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Jon Pertwee: Misc


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Jon Pertwee strikes a humorous pose in a pre-Doctor Who publicity shot.

John Devon Roland Pertwee (7th July 1919 Chelsea, London, England, UK - 20th May 1996), better known as Jon Pertwee, played the third incarnation of the Doctor from 1970 to 1974. He is also well-known as the title character in the series Worzel Gummidge. He also hosted the murder mystery quiz programme Whodunnit! between 1974 and 1978.

Pertwee was also a comic actor, with roles such as the conniving Officer Pertwee in The Navy Lark on BBC Radio and in another radio comedy series Waterlogged Spa. He also played the part of Lycus in the 1963 London stage production of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and appeared in the smaller role of Crassus in the 1966 film version, the screenplay for which was co-written by his brother, Michael Pertwee. He appeared in four Carry On films: Carry on Cleo (1964), Carry On Screaming! (1966) (which, coincidentally, includes a joke about Doctor Who), Carry On Cowboy (1965) and Carry On Columbus (1992). He also guest starred in the British comedy television series The Goodies in the episode "Wacky Wales".

In 1972 he released a vocal version of the programme's celebrated theme tune entitled "Who is the Doctor", [1] and in 1980 he released a novel track based on Worzel Gummidge entitled "Worzel's Song". [2] He returned to the role of the Doctor in the 1983 20th-Anniversary television movie The Five Doctors and in the 1993 charity special Dimensions in Time. He also performed in two radio spin-offs: The Paradise of Death and The Ghosts of N-Space. During the 1990s he made a guest appearance in the "Lords and Ladies" episode of the BBC Radio 4 comedy series Harry Hill's Fruit Corner, playing a Time Lord.

Pertwee was an officer in the Royal Navy, spending some time working in naval intelligence during the Second World War. He was a crew member of HMS Hood and was transferred off the ship shortly before it was sunk, losing all but three men. Pertwee enrolled in RADA, but was expelled for, as he put it, "lack of seriousness." He was married twice, first to Jean Marsh (19551960), whom he divorced, and then, on 13 August, 1960, to Ingeborg Rhoesha, by whom he had two children, Sean and Dariel. He was a cousin of actor Bill Pertwee.

By Pertwee's own account, the Third Doctor's costume was thought up by him as a joke. Retrieving an old velvet smoking jacket, ruffled shirt, and opera cape from storage, he decided it was the most ridiculous outfit he'd ever seen, and wore it to an appointment at the producer's office. The production team loved the idea and it became part of the Third Doctor's character. Pertwee also insisted that despite his reputation as a comedic actor, he wanted to play the Doctor more seriously and heroicly, as a man of action.

Pertwee discussed his decision to leave Doctor Who in 1974 on several occasions, such as the PBS documentary Doctor Who's Who's Who and the Myth Makers video series. He cited two catalysts in his decision: the departure of Barry Letts as series producer, and the 1973 death of close friend Roger Delgado, who had played The Master.

Outside acting, Jon Pertwee was an avid sportsman, and was especially fond of water-skiing. A favorite ring of his which became his trademark was a coin he retrieved from a shipwreck while scuba diving which he later had mounted.

Pertwee would continue to act in films and television as well as make appearances world-wide in support of Doctor Who. Eventually, he became more aggressive in boosting projects that he favoured. Early success in persuading Doctor Who actors such as Patrick Troughton to appear as guests at American science fiction conventions inspired Pertwee to lobby for a radio version of the series after it was put on hiatus. Additionally, he vigorously canvassed British producers on behalf of Worzel Gummidge.

Ultimately, Pertwee was successful in seeing the Third Doctor return to the airwaves with two audio productions for BBC Radio, The Paradise of Death and The Ghosts of N-Space. Worzel Gummidge was eventually picked up for production on Australian television. Near the end of his life, Pertwee also appeared in several semi-professional independent productions by BBV Productions; although he didn't play The Doctor, he did play a doctor in The Zero Imperative, the premiere release of the P.R.O.B.E. series which starred Pertwee's former Doctor Who co-star Caroline John, who reprised her role of Liz Shaw. He also made a cameo appearance in the BBV-produced film The Airzone Solution which, while unrelated to Doctor Who, featured appearances by, at the time of production, all surviving former Doctor actors except for Tom Baker.

Pertwee continued on the convention circuit and with his voice and television acting until his death, aged 76, from a heart attack whilst on holiday in the American state of Connecticut on 20 May 1996 (some reports, however, place the location of his death in New York). He passed away only days after the American broadcast of the Doctor Who television movie which used in its opening credits a logo based on the one from his era of the television series. The BBC broadcast of the television movie featured a dedication to Pertwee at its conclusion.

Just before his death, Pertwee played a Doctor-like character for a British television commercial.

His last association with the series was posthumous. With the approval of his widow, Ingeborg, his voice was utilised as part of the plot of the Big Finish Productions 40th-Anniversary Doctor Who audio drama, Zagreus. Pertwee's voice was culled from a fan-produced Doctor Who film, Devious[3], portions of which were recorded prior to his death; he filmed his scenes for the production in April 1995. Although the production was not authorised or commissioned by the BBC, a 12-minute excerpt from the still-unfinished Devious was nonetheless included as a bonus feature on the BBC Video 2009 DVD release of The War Games.

He was a lifelong fan of cartoons and self-proclaimed expert in animation.


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This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original article was at Jon_Pertwee. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with the TARDIS Index File, the text of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License 3.0 (Unported) (CC-BY-SA).

This article uses material from the "Jon Pertwee" article on the Dr Who wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

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