Actor Nicholas Courtney, best known for his role as the Brigadier in Doctor Who, has died aged 81, following a long battle with cancer.
As Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart, Courtney led the forces of UNIT in protecting the Earth against alien invasion, teaming up several times during the 1970s with the third Doctor Jon Pertwee, as well as in later episodes with Tom Baker, Peter Davison and Sylvester McCoy. He also starred opposite the first Doctor, William Hartnell, in a smaller role as a space security agent.
Courtney first starred as the then Colonel Lethbridge-Stewart in 1968 episode The Web of Fear, alongside second Doctor Patrick Troughton, making his final appearance as the Brigadier in the story Battlefield in 1989.
As well as his work on Doctor Who, Courtney had roles in shows such as Minder, Only Fools and Horses and Yes Prime Minister and was a fixture of ITV sitcom French Fields, which aired between 1989 and 1991.
Tom Baker, who played the Doctor in his fourth incarnation, visited Courtney days before he died. On his website, Baker pays tribute to his friend and former co-star, saying “Of all the characters in Doctor Who there is no doubt that he was the most loved by the fans… We shall miss him terribly.”
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