Actor Laurence Payne who was best known to Doctor Who fans for his three appearances in the original run of the series has died aged 89.
Payne first set foot on stage in 1939 as a professional actor at the Old Vic Theatre, and spent many years treading the boards in productions both there and the Bristol Old Vic, also appearing at Stratford-upon-Avon as Romeo in Peter Brook’s 1947 production of Romeo & Juliet, and as Hamlet as the Embassy Theatre in London.
His first screen appearance was a part in 1949’s Train of Events and Payne was first seen on television in 1954’s The Face of Love. Soon after he was seen as D’Artagnan alongside Roger Delgado’s Athos in in the BBC series The Three Musketeers and became a fixture on British television from that point on, eventually gaining his own starring TV series based on the adventures of the 1920s incarnation of the adventurer detective Sexton Blake which ran for 60 episodes between 1967 and 1971. It was while working on Sexton Blake that Payne lost an eye rehearsing a sword fight.
His Doctor Who appearances spanned two decades: he starred opposite William Hartnell as Johnny Ringo in The Gunfighters (1966); he played the aging Argolin Morix in The Leisure Hive in 1980; and finally played the sell-out scientist Dastari in The Two Doctors in 1985.
Payne was born June 5th, 1919 and passed away February 23rd.