Kasterborous Towers was saddened to hear the news of the death of veteran actor John Normington this afternoon. He was best known to Doctor Who fans as the thoroughly nasty Trau Morgus in the Fifth Doctor’s swansong Caves of Androzani as well as Trevor Sigma in The Happiness Patrol.
WhatsOnStage.com announced the news today, revealing that Normington had died at Londonâ€™s Chelsea and Westminster Hospital near his home in Kensington, at 70 years of age. He had been suffering with pancreatic cancer for some time, and had retired from the stage in April.
A gifted supporting actor, Normington was last seen on stage earlier this year playing Billy Rice (pictured), father to Robert Lindsayâ€™s Archie Rice in Sean Holmesâ€™ 50th anniversary revival of John Osborneâ€™s The Entertainer at the Old Vic. He opened in March to wide critical acclaim but had to withdraw from the production a month later as his health declined.
John Normington’s career spanned 57 years, on stage and screen, and he was a recognised character actor due to his distinctive owlish looks and sinister tone.
His many TV appearances include Casualty, Midsomer Murders, Love in a Cold Climate, Longitude, Coronation Street, Peak Practice, David Copperfield, The New Statesman, Doctor Who, Yes Prime Minister, Inspector Morse, My Family and Other Animals, Sakharov, Life of Shakespeare, Upstairs Downstairs, Portrait in Evil, Deceptions, Jack the Ripper and Bliss. On film, he was seen in Inadmissible Evidence, The Reckoning, Stardust, Rollerball, The Thirty-Nine Steps, The Medusa Touch, A Private Function and Wit.
(Normington’s Midsomer Murders appearance was coincidentally broadcast last Friday evening.) He also appeared in the Torchwood Series 1 episode Ghost Machine as Tom Flanagan.
Tributes have flowed in to the WhatsOnStage.com website, including from the actors agent and colleagues including Old Vic Artistic Director (and Hollywood actor) Kevin Spacey.
We hope to have a more in depth look at John Normington and his Doctor Who appearances in the near future.
This would also be a good time to mention another departure, that of actor Mike Reid, best known for his portrayal of big time loser/dreamer Frank Butcher in EastEnders. Mike Reid appeared in the Children in Need Doctor Who adventure Dimensions in Time in 1993, as well as in the William Hartnell adventure The War Machines in 1966.
Originally famous as a comedian, Reid was however aso a stunt driver and extra before finding fame as a blue comic and later as Frank Butcher. You can read more about Reid’s career and tributes at BBC News.