Philip Madoc (1934 - 2012)Bookmark and Share

Monday, 5 March 2012 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Philip MadocThe actor Philip Madoc has died, aged 77.

Born in Merthyr Tydfil in 1934, during his teenage years Philip Madoc took an interest in becoming an actor, studying at RADA and then taking on a number of television roles from the 1960s, making him a familiar face. Programmes included The Monsters (1962), For Whom The Bell Tolls (1965), The Power Game (1966), The Tyrant King (1968), Manhunt (1969), The Last of the Mohicans (1971), Target (1978), and fantasy shows likeThe Baron, Randall and Hopkirk Deceased, UFO, and five different parts during the course of The Avengers.

His first brush with Doctor Who was actually in the 1966 film spin-off Daleks: Invasion Earth 2150AD alongside Peter Cushing, in which he played the smuggler Brockley. He was then to appear in two stories for Patrick Troughton's last series, as the Gond Eelek in The Krotons and then in a leading role as the War Lord in Troughton's swan-song The War Games. However, his next role is considered by many as his greatest contribution to the series, portraying the obsessive, manic scientist Mehendri Solon in the Fourth Doctor story The Brain of Morbius. His final appearance was as Fenner in The Power of Kroll, a role he'd often criticised as not being as meaty as he would have liked.

Madoc later returned to the Doctor Who fold, appearing in two audio adventures for Big Finish Productions: first opposite Sylvester McCoy and Geoffrey Beevers in the 2003 audio "Master," and later opposite Colin Baker and India Fisher in the special release "Return of the Krotons".

He became a leading actor in 1981 when he took the eponymous role in the BBC TV drama The Life and Times of David Lloyd George, and continued to appear in series including A Very British Coup (1988) and First Born (1988); he also played DCI Noel Bain in A Mind To Kill (1994-2002), and more recently Y Llywydd in the Welsh series Y Prid (2007). And of course no acting CV is complete without a guest appearance in Doctors (2003)!

No stranger to the stage, Madoc appeared in a number of productions, working at 'home' at Theatr Clwyd and Theatre Wales and throughout the UK, including the West End, on tour, and with the Royal Shakespeare Company. Notables roles include Iago in Othello, Antony in Antony and Cleopatra, Shylock in The Merchant of Venice, Henry Higgins in Pygmalion, and co-starring in The Forsyte Saga. Film-wise, as well as his encounter with the Daleks, he also often popped up in small German-oriented roles, such as in Operation Crossbow, The Spy Who Came In From The Cold, Hell Boats, plus others like The Assassination Bureau and Dr Jekyll and Sister Hyde.

Amongst his talents Madoc was a linguist (having studied languages at the Universities of Wales and Vienna) and had worked as an interpreter. The actor had also narrated a number of television series, such as Egypt Uncovered for the Discovery Channel, and audio books such as The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. He most recently lent his vocal talents to The Scarifyers, an audio series also broadcast on BBC Radio 4 Extra.

In addition, he was patron to a St Albans-based theatre school for children, Best Theatre Arts.

Publicly, though, perhaps his most famous appearance on TV was in the Dad's Army episode The Deadly Attachment in a familiar guise of a German officer, this time as the captured U-Boat commander who threatens the platoon with his infamous "List".

Madoc was married twice (his first to actress Ruth Madoc from 1961 to 1981), and leaves behind his widow Diane and four children from his marriages.

(Philip Madoc, 5 Jul 1934 - 5 Mar 2012)


The news was reported by Madoc's agent, Michael Hallett, who said that the actor passed away in hospital in Hertfordshire early this morning, surrounded by family.

The BBC reported the news on their website, and have also put together a photo album of his career.

Toby Hadoke said on Facebook: "Sad to report that the mighty Philip Madoc's name will also go on the list of excellent actors to leave us this year. RIP and thanks for all the menace. May there be no soggy chips where you are now." Writer/actor Mark Gatiss said on Twitter: "'What a magnificent head!' Farewell to the always wonderful Philip Madoc. What presence. RIP.«". Writer Paul Cornell: "It's terrible to hear that Philip Madoc has died. A great actor who made some wonderful Doctor Who contributions.«" Actor Nicholas Pegg: "Very sad to hear of the death of Philip Madoc. A truly brilliant actor and a lovely, funny, generous fellow.«". Actress Frances Barber: "So sad to hear about Philip Madoc. I played Regan when he was King Lear on the radio. Saw him just last Dec. lovely man. RIP Philip.«" Actress Susan Penhaligon: "Many many moons ago I worked with Philip Madoc. He was lovely and had a Richard Burton Welsh voice. RIP Phillip.«"