Bernard Kay has died, aged 86.

The actor Bernard Kay has died, aged 86.

Born in Bolton, Kay began his working life as a reporter on Bolton Evening News, and a stringer for The Manchester Guardian. He was conscripted in 1946 and started acting in the army. Gaining a scholarship to study at the Old Vic Theatre School, he became a professional in 1950 as a member of the company which reopened the Old Vic after the Second World War. In 1952, for the Nottingham Rep, he learned, rehearsed, and played Macbeth in less than 24 hours. In 1984, he played Shylock in The Merchant of Venice during a British Council tour of Asia, ending in Baghdad, in the middle of the Iraq/Iran war. Other theatre includes An Inspector Calls (Garrick Theatre), Macbeth (Nottingham Playhouse), Titus Andronicus (European Tour), A Man for all Seasons (International Tour), The Merchant of Venice (International Tour), Galileo (Young Vic), Death of a Salesman (Lyric Theatre, Belfast) and Halpern and Johnson (New End Theatre). He twice appeared at the Finborough Theatre, London – in 2006 in After Haggerty and in 2010 in Dream of the Dog.

Over the course of his career he appeared in a large number of TV productions, including South Riding, Dick Barton Special Agent, Emmerdale Farm, The Avengers, The Champions, The Cellar and The Almond Tree, The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe (1967), Clayhanger, A Very British Coup, Century Falls, Casualty, Casualty 1909, Doctors, Coronation Street and Foyle’s War. He also appeared in the very first episode of Z Cars.

He portrayed Captain Stanley Lord of the SS Californian in the BBC dramatisation Trial by Inquiry: Titanic in 1967; and he played the bandit leader Cordova in Zorro television episode Alejandro Rides Again in 1991 which was filmed in Madrid, Spain. Kay also gave a sympathetic performance as Korporal Hartwig in an early episode of Colditz.

His film career kicked off with Carry on Sergeant, during which he encountered the indominitable star, William Hartnell. They would work together again in Doctor Who, with Kay appearing in two of the first Doctor’s stories, as Tyler in the second Dalek adventure The Dalek Invasion of Earth (1964), and as Saladin a few months later in The Crusade; he later worked alongside Patrick Troughton in The Faceless Ones (1967) and Jon Pertwee in Colony In Space (1971). In 2006, he also guest-starred in the Doctor Who audio adventure Night Thoughts alongide seventh Doctor Sylvester McCoy.

Other film roles included They Came From Beyond Space, The Shuttered Room, Witchfinder General, The Hunting Party, Sweeney!, Sinbad and the Eye of The Tiger, and most recently as the Reverend Swan on Psychosis. His most famous film appearance is perhaps his appearance as a Bolshevik leader in Doctor Zhivago in 1965.

(Bernard Kay, 23rd February 1928 – 29 December 2014)

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