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article imageWelsh actor Philip Madoc dies, age 77, Tom Baker leads tributes

By Mathew Wace Peck     Mar 9, 2012 in Entertainment
Merthyr Tydfil - Philip Madoc, the Welsh-born actor famous for his roles as David Lloyd George, Detective Noel Bain and in several episodes of Doctor Who, died earlier this week, at the age of 77, after a short illness.

Leading the tributes has been Tom Baker, whom Madoc appeared with in four episodes of Doctor Who in 1976. Madoc played Dr Mehendri Solon in The Brain of Morbius by Robin Bland. Baker spoke fondly and admirably of his fellow actor during an interview on BBC Radio Wales.
Over five decades, Madoc – who was born in Merthyr Tydfil, South Wales, in 1934 – played a great many roles on television, stage and film. One of his most famous, in 1981, was as the Liberal Party leader and British Prime Minister David Lloyd George, in the BBC’s epic drama series, The Life and Times of David Lloyd George, which featured Ennio Morricone’s “Chi Mai”.
From 1994 to 2004, he played Detective Chief Inspector Noel Bain in the S4C/Channel 5 A Mind to Kill. The police drama series was filmed largely in and around the Welsh university town of Aberystwyth, Ceredigion, and set in Wales. Madoc was a native Welsh speaker, and A Mind to Kill was unique in British filmmaking in that it was filmed in both the Welsh and English languages, as opposed to being filmed in one and dubbed into the other.
Between 1966 and 2008 – on television, audio and film – Madoc appeared in no fewer than seven different Doctor Who stories, his first being in the 1966 cinematic movie Daleks – Invasion Earth: 2150 A.D., by Terry Nation, in which he appeared opposite Peter Cushing’s Doctor.
His first Doctor Who TV appearance was in 1968, with Patrick Troughton’s Doctor, in The Krotons, by Robert Holmes. This was quickly followed, in 1969, again with Troughton, in The War Games, by Terrance Dicks and Malcolm Hulke. However, it was his role as Dr Solon – in the aforementioned Fourth Doctor story The Brain of Morbius – that Madoc is most fondly remembered for. His last appearance in television Doctor Who was in 1978/9, again with Baker, in the Holmes-penned The Power of Kroll.
Madoc would later star in two Doctor Who audio adventures produced by Big Finish. The first was Master (by Joseph Lidster, 2003), this time with Sylvester McCoy as the Doctor. Finally, in 2008, he starred in Return of the Krotons (Nicholas Briggs, 2008), with Colin Baker’s Sixth Doctor and, bringing things almost full circle, the eponymous Krotons of the title.
A few of the many tributes have been reproduced by the Doctor Who News Page:
Toby Hadoke (Moths Ate My Doctor Who Scarf) said, “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.”
“Rest in Peace, Philip Madoc”
Mark Gatiss (Sherlock) said, “What a magnificent head! Farewell to the always wonderful Philip Madoc. What presence. RIP.”
The writer Paul Cornell (Human Nature) said, “A great actor who made some wonderful Doctor Who contributions.” And, the actor and writer Nicholas Pegg (The Complete David Bowie) added, “A truly brilliant actor and a lovely, funny, generous fellow.”
The actors Frances Barber and Susan Penhaligon added there condolences. Barber, who starred in the 2011 series of Doctor Who as Madame Kovarian, said, “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.” While Penhaligon said, “Many many moons ago I worked with Philip Madoc. He was lovely and had a Richard Burton Welsh voice.”
Meanwhile, many of Madoc’s fans have left their tributes at a special tribute page set up at Wales Online.
Madoc, who was especially well thought of by Doctor Who fans, often appeared at Doctor Who conventions, including, on a number of occasions at the Swansea-based Regenerations. The organisers had this to say: “We were deeply saddened to hear of the passing of actor Philip Madoc. Philip was our guest at the first Regenerations back in 2005, and returned twice more, for The Brain of Morbius screening in 2008 and Regenerations 2009, He will always be fondly remembered for his many TV and film roles, and we offer our sincere condolences to his family and friends
Madoc was married twice and had four children. For twenty years, he was married to the actor Ruth Madoc (Hi-de-Hi) before their divorce in 1981.
Ruth Madoc spoke fondly of her ex-husband to the BBC. She said, “I’ve known him since I was 17 and I married him at 19. We had two children and have five grandchildren. I saw him on a regular basis [and] I’ve got some wonderful, wonderful memories of Philip. He was such a talented actor and had that wonderful voice.” She added that she had known for some time that he was ill.
His marriage to his second wife, Diane, also ended in divorce.
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