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Science Fiction

John Woodnutt - Regular supporting actor of the classic series has passed away
09/04/2006 17:42 GMT

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John Woodnutt, versatile character actor who has played a wide range of roles from a great variety of genres, has recently passed away. Unfortunately, Doctor Who Magazine (Issue 366, 11th March 2006) does not provide the date of his death, but promises a full obituary in Issue 367. However, a search on the Internet (www.imdb.com/name/nm0940407/filmogenre) provides a staggering array of information - it seems John's career is long and varied, including roles in the very under rated British sci fi film "Life Force" (the one with the space vampires), and parts in a large variety of British television shows including a 1985 episode of "The Bill", "Callan" in 1969, "The Sweeney"in 1975, "The Avengers" in 1966 and "Billy Bunter" in 1953. We who love Dr Who will fondly remember John Wooodnutt as one of the few regular supporting cast who did not over act, and added effectively to the ambience of the story. His most notable role will always be the Duke of Forgill/Broton, which he played with a 'low key' wit and menace that helped make "Terror of the Zygons" the atmospheric and eerie conclusion to Tom Baker's first season as the Doctor. His other roles in Doctor Who include: "spearhead fromSpace" (as Hibbert), "Frontier in space" (playing the Draconian Emperor), and "The Keeper of Traken" (in which he played Seron.

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Woodnutt played the strangest villain ever in The Tomorrow People: The Vanishing Earth. Called the Spidron he had furry hands, the digits of which ended in small balls. Dressed like he was on the way to some KKK debutante ball. Turned into liquid! Pronounced his own name "SSSSSS-pidron!" Hung out with Joy (perhaps the strangest thing of all). Was a decent hard working miner. Appeared in the midst of a cave in to attack Ginge. And brainwashed the hapless Hell's Angel with what appeared to be glowing translucent dog turd which emerged from his head! Well, happy trails John. Hopefully wherever you end up there'll be small children for you to freak out.
Martin

Martin  

date: 11/04/2006 10:39 GMT
The classics are dying out. John Woodnutt, Robert Sloman and the dude who played Gan in 'Blake's 7' - all within a 3 month period. Sad. Very sad. :(



  

date: 12/04/2006 13:42 GMT
As Bernice Summerfield once described her interest in 20th centurey history, it ran from "The assassination of Kennedy to the fall of the Berlin Wall". It's been seventeen years since the classic series, so sadly to be expected that we'd be losing people.
Martin

Martin  

date: 12/04/2006 14:24 GMT
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