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Bookmark and Share Bill Kerr 1922-2014

8/29/2014 11:54:00 am - Reported by Marcus

Australian actor Bill Kerr, has died at the age of 92.

Bill Kerr played Giles Kent in the 1967 Doctor Who story The Enemy of the World. Five missing episodes were recovered last year bringing a new appreciation to a story, the vast majority of which had not been seen since its initial transmission.

Kerr was born in Cape Town in June 1922, born into an Australian showbiz family while they were on tour in South Africa. His stage role began at just a few weeks old when he played a babe in arms during the tour.

He grew up in Wagga Wagga in New South Wales, Australia, where he became a radio and vaudeville star. His first major role was in one of Australia's first talking films, The Silence of Dean Maitland.

In 1947 he moved to the UK where he appeared in the BBC radio series Variety Bandbox. In the 1950's he won the role which would make him famous across the UK, that of the Australian lodger in the BBC radio comedy series Hancock's Half Hour, staying with the show for six years. In the theatre he played the Devil in the original West End production of Damn Yankees, directed by Bob Fosse. He worked with Spike Milligan appearing in the stage play The Bed-Sitting Room. In 1972 he co-starred with Anthony Newley in the long-running Newley/Bricusse musical, The Good Old Bad Old Days.

His film appearances include The Dam Busters and The Wrong Arm of the Law. Other TV work included Citizen James, Compact, Dixon of Dock Green and Adam Adamant Lives!.

He returned to Australia in the 1979 where he appeared in the Peter Weir films Gallipoli and The Year of Living Dangerously. He had a number of roles in Australian TV shows such as Minty, Snowy, Sons and Daughters and Anzacs as well as appearing on stage in musicals such as My Fair Lady.

In January 2011 Kerr received the 2011 Walk of Honour in his home town of Wagga Wagga. He died at his home in Perth at the age of 92.

(with thanks to Dallas Jones)