2) | Spouse (2) | Trade Mark (4) | Trivia (47) | Personal Quotes (18) | Salary (2)

Overview (5)

Date of Birth 7 July 1919Chelsea, London, England, UK
Date of Death 20 May 1996Timber Lake, Connecticut, USA  (heart attack)
Birth NameJohn Devon Roland Pertwee
Nickname The Tall Light Bulb
Height 6' 2½" (1.89 m)

Mini Bio (2)

Jon Pertwee is best known for his portrayal of the Doctor, on the BBC science fiction television series Doctor Who (1963). He portrayed the Doctor from 1970 to 1974. His 60-year entertainment career included work in radio, films, and cabaret. This was despite the inauspicious beginning of having been thrown out of drama school as a young man and told he had no future as an actor. The BBC announced his death.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Anonymous

Jon Pertwee was born John (after the apostle and disciple) Devon (after the county) Roland (after his father) Pertwee (an Anglicised version of the true family name, Perthuis de Laillevault) on 7 July 1919 in the Chelsea area of London. He was the second son of famous playwright, painter and actor Roland Pertwee, and his actress wife Avice - his writer brother Michael Pertwee being three years his senior. The Pertwee family had a long connection with show business and the performing arts, and it was at Wellington House preparatory school in Westgate-On-Sea in Kent that Jon, as a small and rebellious child, was encouraged in that direction. Later, at Frensham Heights co-educational school, Jon had his first taste of "real" theatre with real women in the school stage productions of "Twelfth Night" and "Lady Princess Stream". In 1936 he auditioned for, and was accepted by, the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA). He was later kicked out for refusing to play the part of the wind in a play.

Jon Pertwee died on 20 May 1996 of a heart attack. He was survived by his wife Ingeborg Rhoesa, his son Sean Pertwee, a popular and talented actor, and his daughter Dariel Pertwee, an accomplished stage actress.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: A. Nonymous

Spouse (2)

Ingeborg Rhoesa (13 August 1960 - 20 May 1996) (his death) (2 children)
Jean Marsh (2 April 1955 - 8 August 1960) (divorced)

Trade Mark (4)

Gravelly authoritative voice
Thick mane of curly grey hair
Long, crooked nose
Multitude of comedic voices

Trivia (47)

