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23 February 2011

It is with deepest regret that DWO announces the passing of much-loved Classic Series Actor, Nicholas Courtney.

Nicholas (born in Egypt in 1929), was known to fans for his role as Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart in the Classic Series of Doctor Who. He was the only actor to have worked with all of the first five Doctors, as well as the Seventh Doctor from 1965-1989, and was one the longest-serving co-stars in the show's entire history.

Courtney's first appearance in Doctor Who was as Space Security Agent, Bret Vyon, in the First Doctor adventure; The Daleks' Master Plan, but it was for his role as Colonel Lethbridge-Stewart (later Brigadier), who made his first appearance in The Web of Fear in 1968, that fans regard most.

In total, the character of The Brigadier appeared in 23 stories:

The Web of Fear, The Invasion, Spearhead from Space, Doctor Who and the Silurians, The Ambassadors of Death, Inferno, Terror of the Autons, The Mind of Evil, The Claws of Axos, Colony in Space, The Daemons, Day of the Daleks, The Time Monster, The Three Doctors, The Green Death, The Time Warrior, Invasion of the Dinosaurs, Planet of the Spiders, Robot, Terror of the Zygons, Mawdryn Undead, The Five Doctors & Battlefield.

In 2008, Courtney returned to the role in the spin-off series, The Sarah Jane Adventures, in an episode titled, Enemy of the Bane. Fans had long been requesting his return to Doctor Who, but, alas, it never came to pass.

As well as taking part in several Big Finish audio adventures, Courtney also featured as a regular cast member in Cosmic Hobo's The Scarifyers, as Detective Inspector Lionheart, in which his co-stars alongside Terry Molloy (Davros in the Classic Series).

Courtney is survived by his wife, Karen and children, Bella and Philip, whom DWO would like to extend our deepest sympathies to.

DWO Editor, Sebastian J. Brook had the following to say about Nicholas:

"Hearing this news is indeed an incredibly sad blow to fans worldwide. On a personal note, I have had the pleasure of meeting, and indeed working with Nicholas over the years. He was always an incredibly warm, generous and wickedly funny man, who always found time for his fans. He will be sorely missed and leaves an irreplaceable void in Doctor Who."

On hearing the news early this morning, DWO asked our Facebook and Twitter followers for your memories and comments about Nicholas. Below are just a few:

Alan Dobbie via DWO Facebook

"I last met Nick at a fundraiser 18 months ago in a Tottenham restaurant where of course he was on good form; everyone wanted to speak to him and not the guest speaker!! A fond memory I also have is at breakfast at a convention and dear Nick just couldn't work the tea machine and turned to me and "Benton's never around when you need him". He always had time for the fans, thanks Nick and we'll raise a pint for you!!!"

Dale Who via DWO Facebook

"I was fortunate enough to meet Nick on many occasions, and he was always such good value. He was very well respected by both fans and peers alike, always in demand and always a witty, clever and thoroughly professional man. The acting world - and Doctor Who in particular - has lost a shining star, and my heart goes out to the many affected by his passing."

Brian Stultz via DWO Facebook

"I was not fortunate enough to meet Nic! I have watched so many hrs of Dr. Who that included this fine actor. He has made such an impact on my life, brought me many hrs of enjoyment and I feel as though I have lost an old friend or family member. He will be truly missed and never forgotten!"

@andy984 via Twitter

"@drwhoonline RIP Nicholas Courtney 1929-2011. In memory I'll be watching Inferno cos he was just bloody brilliant in it!"

@mrdavidj via Twitter

"@drwhoonline I don't think I've seen anyone or anything else applauded and welcomed with such passion."

@cpn_jack via Twitter

"@drwhoonline R.I.P nicolas courtney I may not of watched all your episodes but you were brilliant in SJA and the five doctors."

Finally, to commemorate Nick's life and contribution to Doctor Who, DWO have put together the following tribute video via our YouTube Channel:

[Source: BBC]

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