It was very rare for an actor to acquire the accolade to be part of more than one film franchise, nowadays it’s a lot easier, but back in the 60’s and 70’s it was a testament to an actor’s respect by his peers to be in not just one or two historic movie franchises, but three. And throw in one of the greatest puppet lead tv franchises of all time in the pot and you have the partial career list of Shane Rimmer. Mostly uncredited roles, Shane was in three James Bond movies, three Superman movies and in Star Wars IV: A New Hope, and let’s throw in a Batman movie too, Batman Begins. Now the roles that he played in these films weren’t significant roles, but they reflected the respect that the industry had for him. His most famous role was as the voice of Scott Tracy in Thunderbirds.
Born Shane Lance Deacon in Toronto on 28th May 1929, to an English mother and Irish Father, he took his paternal grandmother’s maiden name, Rimmer. He began his career on Canadian radio, singing and presenting shows before moving on to TV as a presenter. It was through TV that he had a long-term working relationship with Gerry Anderson starting with Thunderbirds and then Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons, Joe 90, and The Secret Service. He also appeared in UFO, The Protectors and Space: 1999.
Shane’s other work included an appearance on Doctor Who in 1966 and appeared as two separate characters in two stints on Coronation Street in 1968 to 1970 and in 1988. He also had made guest appearances in Tales of The Unexpected and The Persuaders. His career path in the YK crossed many times with an American actor called Ed Bishop and that wasn’t just solely on TV, on radio in 1989 they both voiced an adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s A Study in Scarlet. In 2010, Shane returned to Tracy Island in a short fan movie where he voiced Jeff Tracy this time. Not content with TV, Film, and Radio, Shane tried his hand, successfully, at writing a novel, Long Shot in 2014.
Shane Rimmer had an illustrious career spanning many decades and it’s a sure thing that you’ve seen him in a film and when you realise who he is you will no doubt kick yourself. Shane passed away on 29th March at the age of 89 in Potters Bar in Hertfordshire, England.