He was the younger brother of Michael Pertwee.
Known as a comedy actor until he was cast in a dramatic and action role as the third Doctor in Doctor Who (1963).
He was the son of Roland Pertwee.
He was the first cousin of Bill Pertwee.
He was the father of actress Dariel Pertwee and actor Sean Pertwee.
Was well-known for his role in the long-lived BBC Radio comedy series "The Navy Lark", where he played the role of Chief Petty Officer Pertwee (plus Vice-Admiral "Burbly" Burwasher, Commander Weatherby and The Master) from 1959 to 1977.
He changed his name from "John" to "Jon" as a young actor.
He was told several times when he was young that he would never become a successful actor, due to such problems as a partial lisp and a close resemblance to the American actor Danny Kaye - whom he would actually double in the London location work for Knock on Wood (1954).
Knew Laurence Olivier personally when he was a young man.
His closest friend in later life was the broadcaster David Jacobs..
The 60 year old actor added pop star to his repertoire in 1980 when 'Worzel's Song' reached the top 33 in the UK and stayed in the chart for seven weeks.
He contacted the BBC about the vacant role of the main character in Doctor Who (1963) in 1969 on the recommendation of his "Navy Lark" colleague Tenniel Evans.
Jon was considered for the role of Captain Mainwaring in the BBC series Dad's Army (1968), which eventually went to Arthur Lowe. He claimed that he refused the part as he was working on Broadway at the time, and didn't know what he was being offered back home.
Played "Lycus" in the original stage production of "Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, A". The film role was given to Phil Silvers since he had greater name-recognition internationally.
He worked hard to bring the character of Worzel Gummidge (Worzel Gummidge (1979)) to the television screen and counted it as his favourite role. He had been offered the part in the mid-70s for a film version which was never made, and persuaded the writers Willis Hall and Keith Waterhouse to pen a TV pilot instead.
His experience of serving in the British Navy during the Second World War inspired him to conceive the popular BBC radio comedy "Navy Lark, The". He was a star of the series for many years and provided the voices for many of the diverse characters.
During WW2 he served in the RNVR as an officer. He was appointed to HMS Hood from which he was extremely fortunate to be returned to shore shortly before that vessel was sunk by the Bismarck.
Was a friend of Stephen Ward, a key figure in the John Profumo political scandal in the UK in the early 1960s.
Following the instructions in his will, he was cremated with an effigy of the bumbling scarecrow Worzel Gummidge (Worzel Gummidge (1979), his favorite role), attached to his casket. As the casket slid between the curtains, the effigy fell off and landed on the floor, leading one mourner to call out, "That's Jon for you. Always playing it for laughs". The mourners all broke into laughter.
He was a talented water-skier and had a passion for fast cars and motorbikes. He carried on riding his last bike, a Honda VT500E, until he was 74, two years before his death.
Died in his sleep of a heart attack while he and his wife were on holiday in the USA, staying with actor Richard Neilson and his wife at their house in Timber Lake, Connecticut.
Appeared once on BBC television's team quiz show Quiz Ball (1966) as a last-minute substitute for comedian James Logan, and found himself playing for Scotland. They won.
Was originally meant to star in The Baby and the Battleship (1956) with George Cole, but was replaced when Cole walked out.
According to Pertwee's biography, "Moon Boot and Dinner Suits", as a young boy he played with the son of the gamekeeper on the family estate. The gamekeeper was A.A. Milne, and his son was Christopher, the inspiration for Milne's later tales of Christopher Robin and Winnie the Pooh.
Was a life long fan of cartoons.
He was a close friend of Patrick Troughton and Tom Baker, his predecessor and successor as the Doctor respectively. He also counted his Doctor Who (1963) co-stars Nicholas Courtney, Roger Delgado and Katy Manning among his closest friends.
He was the oldest living Doctor from the death of William Hartnell on April 23, 1975 and the earliest living Doctor from the death of Patrick Troughton on March 28, 1987 until his own death on May 20, 1996. With his death, Tom Baker came both the oldest and earliest living Doctor.
Like Patrick Troughton, his predecessor as the Doctor, he died of a heart attack while visiting the United States.
He was a very good friend of Spike Milligan, but later on in his life the two would have arguments over who was the bigger Aladdin (1992) fan. He also considered Milligan's Goon colleague, Peter Sellers, a friend.
He considered Aladdin (1992) to be the greatest animated film of all time, as well as one of the greatest films of all time.
Had a reputation as a great raconteur, comedian and impressionist, making him a popular guest on talk shows, game shows and at Doctor Who (1963) conventions.
His favorite aliens in Doctor Who (1963) were the Draconians from the 1973 story "Frontier in Space". In particular, he liked the quality of the half-masks that were designed for them, which allowed for more expressive performances from the actors than was often able to be the case with full face masks. Pertwee was known to dislike the most popular series monsters, the Daleks, which he described as "silly" despite starring in three serials with them, and he didn't particularly rate the expressionless Cybermen either, although his Doctor didn't encounter Cybermen until he returned to the series in The Five Doctors in 1983.
Of the 24 Doctor Who (1963) stories he starred in, he named Doctor Who: The Dæmons: Episode One (1971) as his favorite.
Was the producers' second choice to play Dr Who. At the time, their first choice was Ron Moody.
Was delighted when his wife passed him the message that he had been invited to appear in "the new Columbus film", and that the script was being sent over. He would wryly recall that his hopes of working with Gérard Depardieu in 1492: Conquest of Paradise (1992) were quickly dashed when he received the script of Carry on Columbus (1992).
His final screen appearance was in a Doctor Who (1963)-inspired advertisement for Vodaphone in 1996, shot a week before his death.
Was the original choice for the role of Elliot Hoover in Audrey Rose (1977).
Was a founder member, along with his brother Michael, of The Waistcoat Club (of which he had a large collection, some dating back 300 years) which was set up in 1953 to counter the drabness of mens' dress. Another future Doctor Who, Peter Cushing, was a fellow member.
He is the second longest-lived actor to have played the Doctor in Doctor Who (1963). He was surpassed in this regard by his immediate successor Tom Baker on December 5, 2010, who became the first Doctor to reach the age of 77 on January 20, 2011.
Loved action films and his trademark fight scenes and martial arts as The Doctor were added because of this.
Was a top class Scuba Diver.
Suffered from vertigo for many years.
Was expelled from multiple private schools, including one for swinging a chain in a Tarzan imitation.
Served alongside Ian Fleming in a special division of British Intelligence in World War II. Among others there was future British Prime Minister Jim Callaghan, who served tea.
He is considered to have been one of the inspirations for James Bond alongside Christopher Lee and Ian Fleming's colleague Sir William Stephenson.
Was expelled from RADA (Royal Academy Of Dramatic Arts) after refusing to play the wind in a production.
Pertwee was very self-conscious about the size of his nose. As a result, Doctor Who (1963) script editor Terrance Dicks deliberately added a line to an episode of the series in which the Doctor is described as "a longshank rascal with a mighty nose".

