67 (passed away Apr. 23rd, 1975)
Jan. 8th, 1908
St. Pancras, London, England, UK
William Hartnell's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles1963 - This Sporting Life
1963 - Heavens Above!
1959 - The Mouse That Roared
1958 - Carry On Sergeant
1955 - Footsteps in the Fog
1952 - The Ringer
1950 - Double Confession
1948 - Escape
1947 - Odd Man Out
1947 - Brighton Rock
1938 - They Drive by Night
Guest TV Roles
William Hartnell was born on 8 January 1908, just south of St. Pancras station, in London. Allegedly claiming in press materials in the 1940s to be have a father who was a farmer and then later a stockbroker, it turns out that he was born out of wedlock, as his biography "Who's There?" states. At age 16, he was adopted by Hugh Blaker, a well-known art connoisseur, who helped him to get a job with Sir Frank Benson's Shakespearean Company. He started as a general dogsbody - call-boy, assistant stage manager, property master and assistant lighting director - but was occasionally allowed to play small walk-on parts. Two years later he left Sir Frank Benson's group and went off on tour working for a number of different companies about Britain. He became known as an actor of farce and understudied renowned performers such as Lawrence Grossmith, Ernest Truex, Bud Flanagan and Charles Heslop. He played repertory in Richmond, Harrogate, Leeds and Sheffield and had a successful run as the lead in a touring production of "Charley's Aunt." He also toured Canada in 1928-29, acquiring much valuable experience. On his return to England, Hartnell married the actress Heather McIntyre. Hw starred in the movies "I'm an Explosive" (1933), "The Way Ahead" (1944), "Strawberry Roan" (1944), "The Agitator" (1944), "Murder in Reverse" (1945) and "Appointment with Crime" (1945). His memorable performance on the television series "The Army Game" and the movie "The Sporting Life" (1963) led to him being cast as the Doctor on "Doctor Who" (1963) which he is best remembered for. His son in law is agent Terry Carney. His granddaughter is Judith (stage name Jessica) Carney, who authored a biography of her grandfather, "Who's There?" in 1996.
- He was the only child of an unmarried mother Lucy Hartnell, who was seventeen years old at the time of his birth. He was raised primarily by her elder sister Bessie.
- He was invalided out of the Royal Armoured Corps of the British Army during the Second World War, after suffering a nervous breakdown.
- At one time he shared the same agent as 'Nicholas Courtney' (qv), who later became a regular in _"Doctor Who" (1963)_ (qv) as Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart.
- One of (as of 2009) eleven actors to play "official" incarnations of TV's Doctor Who. Also as of 2009, the only of the three deceased actors to have died in England.
- Was offered a role in Doctor Zhivago.
- Grandfather of actress 'Jessica Carney' (qv).
- Was sacked for being late from In Which we serve.
- Always claimed he was born in Seaton, Devon, England, but he was actually born in St. Pancras, London, England.
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