Bernard Cribbins, a British actor who had roles on “Doctor Who” and “Fawlty Towers,” and whose contributions to children’s programs delighted young audiences over a career that spanned seven decades, has died, his agent said on Thursday. hey what 93
In a statementthe management and talent agency, Gavin Barker Associates, did not say when or where Mr. Cribbins died.
Mr. Cribbins worked well into his 90s, the agency said, in a career that influenced some of the best-known comedy, drama and children’s programs in Britain. He started acting at the age of 14 in the Oldham repertory company. This period of onstage work broadened into other media, including television and film, for which he became widely known, according to IMDB.
For three decades, Mr Cribbins was regularly featured on “Jackanory,” a BBC children’s program in which an actor read books to young audiences. The program, which ran between 1965 and 1996, was meant to arouse an interest in reading.
In one of his more than 100 readings, of “The Wizard of Oz” in 1970, Mr. Cribbins infused the voices of Dorothy, the Cowardly Lion, the Wizard and other characters with a full dramatic repertoire of whispers, tremors and shrieks.
When he was awarded a BAFTA Special Award in 2009, he grew serious in an interview when asked about the hugely popular “Jackanory” and how it had influenced young audiences.
“All you have to do,” he said, “is look down the lens, find one child, and just talk to that child. And you pull them in.”
“It really works, and you think all over the country there will be little kids saying, ‘Just a minute, Mum,’ and they will be looking. And the stories, as I said before, were wonderful,” he said.
Mr. Cribbins was born in Oldham, England, just outside Manchester, on Dec. 29, 1928, according to IMDB. After his early stage career, he narrated “The Wombles,” a 1970s animated television program created from a series of books about underground creatures, and joined the cast of the science-fiction TV series “Doctor Who” from 2007 to 2010. He had also appeared in a Doctor Who movie, “Daleks’ Invasion Earth 2150 AD,” in 1966.
In the TV series, which the producer Russell T Davies revived in 2005, Mr. Cribbins played a recurring role as the grandfather of one of the Doctor’s companions, Donna Noble, played by Catherine Tate. In to Instagram post on Thursday, Mr. Davies wrote that Mr. Cribbins “loved being in Doctor Who. He said, ‘Children are calling me grandad in the street!’”
Mr Davies wrote that Mr Cribbins had once “turned up with a suitcase full of props, just in case, including a rubber chicken.” He added, “He’d phone up and say, ‘I’ve got an idea! What if I attack a Dalek with a paintball gun?!’ OK, Bernard, in it went!”
Mr. Cribbins also starred in the 1970 film “The Railway Children,” based on the children’s book by Edith Nesbit. A review in The New York Times called it “a perfectly lovely little British movie” and said Mr. Cribbins was “excellent” as the stationmaster Albert Perks in a “simple tale about three children who putter around a Yorkshire village, sharing a loving kindness learned at home.”
In 1975, Mr. Cribbins appeared in an episode of the comedy series “Fawlty Towers,” starring John Cleese as the hapless manager of a seaside hotel. Mr. Cribbins played a guest mistaken by Mr. Cleese’s character for a hotel inspector, who is trying to order a cheese salad for lunch and instead is served an omelet.
A list of survivors was not immediately available. Mr. Cribbins’s wife, the actor Gillian McBarnet, died in October last year.
In the interview after receiving the BAFTA award in 2009, Mr. Cribbins and his “Doctor Who” co-star Ms. Tate spoke about how quickly time had gone by during his long career.
“I can remember a lot of things with total clarity, total recall,” he said, before adding jokingly, “I’ve got stories I haven’t even thought of yet.”
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