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Bernard Kay passes away aged 86

Cult Faction has sadly learned that  actor Bernard Kay passed away on December 29th 2014 at the age of 86 years old..

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Kay began his working life as a reporter for the Bolton Evening News, and a stringer for the Manchester Guardian. He was conscripted in 1946 and started acting in the army. Kay gained a scholarship to study at the Old Vic Theatre School and became a professional in 1950, as a member of the company which reopened the Old Vic after World War II.

He appeared in hundreds of TV productions including Emmerdale Farm, The Champions, The Cellar and the Almond Tree, Clayhanger, A Very British Coup, Casualty, Casualty 1909, Doctors, Z-Cars, Coronation Street and Foyle’s War. 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.

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He appeared four times in the Doctor Who series in various roles, most notably as Saladin in the classic Doctor Who story The Crusade in 1965, alongside William Hartnell and Julian Glover. He also appeared in the serial The Dalek Invasion of Earth (1964), The Faceless Ones (1967) and Colony in Space (1971). In 2006, he guest-starred in the Doctor Who audio adventure Night Thoughts. His best known film appearance was his turn as a Bolshevik leader in Doctor Zhivago (1965).

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In 2006 Kay scooped an award for the first chapter of his memoirs, Maybe A Bastard, in which he described his difficult childhood in pre-war Bolton.

He won the Creative Non-Fiction title at the New Writing Ventures awards for unpublished writers.

His friend, actor Toby Hadoke, confirmed that Kay was found dead at his north London home on Monday and cause of death had yet to be determined.

Hadoke said: “He was one of those superb understated but versatile actors that we don’t seem to have any more.

“He never gave a bad performance. He was greatly admired by his peers. His sense of humour was combative but there wasn’t any meanness in him.”

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