Personal Quotes (18)

{When advised to portray The Doctor in Doctor Who (1963) as himself] Who's that?
I like the best of everything.
There's nothing more alarming than coming home and finding a Yeti sitting on your loo in Tooting Bec.
[on playing it straight in Doctor Who (1963)] In all my years as an actor, I had never been me - I had always hidden behind my glasses, mustaches and funny voices.
I decided to leave [Doctor Who (1963)] because Roger [Roger Delgado] had died, Barry Letts was leaving, Terrance Dicks was leaving. I thought it looked like the end of an era and I thought, "Well, I may as well go". Shaun Sutton, the head of programmes, said, "Would you like to stay on and do another season?" And I said, "Yeah, yeah, I'll do one more if you pay me a bit of extra money". He said, "Like what?" I told him and they said, "We're sorry to see you go."
Tom Baker says he's the Doctor. You can't argue with Tom on that one, he did seven years and he always wins the polls.
Eddie Gray once said to me, "Don't worry, my son, take my advice, say the lines, take the money and go and buy something nice", which is the best advice I'd ever heard in my life.
I hate working in studios. That's why I adored doing Worzel Gummidge (1979), because we shot the whole thing on film, we were outside all the time.
In my opinion, Caroline John didn't fit into Doctor Who (1963). I couldn't really believe in her as a sidekick to the Doctor, because she was so darned intelligent herself. The Doctor didn't want a know-it-all by his side, he wanted someone who was busy learning about the world. Although Caroline and I worked well together, I don't think it did the series any harm when she left.
The tattoos were a little mistake from younger and more foolish days. I always thought it was quite amusing to have the Third Doctor, who was so preoccupied with being the archetypal gentleman, displaying a nice big piece of arm adornment - and nobody said anything when filming, so they were seen on screen. Perhaps people were frightened of offending me so early on in my time!
I was very fond of the Ogrons, who were wonderful, because they were so big, even I was terrified of them.
I was delighted to appear in Doctor Who: The Five Doctors (1983) and I thought it was a great shame that Tom [Tom Baker] declined to take part. Of course, it would have been nicer to have had a bit more to do, but that was necessarily a problem, considering the amount of characters Terrance Dicks was trying to cram in. Generally, I thought I was done justice, and I told John Nathan-Turner then that I wouldn't mind coming back to do the odd special occasionally.
Somehow I seem to have been gently bypassed as a serious actor. Too long enjoying life and working in Light Entertainment perhaps.
["Radio Times" 3 January 1970] Small children and animals are every actor's nightmare - I have to cope with monsters.
I'm an actor playing Doctor Who. I'm often asked questions about what the Doctor thinks and I say: 'How the hell do I know?' I'm speaking somebody else's lines.
I think sci-fi always draws cult followers. You get these other people, the Trekkies, all over the world, who follow Star Trek (1966). There were only two series of this made and what you see now is endless repeats, but you still get these sci-fi nuts prepared to go anywhere for a convention.
At 76, I'm too old for all the stunts and the Venusian karate - I might find kicking somebody under the chin difficult nowadays.
[on Worzel Gummidge (1979)] It is an actor's dream because the man changes his mind and his head with monotonous regularity. So you go through all sorts of phases and characters, which appeals to me enormously.

Salary (2)

Doctor Who (1963) 650.00 pounds (a week)
Adventures of a Plumber's Mate (1978) £250

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